The new Mazda2 hit showroom floors across Australia this week and if past experience is anything to go by then the latest Thailand-built version of the Mazda2 is going to be a big hit with small car buyers.
Mazda expect to sell around 1,100 of their Mazda2 every month and with a drive-away price on the base model of just $16,990 that certainly looks achievable.
While the quirky body shape of the previous Mazda2 has been refined and lost some its appeal … at least to me … the new Mazda2 is still going to be a car that stands out from the crowd.
The new Mazda2 will come in three variants … the Neo, Maxx and Genki all come in a hatch configuration and the Maxx is also available as a four-door sedan.
The Mazda2 Neo is the base model and it comes with a full range of features fitted as standard including Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-Lock Braking with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Emergency Brake Assist, remote locking, driver’s seat height adjustment, air conditioning, power windows and MP3 compatible CD player with auxiliary jack to allow you to play your iPod through the stereo system.
The Neo rides on 15-inch steel wheels and driver and passenger front airbags are fitted. Side and curtain airbags are available as a $400 option. This is an option that is well-worth buying.
The Mazda2 Maxx is available as a hatch or four-door sedan. Standard equipment on the Maxx includes side and curtain airbags, six-stack CD, audio controls on the steering wheel and an rear spoiler on the hatch. The Maxx also rides on 15 inch steel wheels but the design is different to the wheels on the Neo.
Showroom pricing for the Mazda2 Maxx starts at $19,090.
The Mazda2 Genki is the top of the range and comes with all the standard equipment of the Neo and Maxx plus 16-inch alloys, leather-trimmed steering wheel, a sports body kit and fog lamps.
Pricing for the Genki starts at $20,940
Mazda has chosen to carry the 1.5-litre MZR engine that appeared in the previous model over to the latest Mazda2. The engine produces peak power of 76kW at 6,000rpm and peak torque of 135Nm at 4,000 rpm.
This engine incorporates what Mazda calls Sequential Valve Timing and Tumble Swirl Control Valves in the manifold to optimize air/fuel ratio and promote combustion stability.
All Mazda2 variants come with either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission. Average fuel consumption figures for the manual version are 6.4L/100km and 6.8L/100km for the automatic version.
While most of the interior design elements have been carried over from the previous model the Mazda2 Neo gets a new hard-wearing grey cloth seat trim while the Maxx and Genki come with a higher-quality black trim.
Mazda have built more luggage space into the new Mazda2 than was available in the superseded model. The Maxx sedan as a luggage space that can hold 450 litres while the hatch can take 250 litres with the rear seats up and 787 litres with the rear seats folded down.
Even with the rear seats up Mazda claims that there is sufficient space in the rear of the hatch variants to hold “a large suitcase or a baby buggy”.
The previous Mazda2 model … when fitted with side and curtain airbags … had a 5 star ANCAP crash rating and Mazda says that this rating will carry over to the new model.
With a great safety rating, excellent fuel economy and a solid reputation for quality it certainly looks as though Mazda is on a winner with the new Mazda2 and I’m sure that we’ll soon see them appearing on the streets around Australia.