More impressive on the road than on paper
The newly redesigned rivals are bringing much-improved build quality to the subcompact segment, and the Mazda2 can easily hold its own in that regard. The straightforward centre stack is within easy reach, the wheel feels like it belongs in a Mazda6, and the red piping on the textured cloth seat surfaces of our GS tester provide a sporty atmosphere.
There’s a good amount of space inside, despite the car’s outer dimensions, including in back; legroom is adequate and so is headroom, although sitting three adults across will make all of them uncomfortable.
The 377 litres of trunk space are also pretty good, and swell to 787 litres when you fold down the rear seatbacks. On the other hand, if cargo space is what you need, you might want to check out the Nissan Versa or the Honda Fit instead.
Gripes? There’s no front centre armrest, which I can’t live without; the steering column doesn’t telescope, and the sound system doesn’t include a USB port, which more and more rivals are offering. Bluetooth connectivity is a dealer-installed accessory, and you only get one remote keyfob; a second one costs about $250.
Light on features
The 2012 Mazda2 GS with the automatic transmission costs $19,295. For that sum, you get air conditioning, heated mirrors, fog lights, 15” alloy wheels, cruise control, power windows, a trip computer, a leather-wrapped wheel with integrated audio controls and 6 speakers for the stereo.
In comparison, the same money will get you a Kia Rio EX 5-door that includes bigger wheels, a power sunroof, a telescopic steering column, heated front seats and Bluetooth connectivity. A similarly priced Ford Fiesta SE Hatchback could add heated front seats and the SYNC multimedia system. In short, the Mazda2 could use some extra features to match its opponents’ content levels.
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2012 Mazda 2 Specifications
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