What is a Mazda2?
The North American version of the Mazda2 was first unveiled to the North American public at the 2009 LA Auto Show and went on sale in in 2010. However, the little sub-compact had already been around for a year or two in other parts of the world and received several accolades, including being named World Car of the Year in 2008.
The vehicle was seen as the perfect platform for Mazda’s return to the sub-compact market here in N.A., as the company hadn’t featured in this category since the retirement of its 323 model way back in 1995 (‘94 in the U.S.).
2014 Mazda2 Price & Specs
Our test vehicle was the GS model, fitted with the manual 5-speed gearbox. The MSRP on the 2014 Mazda2 GS is $18,300, and this places it up against some pretty fierce competition in today’s marketplace.
Fuel economy: 6.8L/100kms (city), 5.6L/100kms (hwy).
Tank capacity: 42.8L.
Cargo space: 377 litres, and 787 litres with the rear seat down.
Driving the 2014 Mazda2
In all honesty, the Mazda2 handles like a charm and, with a stick shift to play with, it’s a lot of fun to drive. The 1.5L DOHC 16-valve 4-cyl engine with VVT produces just 100hp (98 lb-ft of torque) yet, with a curb weight of just 1,051kgs, it’s plenty to put a smile on your face.
Another reason for this smile would be the handling characteristics of the 2014 Mazda2 which are simply superb! The vehicle feels light because it is light, yet the weight has been shaved from the areas that matter, and this makes the Mazda2 a proper little mover.
The cockpit offers a surprising amount of elbow room for such a small car, and it’s quite easy to find yourself imagining you’re in a larger vehicle, until the next change of direction is required! Yes, there is go-kart-like steering and handling to match. It’s a great combination which further proves that you don’t need huge horsepower to have some fun in a sub-compact.
Inside and Out of the 2014 Mazda2
The exterior is typical Mazda. It’s designed with a purpose in mind, yet carries plenty of style and more than a little zoom-zoom. Inside, the story is much the same with red stitching/piping highlighting the cloth seats and the leather steering wheel.
The overall design has been well thought out and Mazda quality is to be seen everywhere. However, although the 2014 Mazda2 comes with such niceties as steering-wheel-mounted cruise control and rain-sensing wipers, it lacks one of the basic requirements of today: Bluetooth phone connectivity.
Of course, I’m from the generation who roller-skated on dirt roads uphill both ways to school each day, so I can survive without all the “must-have” electronic gizmos. Having said this, even I started to get a little tired of having to stop and answer phone calls at the side of the road due to its lack of Bluetooth.
Now, in fairness, the 2014 Mazda2 was probably initially designed nearly 10 years ago (at least a year or two prior to its launch), when the dangers of cell phones/distracted drivers weren’t so apparent. Of course, there are aftermarket units available, but add the cost of these to the price of the Mazda2 GS, and it simply sounds wrong!
Comparing the 2014 Mazda2
The Mazda2 has plenty of competition nowadays, which is rather unfortunate as it’s now slightly behind in must-have technology. Fortunately, there are rumours of a new Mazda2 in the works (Mazda's Hazumi concept shown at the recent Geneva show points to this being true).
So, does this mean the 2014 model is no longer worth considering? Not at all. In fact, it’s a great little car that has a proven track record and that can sometimes be better than taking the gamble on a freshly released product. Its lack of Bluetooth is the only issue, and can be remedied, so I’d still look at a 2014 although I’d be expecting the dealer to perhaps sharpen his pencil with regards to price given that we’re getting closer to the release of the all-new Mazda2.