The Mazda 2's light weight should help in the fuel economy race, but there's no benefit when looking at EPA numbers: fuel economy is downright embarrassing for a subcompact. The more practical Honda Fit is only slightly better, but the much larger Honda Civic clobbers them both. That's part of being first to the party. Fuel economy has become far more important in the years since the 2 was developed. Instead of bigger EPA numbers, the 2 errs on the side of wide smiles. Thanks to its minimal mass and short gearing, its refined four-cylinder engine feels livelier than its 100-hp rating suggests, especially with the five-speed manual transmission. The four-speed automatic is two gears short of its Ford Fiesta sibling's dual-clutch six-speed, and that deficit hurts both fun and fuel economy. The 2 is nicely finished inside for a car in this price range, but it lacks the luxury features available in other new subcompacts, such as the Fiesta. That means no navigation, leather, or heated seats, but a high-spec Touring model comes with fifteen-inch aluminum wheels, foglights, and a rear spoiler. More important, it comes with a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls and an upgraded sound system. For basic transportation in congested cities, that's more than enough.
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
Even though it made its U.S. debut last year, the Mazda 2 is not a new car. It debuted in 2007 in Europe, Japan, and Australia, and that means Mazda was ahead of the curve where efficiency is concerned. Lighter than its predecessor--and some 200 pounds lighter than the Ford Fiesta with which it shares its platform--the 2306-pound Mazda 2 is a featherweight.
ABS; traction and stability control; and dual advanced front, front side, and side curtain air bags are standard.
EPA Fuel Economy
All: 28-29 mpg city/34-35 mpg highway
- Cute and sporty
- Fun to drive
- Refined and comfortable
You Won't Like
- Fuel economy
- Four-speed automatic
The subcompact that zoom-zooms.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chevrolet Sonic
- Fiat 500
- Ford Fiesta
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