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Mazda2: Goodbye

  • Our long-term Mazda2 leaves the Parkers test fleet
  • Proven to be capable transport for almost a year
  • Could be a good choice, depending on your usage

My last foray with the Mazda2 involved a 500-mile drive to the Lake District and back. Laden with camping gear, the car dispatched the journey without any fuss.

It even averaged an indicated 55mpg, allowing me to cover 400 miles before I needed to think about refuelling.

The trip was a satisfactory end to an ownership period with what has been a good, if not exceptional, compact hatchback.

It’s been almost a year since the Mazda2 joined the Parkers long-term test fleet.

Since then it’s covered over 12,926 miles, the majority of which has been spent plodding up and down the A1 during my daily 110-mile commute.

That’s quite a lot for a small car to deal with but, despite being somewhat inappropriate for the task, the Mazda2 endured it without any major complaints or failures.

In fact there was only one notable problem, when the brake discs warped at 7,616 miles. It was a common Mazda2 issue and one that, fortunately, was resolved under warranty.

There were a lot of positive aspects to the Mazda2. It was good fun to drive, moderately practical, had plenty of equipment and it wasn't excessively tiresome on longer trips.

It wasn't all plain sailing though. Besides the warped discs, the fuel economy wasn't fantastic, parts seemed expensive and the level of the care from my local dealership wasn't quite up to scratch.

The cost of maintaining the Mazda became a concern as well, with the first service coming in at an alarming £180. That didn't even include a courtesy car or a valet, much to my dismay, and the total bill seemed excessive for what was effectively an oil change.

Get a larger Ford Focus serviced, for example, and you'll receive a bill for a much more reasonable £125. The dealership will even clean the car, without you asking, for free.

After living with the Mazda2 for such a long time, and despite these few issues, would I recommend it to prospective buyers?

Well, yes, I probably would - but there are a few caveats. If your annual mileage consists of mostly sitting on motorways, commuting back and forth to work, I'd suggest that you'd be better off investing a little more in your purchase and buying a larger car with a slightly bigger engine.

Besides the larger car being more refined and cosseting over longer distances, you'll most likely find it to be more economical as well. That's because the bigger engine won't have to work as hard to keep the car moving along at motorway speeds.

If you're going to be doing primarily short trips or town driving, however, then the Mazda2 is a sensible option that won't leave you disappointed.

The only real sticking point for me is that smaller and more modern alternatives like the Volkswagen up! are cheaper to buy and run, yet they are just as viable for daily use. I even found the up! more comfortable on longer journeys, while the level of equipment is far higher for the money.

I will miss the Mazda2 though, as on a good road its punchy diesel engine, precise gear shift and engaging handling would never fail to put a smile on your face.

What do you think of the Mazda2? Get your opinions published in our Owners' Reviews section here.

Current mileage: 14,068 miles

Average mpg: 55.4mpg (ind.)