Mazda2: Clocking on

  • The Mazda2 racks up 10,000 miles
  • Continues to endure 110 mile commute
  • Now due its first Mazda dealer service

On my way into work the Mazda's digital odometer silently refreshed from 9,999 miles to a neat and round 10,000 miles. 

When the car joined the Parkers long-term test fleet at the end of December 2011 it only had 1,142 miles on the clock. That means it has covered 8,858 miles since then.

That's quite a lot of ground for a small hatchback to cover in a relatively short space of time, so wear and tear is something that I've been keeping an eye on.

Mechanically, the Mazda2 seems to be bearing up relatively well. Yes, the front brake discs did warp when they shouldn't have but at least that problem will be resolved under car's warranty.

On a daily basis the car is subject to a lot of hot and cold starts and a mix of cross-country and motorway driving. It's also intermittently left in car parks for days on end. The Mazda's even subject to traversing the odd dirt track and rough road when accessing events.

Despite its varied and heavy duty use it's not thrown up any issues, barring the aforementioned brake problem. It's never failed to start, it's never done anything odd and everything still works as it should.

The paint seems to be enduring the test of time too. It polishes up well and it doesn't seem so soft as to pick up a multitude of stone chips and scratches with ease.

In fact the only notable blemish is where someone has inconsiderately opened their car door into the Mazda's, taking some of the paint off and creasing the panel slightly.

With regards to the interior, it's business as usual. Only some slight stretching of the fabric on the base of the driver's seat indicates that this isn't a new car. Given that it regularly has people of all sizes and shapes getting in and out frequently the wear is hardly surprising.

There have been no dramatic variations in fuel use either. When the Mazda2 arrived it was showing an indicated 48.3mpg and it still tends to average a similar figure these days. The only time the consumption changes noticeably is when, as you'd expect, the Mazda's used for much slower trips.

My time with the Mazda2 hasn't been entirely hassle-free so far, however. The poor radio reception is still a bugbear, the limited range annoys from time to time and I do wish that it was a little more refined.

It doesn't have a low washer fluid warning light either, something that's becoming a bit of a personal annoyance for me.

One real concern that I do have at the moment though is how cars like the Mazda2 will survive against the likes of the Volkswagen up!, Skoda Citigo and SEAT Mii.

The Mazda feels quite dated compared to this newest generation of city cars and there's very little it can do that they can't. These cars also have a lot of equipment, are interesting, easy to live with and can be bought for substantially less than the price of the Mazda2.  

Volkswagen's up! is more refined and comfortable than the Mazda as well. That's impressive and worth bearing in mind if you want a car you can also use regularly on the motorway.

Would I buy a Mazda2 if I was presented with one of these new city cars at a lower price?

I must confess that I probably wouldn't.

Current mileage: 10,000 miles

Average mpg: 47.6mpg