We review the budget-friendly Mazda 2

The smallest vehicle in the Japanese automaker’s line-up, the 2022 Mazda 2, features all the hallmarks the brand is famous for. We’re talking about sharp styling, playful handling, and straightforward interior features. The sporty little hatchback competes with Volkswagen Polo, Kia Rio, and Toyota Yaris in the South African market.

While it has started to feel its age in places, it is still capable of competing in the busy B-segment. Let’s discuss the salient features that make it a suitable, well-built, and economical car for students, young professionals, or just about anyone seeking a stylish hatchback.

The Japanese automaker offers the 2022 Mazda2 in mainly four trim levels – entry-level Active, mid-level Dynamic, high-end Individual, and range-topping Hazumi. All the models use the familiar naturally aspirated 1.5-litre petrol engine, which also finds a home in a few other models in the brand’s line-up. The mill creates 85kW and 148Nm of torque and sends power exclusively to the front wheels via either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission.

However, the base Active is available with the manual only, while the flagship Hazumi comes with an exclusively automatic gearbox. With the semi-manual mode, you can change gears through the shifter on the steering wheel. The changes might not be instant, but it does give you more control and make the city hatchback a bit sportier.

The automaker says the Mazda2 can hit 100 km/h from a standstill position in just 10.4 seconds and top out at 184 km/h. The average fuel economy stands at 6.0-litres/100km.

Like the clean and sharp exterior, the interior is clean and straightforward. The dials and buttons are precisely at the place you expect in a vehicle, with clear writing for every menu and function.

However, we can’t say the same for the multimedia display on the dash, which looks old-fashioned compared to its rivals. While it works adequately, you can only use the touchscreen when parked. When driving, you can operate it through the dial alongside the handbrake, which seems odd.

The absence of an armrest is a downside, but the overall cabin feel is fine, with black plastic being the dominant material alongside some fake carbon fibre. Furthermore, you get the leather-like material on the handbrake, the gear lever, and the steering wheel.

The interior facilities improve as you step up the trim level, so if you want all the bells and whistles, we suggest you opt for the Hazumi model. It features Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, as well as a head-up display that shows speed, navigation, and cruise control data.

Prices start at R293,400 for the entry-level Active featuring Mazda's AM/FM radio with a USB port, electric windows, and SKYACTIV Technology. (Prices correct at time of publication.)

The Dynamic starts at R320,500 and features a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, a 7-inch MZD Connect display screen, 6 Speakers, and Bluetooth Connectivity.

The Individual goes for R348,200 and includes 6” alloy wheels, chrome exhaust extension, leather seat trim, auto on/off headlamps, rain-sensing wipers (Front), and auto-fold door mirrors.

The top-of-the-line Hazumi is obviously the most expensive model in the range, costing R395,500 for all the desirable facilities we already mentioned.

Check out the Reviews section of the MotorHappy blog to find out more about other cars currently available in SA.

Please note the imagery supplied in this blog was taken off www.carscoops.com

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