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Hands on with the Mazda 2

Thanks to Steven and Anika I was able to take out the new Mazda 2 for a couple of days. I did a bit of driving around the city as well as out of town to Punta Fuego. To put things into perspective, I’ve always been a sedan guy (I own the new 2010 Honda City A MT) so this is the first time I’ve been behind the wheel of a compact sports sedan. Note that I’m not part of the motoring media and do not review cars often so what I write really comes from first-hand buzz from friends and my own thoughts about “things” that are supposed to take you from point A to B.

Read on for the hands on.

Mazda had a lot in mind for the youthful and edgy market with this car, and you can first see it from the choice of two other colors available apart from red, white and black — the flashy blue (Aurora Blue) and neon green (Spirited Green). The head lights and front grill successfully convey a happy car, obviously driven by someone who is stepping up the corporate ladder in utter nonchalance, or is 26 years and below with a really rich family. It’s not a “man’s car.” It’s a “guy’s car.”

Coming from a Sedan, the City namely, which offers “something for everybody” the Mazda 2 spares you from anything classic looking and doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to giving you a damn great ride. It’s not classic – it’s edgy. Albeit small. And that’s expected from a sports sedan. Behind the wheel, I was transformed from my mild mannered self into a quasi-unbridled “guy” who can find every excuse to drive out. The smirk I had on my face matches the smiley of the front grill.

The market philosophy of the Mazda 2 (1.5 Liter) can be clearly seen from the middle panel, that houses the AUX port for your iPod or any 3.5mm compatible player, the lighter, and a removable ash tray so you can dump it anytime. Removed, the bin houses one cup holder. If you think these are excellent, then pat yourself on the back dear friend … you are the Mazda 2’s target market (as well as the Ford Fiesta, Honda Jazz and Toyota Yaris). Seriously though, only one cup holder?! OK maybe I’ve gotten used to the City — it has 5 cup holders! The Mazda 2 has a protrusion on the utility slots on the door, which I think is made for cups as well. So if you want to push it, you get 3 cup holders.

Look at this dash board. Like most higher end models for cars today, the dash board control for the audio is replicated on the steering wheel. At night, the LED backlight is colored amber.

The Mazda 2 is sporty and light. The car is very responsive to the wheel. Coming from a Honda City owner, the Mazda 2 takes me out of my comfort zone and puts me under the wheel of a car that can whirl through traffic and ignite adrenaline.

Other things:

  • The internal light is located at the front of the car, not at the middle, making trunk visiblity a bit bad at night. To remedy this, there’s a white light located at the right side of the trunk.
  • I’m a bit iffy about the glove compartment. Instead of having to fully open it, you can just throw small stuff in. If you need to put in bigger items, you can open it fully. I can see the logic behind this and all is well. The drawback is the aesthetic dampening.

  • The Mazda 2 comes with keyless entry and a folding key. I think all Mazda models have this in stock.
  • I like the location of the gear shift. It is a bit higher, almost on the front console itself so if we’re to wait for the MT version (right now we only have the Automatic) and they place the gear shift in the same place, this would be very ergonomic.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

7 replies on “Hands on with the Mazda 2”

wooooow! it’s as if it has ‘come look at me’ sign all over its body!!! it’s sooo macho!

i luv the steering wheel too! it’s like the A4 i fell in luv with which i used in LA last Fall!

nice vroom vroom it is!

Great review, Jayvee. I’m a Mazda owner and I totally dig their zoom-zoom philosophy. Any chance on reviewing the CX-7?

Cheers!

Cool. I am one of the lucky few who have tried this baby as well. Sporty, easy to drive and definitely zoom, zoom. Couldnt help but push it a bit too… :))

wow that looks so nice,, how about the mazda 4, was it old or new???/ it wud be cool seeing myself driving that car… haaaayyy

Jayvs,

Nice review.

I wouldn’t really consider the Mazda 2 a compact sports sedan. Its just a plain compact car like the Yaris and the City.

But yep I can relate to how nimble the car must have been as I myself owned a Yaris before. Power-weight is really good. Oh and Mazdas are known to be good handlers.

Whats the engine on your City? I find Hondas lacking in torque but good in high speed runs.

I see that the cargo space not as good as the City but not as cramped as the Yaris.

Keep the great reviews coming ^_^

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