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.
new for 2013
The 2013 Mazda 2 gains a new clear water blue paint color and a USB port.
ABS; traction and stability control; and front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard.
Cute and sporty
Fun to drive
Refined and comfortable
Short options list
Base Price Range: $15,500–$18,000 (est.)
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