It is, however, smooth and quick. It’s a 1.5-litre power plant, and the sole engine in the line-up. It’s available in three power guises, starting out with a 74bhp variant that takes 12.1 seconds to do 0-62. That’s not especially quick, but the more sure-footed 89bhp does the same dash in 9.4 seconds.
If you can afford it, the bigger 113bhp variant takes just 8.7 seconds to complete the 0-62 sprint. That’s mighty fast for a supermini, and it doesn’t max out until 124mph.
Overall, the Mazda 2 is a fun car to drive. Its steering is a bit airy and lacks feel, but Mazda has now added their G-Vectoring Control system. This improves the accuracy of the steering.
A 5-speed manual transmission is standard, but you can specify a 6-speed automatic for the 89bhp model. And although you can request 16” alloys, be warned that they’re not as comfortable as the smaller ones.
Running costs are good. The smallest 74bhp engine returns 60.1mpg, and emits just 110g/km of CO2. The 89bhp fares even better, returning 62.8mpg and costing less to tax. However, adding the automatic ‘box will bump up the costs.
The 113bhp variant, meanwhile, is good for returns of a 56.6mpg economy.
Inside, it’s very hard to find fault with the Mazda 2. The cabin is smart and modern, and is easily the most aesthetically pleasing in this review. Button clutter was an issue last time, but that’s been remedied by a 7” touchscreen that’s available on more expensive models. It’s super easy to operate, and is compatible with your smartphone.
Build quality is good, while nice touches include carbon-fibre trim and stitched leather seats. It’s a stylish place to spend your time on the road.
Practicality has been improved. The car is bigger than last time, which means more interior space. Five adults might still be a tad squeezed, but they shouldn’t feel claustrophobic. Elbow room is better, and it’s an ideal car for young families.
The boot is now bigger, too. However, while 280-litres is competitive in this class, it’s miles off what the Kia and the Hyundai can offer. You can fold the rear seats for 960-litres of space, while the boot is deeper than last time. This is because there is no spare wheel.
Mazda – £12,700 – £17,000