This is the car that caught Suzuki resting on its rather comfortable laurels. The Swift has been the top dog of the small car world for years, but not any more: Mazda took what wasn’t really broken, but fixed it in a way unimaginable to Suzuki, and the majority of us, and the result could shake things up. Continue reading “Mazda: 2015 Mazda2 Limited review” »
The Mazda Demio is big in Japan, and while we know it as the Mazda2 it does alright here in NZ as well. To keep things going strong the 2 has just received a minor facelift and one of Mazda’s new eco-friendly motors – a direct injection 1.3-litre SkyActiv gasoline engine.
While the updates are only for the Japanese domestic market at this stage, they show some serious intent from Mazda to lower its fuel figures. With a compression ratio of 14.0:1 and an advanced start/stop system that requires less fuel to re-initiate the combustion cycle, the 1300cc four-cylinder is set to be one of the most frugal mills around. Apparently the SkyActiv equipped Mazda2 can achieve fuel consumption as low as 4.0l/100km on the JC08 combined evaluation cycle. Continue reading “Mazda2 gets mild facelift and new SkyActiv engine” »
Mazda 2 Funny Commercial
in celebration of the recent launch of the Mazda2 into the US market, Mazda has unveiled three special examples at the LA Auto Show.
Named Mazda 2Evil, Mazda Active2 Surf and Mazda Active2 Snow, the concepts have been given some serious treatment with new cosmetic touches and light performance tweaks.
Mazda Active2 Surf and Active2 Snow
The Surf and Snow Mazda2 concepts are almost identical in their fitout. Finished in ‘Spirited’ green and ‘Frozen’ white the cars feature an Active2 body graphics package along with 17-inch alloy wheels and Mazda2 concepts 2009 spainted wing mirrors, white on the Surf and graphite on the Snow.
Both cars are fitted with Thule roof racks so the Active2 Snow can carry a pair of skis, while the Surf can take a carbon fibre surfboard.
Mazda USA cites the weekend track car for influence in the design of the 2Evil concept, adding a Mazdaspeed front spoiler and skirts to give it both improved aerodynamics and a lower appearance.
In terms of aesthetics a diffuser has been added to the 2Evil’s rear bumper, along with a custom high spoiler, creating a more track-oriented look for the concept.
A Magna sports exhaust system has also been included and the 17-inch wheels are shod with 215/45/17 Yokohama Advan semi-slick tyres, and it sits on lowered H&R suspension.
Body graphics include the number 55, a tribute to the 1991 Le Mans-winning 787B race car.
Wheels, mirrors, spoiler and foglight trim are finished in contrasting green.
Mazda has offered no word on whether it intends to offer any of the 2Evil’s performance-oriented components for sale.
Mazda Kiyora (and we’re assuming it’s said like kia ora), is a lightweight, next generation, urban compact concept car, will be revealed at the 2008 Paris International Motor Show in October.
Mazda Kiyora (meaning “clean and pure” in Japanese) represents the harmony between driving pleasure and environmental and safety features aspired to in Mazda’s long-term technology development vision, “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom.”
The concept of Kiyora (which we’re assuming helped the designers to imagine a city car cutting cleanly through an urban landscape, with water as the design theme. Kiyora’s aerodynamic Nagare design and next-generation four-cylinder direct-injection engine contribute to excellent fuel economy and low CO2 emissions.
The new Mazda Kiyora concept car is based on an all-new platform designed to minimise weight and maximise safety and driving pleasure. According to Mazda it also features an interior design and new functions that support a youthful lifestyle – slouching and listening to an iPod (another assumption on our part).
oining the Mazda Kiyora concept car on Mazda’s stand at the Paris show, the Mazda MX-5 facelift will make its world debut together with the Mazda6 equipped with Mazda’s newly developed MZR-CD 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine, and the Mazda2 powered by a MZ-CD 1.6-litre diesel.
The Mazda2 is a supermodel, so the advertising says. But can we actually see where Mazda is heading with its catwalk queen analogy? This is no plus-sized model. It’s 100kg lighter than its predecessor — shedding weight is important in the modelling world.
Most car manufacturers fatten their cars out with more and more fripperies, whereas Mazda has a ‘gram strategy’ where it analyses the whole car and finds out where it can save micro-portions of weight. 690g came off the bonnet by making the latch smaller and the hinges thinner; and Mazda has managed to make a car that is more structurally rigid, but shaves 22kg off the body shell alone, partially by making it shorter by 40mm and lower by 55mm while keeping the same wheelbase.
This stiffer body enhances the ‘zoom-zoom’ effect with improved handling and noise/vibration/harshness, and a stronger passenger safety cell. This ‘absence of weight’ was very evident on my test circuit that contains several very tight sections marked at 25kph (they are curvy ‘traffic calming measures’). I could easily maintain almost 60kph through these, performance matched recently only by the Fiat Bravo and its enormously wide tyres. Many of the cars I’ve had start struggling at 55kph, especially the ones that are double the Mazda’s featherweight 1021kg.
So we’ve established that as a nippy city runaround the Mazda2 excels. It’s not the sprightliest off the line with its 76kW — expect around 10 seconds to 100kph, which is adequate — but it sheds speed under heavy braking like you’ve driven into Shelob’s web. Mazda’s ABS tends to lock the 185/55/R15 wheels slightly more than other cars, but it doesn’t hamper the deceleration. Purchase the next model up (the Sport) and you get Dynamic Stability Control and traction control.
All Mazda2 models come with EBD and EBA for more effective braking, and six airbags for when the braking wasn’t quite effective enough.
Another result of the lack of weight is a fuel consumption of around 6.8l/100km. Around 20kg of this Mazda’s weight saving comes from changes to the interior. The ‘2 is not over-appointed with unnecessary items. You get a reasonable stereo/CD player with an input for auxiliary music devices. This can be controlled from buttons on the steering wheel. And that’s about it — no trip computer, cruise control or anything electric (other than the mirrors and windows). But it’s all you need.
There is a good choice of colours available, and I don’t think our test car’s ‘Icy blue’ is the best one. It looks better in ‘Spirited green’ or ‘Metropolitan grey’. The lines of the Mazda2 sweep up from the bulging wheel arches to the shoulder, like a crouched athlete. Headlights are thin and fared backwards, wrapping around the corner of the car. The grille is small in the shape of outstretched wings spread across the front, and the steeply raked windscreen is matched by the window line on the sides that rises towards the rear of the car. The tailgate is slightly compromised by the boot line cutting in around the lights meaning that the surprisingly large boot has not quite such a functional opening as you’d expect.
From the side the front wheels look slightly too far back, but from other angles the car is quite a stunner. Mazda expects to sell a lot of Mazda2s, and we can see why. It’s a fun and stylish city car with a practical boot, good safety credentials, a relatively frugal engine and a sensible price.
Price: as tested $22,300 (Classic Auto). Classic Manual from $20,900. Sport models start at $23,100 for the manual and $24,500 for the auto.
What we like
- Value for money
- Boot size
What we don’t like
- Cabin storage is miserly and glovebox is horrible
Words and photos Darren Cottingham