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Mazda 2

Small, quirky, and fun to drive.

The Mazda 2’s light weight, sporty gearing, and small footprint make for smiles behind the wheel, but in other respects, the 2 struggles to match its rivals. For one, fuel economy is significantly below the current 38-to-40-mpg zeitgeist for small cars — although a 35-mpg highway rating is still nothing to be sniffed at. A 100-hp four-cylinder engine provides adequate acceleration, especially with the slick five-speed manual transmission. The optional four-speed automatic is two gears short of its Ford Fiesta sibling’s dual-clutch six-speed, and that deficit hurts fuel economy. Although the 2 is nicely finished inside for a car in this price range, it lacks the luxury features available in other new subcompacts such as the Fiesta, the Hyundai Accent, and the Kia Rio. That means no navigation, leather, or heated seats, but a high-spec Touring model comes with fifteen-inch aluminum wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an upgraded sound system. The base Sport model, on the other hand, has steel wheels with hubcaps and lacks cruise control. At the end of the day, the Mazda 2 is simple to use, fun to drive, and very affordable. For basic transportation in congested cities, that’s more than enough.

COMPETITORS

Fiat 500

Ford Fiesta

Hyundai Accent

Toyota Yaris

new for 2013

The 2013 Mazda 2 gains a new clear water blue paint color and a USB port.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

ABS; traction and stability control; and front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard.

High Mileage

MPG

CITY 28–29

HWY 34–35

PRO

Cute and sporty

Fun to drive

Refined and comfortable

CON

Fuel economy

Four-speed automatic

Short options list

Base Price Range: $15,500–$18,000 (est.)

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Front-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: Sport, Touring

BODY STYLE: Hatchback, 5-passenger

ENGINE: 1.5L I-4, 100 hp, 98 lb-ft

TRANSMISSIONS: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 87.1 cu ft

CARGO SPACE: (rear seats up/down) 13.3/27.8 cu ft

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