Many cars that are ideal for the tight roads in Japan and Europe aren’t so good in North America. The Mazda2 is an example of such a car.

Mazda created this supermini to challenge European stalwarts such as the Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Fiesta, adding another impressive and small car that can toil around on tight roads while being fun and active when a stretch of open road lies ahead. Most Americans might think this little Mazda was gone from the market for good, but it’s still offered across Europe as a good little car that can be great fun on the road.

This Mazda is an honest little car

This supermini isn’t a speedster; it’s not a flashy car, and it won’t take anyone’s breath away. This amazing little Mazda is all about being small, economical, and useful while adding a hint of fun to the mix. When you want a small car that easily blends in with the surroundings, Mazda created the ideal car to make that happen. The 2, as it’s affectionately called, brings a joyful hatchback style to the road, without being a hot hatch. This makes it a car that can be useful for everyone trying to get from one place to another in traffic.

Pros and Cons of the Mazda2

We turn to Top Gear to give us some of the good and bad of this small and useful Mazda car. This tiny machine is an excellent choice for some but not others.


  • Fun handling
  • Comfortable driving position
  • Sensible interior


  • Weedy engines
  • Limited tech
  • Overdue for an update

Although very few minicars still exist, the Mazda2 is among them, providing Europeans with the compact driving qualities desired on narrow roads that weave through the streets and countryside of the old continent.

How is this Mazda an excellent option?

Most drivers might look at the small size and hatchback build and pass over the 2 without a second thought. Doesn’t Mazda make some cars and SUVs that could be much better? The 2 is a tiny car with a small engine that’s made perfect for it. Instead of being something it’s not, this little Mazda brings a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine to the market with 74 horsepower, 89 horsepower, or 113 horsepower. The two more powerful versions can be had with mild hybrids that reach as much as 60 mpg.

The 2 is limited

As you might expect of an extremely affordable supermini, the Mazda2 is very limited. This little car can’t be equipped with the SkyActiv-X engine from the Mazda3, and it’s not available as a hot hatch, but that’s just fine. The power for the 2 is routed to the front wheels through a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, depending on the owner’s preference. This makes the 2 a little more fun, but that doesn’t mean it’s as quick or as fun as the Hyundai i20N, but that’s to be expected.

Yaris or 2, which is it?

The Toyota Yaris wears some Mazda2, garb and the new Mazda2 hybrid takes a lot from the current Yaris. In fact, some think the hybrid 2 is nothing more than a rebadged Yaris, but that’s not entirely the case. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering how much Mazda and Toyota share within their small cars. The Toyota GR86 and Mazda MX-5 Miata share much of the underpinnings and powertrain components, so why wouldn’t the tiny hatchbacks also share some elements for the drive? Still, you’ll find plenty of options with this tiny Mazda hatchback.

What else does the Mazda2 include?

The only body style offered for this Mazda supermini is the five-door hatchback build. You’ll find four trim levels offered to go with the three possible powertrain options. In addition to the build offered, you’ll find a good range of equipment, including a navigation system, cruise control, integrated Bluetooth connectivity, and air conditioning on all four trims. As you move higher up the ladder, you’ll find available features, including a head-up display, rearview camera, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. While not as complete as some larger cars, this packaging allows the current Mazda2 to be one of the most affordable cars in the entire market.

What’s missing from this Mazda?

Mazda is stubborn and continues to offer this small and active car with a naturally aspirated engine. It would be more efficient and impressive with a turbocharger instead of the natural feeling offered.

In the world of European superminis, the Mazda2 continues to be an excellent choice.

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