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.
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