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Mazda 2 Hatchback engines, drive and performance

2003 - 2007 (change model)
Performance rating: 3.5 out of 53.5

Written by Dan Harrison Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

Kicked off by the 1.25-litre with 73bhp that’s a proved hit in the Fiesta. It’s nippy, though doesn’t have a particularly quick 0-60mph time and is great for town driving. The 1.4 petrol has a bit more grunt, but doesn’t offer much of an advantage over the 1.25. The 1.6 is as close as the 2 gets to having a ‘hot’ version, though it still can’t crack 0-60mph in less than 10 seconds (it gets there in 11seconds).

However, with 100bhp, it’s strong and makes motorway trips less tiring. Pick of the engines is the 1.4-litre diesel. It’s a thoroughly modern diesel engine, which means it’s quiet (with the exception of a slight rattle at start-up), refined at speed and very economical. It’s capable of 62mpg. Slow-witted sequential manual versions are best avoided.

An easy-to-drive small car. Around town the power steering is light enough to make a breeze of parking (the 2’s compact shape helps too) without feeling lifeless, while the brakes, gearbox and clutch all feel smooth. Although it’s based on the Ford Fiesta and Ford Fusion, it feels different to both cars on the road. The suspension is firmer and it’s more fun to drive, especially on backroads, in-keeping with Mazda’s sporty zoom-zoom brand image.

The ride is firmer than the Fiesta and other small hatchbacks in this class, though not painfully so.