Parkers overall rating: 3.3 out of 5 3.3
  • Interior shared with the (no longer on sale) CX-3 crossover
  • Neat and interesting design and user-friendly
  • Infotainment easy to use, but dated

How is the quality and layout?

It’s not unusual for Japanese cars to have interiors that are well-built but constructed of firmer plastics than those employed in many European cars, and in this regard the Mazda 2 is no different.

Stylistically the new 2’s interior isn’t dissimilar to the MX-5 sports car, with a driver-focused section Mazda calls the cockpit zone, and a wider section in front of the passenger. The reasoning is that driver distraction is minimised with all the key information directly in front of them, while controls for the air-con and infotainment system, which aren’t looked at as frequently, are to the side where the front passenger can access them equally well.

The instrument binnacle is clear, combining analogue and digital graphics, while a head-up display is also available on more expensive models.

Visibility is fine, with an unusually long bonnet view on a small car, which helps position the nose when manoeuvring around cities. Rear parking sensors aid further when negotiating tighter spots, while the very large door mirrors (that fold automatically), aid with rearward visibility.

Infotainment and tech

If you prefer knobs and buttons to touchscreens, this is the supermini for you. The main infotainment screen is not touchscreen, and is controlled via a knob. It's very small and the graphics are particularly outdated.

It is delectably simple to use though, with pleasingly simple and quickly accessed menus. Importantly, all models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Top spec cars get the kitchen sink jobby. The 360 degree parking camera is particularly useful, although because the infotainment screen is so low res, it often fails to show a clear picture in bright light.

Is it comfortable?

  • Very comfortable seats and driving position
  • Long-distance credentials are good
  • Interior is rattle-free and refined 

There’s just enough room for four six-foot adults to sit comfortably, although the rear seat would be best accommodated by children who’ve outgrown their car seats. It's not as roomy back here as in a SEAT Ibiza or Skoda Fabia, but not as cramped as the Renault Clio.

On the road the 2’s a calm car to travel in: the interior’s free of niggling squeaks and rattles, while noise from tyres and air rushing over the door mirrors and around the windscreen pillars is kept impressively low too.

Even the engines are remarkably quiet when idling, so much so you’ll find yourself gently dabbing the accelerator to check it’s running, although the need to rev the engines hard at times will disturb some of the peace.

Mazda shrunk its larger car-underpinning philosophy to make the 2, paying particular attention to where occupants feet rest and where the seats are mounted to ensure vibrations at those points are kept to a minimum too. However, there is a considerable bounce to the ride, especially at motorway speeds.

There’s a decent amount of adjustment in the front seats, which remain comfortable after several hours at the wheel.

Combine all these factors with the supple yet well-controlled suspension and damper settings and a raft of standard equipment including online connectivity on mid-range models onwards, and the Mazda 2 is an easy car to travel long distances in.