3.9 out of 5 3.9
Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

Likeable Mazda is a strong alternative to usual suspects

Mazda 2 (15 on) - rated 3.9 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £15,840 - £19,640
Lease from new From £202 p/m View lease deals
Used price £4,200 - £16,385
Used monthly cost £105 - £409
Fuel Economy 47.9 - 53.3 mpg
Road tax cost £0 - £150
Insurance group 13 - 20 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Sharp styling and sharp drive
  • Comfortable interior
  • Plenty of equipment
  • Efficient range of engines

CONS

  • Not as practical as rivals
  • Lack of steering feel
  • No ‘hot’ version
  • Infotainment system dated

Mazda 2 rivals

Written by Tom Wiltshire on

The Mazda 2 is a great little car with a tough job on its hands – namely, convincing UK car buyers to leave their Ford FiestasVauxhall Corsas and Volkswagen Polos behind in favour of a sharply-styled supermini from Japan.

Currently in its third generation, the 2 does things a little differently to most of its rivals. For a start, it eschews small-capacity turbocharged engines in favour of larger, less stressed engines. This helps boost real-world fuel economy – performing worse in official tests, but better in customer’s own hands.

The 2 competes with some of the UK’s most popular cars, and along with its aforementioned rivals it can also count the likes of the Renault ClioSkoda FabiaCitroen C3 and Parkers Award-winning SEAT Ibiza.

SkyActiv-G petrol power with mild-hybrid technology

Formerly available with a diesel engine and higher-powered 115hp petrol engine, the 2 now offers a choice of two petrol engines since the end of 2019. All are 1.5 litres in capacity – larger than most rivals – and depending on trim level, there are power outputs of 75hp and 90hp. Even the most powerful of these isn’t exactly a hot hatchback, despite tidy handling and a pleasingly direct steering rack. Most rivals offer something with rather more zing, such as the VW Polo’s 150hp 1.5-litre TSI or the Ford Fiesta EcoBoost 140.

The term ‘SkyActiv-G’ refers to the latest in Mazda’s suite of performance-boosting engine tweaks, focussing on reducing weight with mild-hybrid efficiency for those fitted with a manual gearbox.

A six-speed manual gearbox comes as standard on both engines, while a six-speed automatic can be fitted to top-spec Sport-Nav trim with the 90hp engine, but it’s worth avoiding – it’s old-fashioned and relatively inefficient.

Sharp ‘Kodo’ design

The 2 wears the same corporate ‘face’ as the rest of Mazda’s lineup. It’s an eye-catching and handsome supermini, though after several years on sale it’s beginning to look a little dated.

The interior is equally slick, with an asymmetric layout that puts the focus on the driver. Again, Mazda’s gone off-piste here – with a scroll-wheel operated infotainment system that’s much safer to use on the move than a touchscreen.

While the engine lineup may be simple to navigate, the trim levels are slightly more confusing. The range consists of SE-L, SE-L Nav, Sport Nav, Sport Nav Auto and GT Sport Nav. 

There’s a generous level of standard equipment across the range, with higher-spec models coming packed with kit that you’ll find in many of Mazda’s more expensive models.

The cabin is feeling dated now, especially compared with the latest generation of rivals appearing on the market, but everything feels well assembled and robust inside the 2.There are some nice touches on higher-spec cars with a strip of trim reaching across the dashboard and on the doors, matching the trim on the seats, although those who favour soft-touch plastics will be hard-pressed to find any.

The cabin is spacious enough for most, and the five-door-only body style means access is easy, however it’s not quite as generous as a VW Polo or Skoda Fabia, while the boot has a narrow opening and high loading lip.

Read on for the full Mazda 2 review

> We lived with a Mazda 2 for six months - what was it really like?

Mazda 2 rivals