Now, for me, the B-segment is like that box of Lego, full of little pieces consisting of all sorts of different shapes and sizes all predominantly designed to do the same thing. Now though, Mazda reckons it has created a Lego piece that is better than all the rest, oh, and the rest being the VW Polo, Ford Fiesta, Honda Jazz, Renault Clio, Opel Corsa, Peugeot 208 and the Hyundai i20 to name a few. I went down to Knysna to find out what the Mazda2 is all about.
→ Tell me more about the KODO design language
This all-new Mazda2 is destined to blow away people’s expectations of a super mini. The Mazda2 is the fourth car in the Mazda range to feature the KODO – Soul of Motion design. Other cars include the Mazda3, Mazda 6 and the Mazda CX5. Thanks to this new design language, the Mazda2 has a solid stance, muscular lines, a rear-leaning cabin and an overall look that depicts a forward momentum. However, concentrating such vibrancy and emotion into Mazda’s smallest car was no easy task. The biggest challenge for the designers was to adapt the KODO design, which was created for much larger cars into the smaller Mazda2.
The result is a great combination of sportiness, which is combined with a touch of elegance. Instead of following the B-segment, one motion style of design, which moves the A-pillars forward to make the cabin look roomier, Mazda went its own way.
In order to achieve the unique proportions the designers moved the cabin as far back as possible. This in turn gives the little Lego block a more pronounced bonnet. Up front the predator-like headlamps contribute to the dynamic nature of the Mazda2.
→ Is the interior as impressive as the exterior?
Yes, I tend to think so. Just like the exterior, style elements of the neatly crafted interior work in symbiosis with comfort and ergonomics. The interior is split into two zones - one is focused on driving and the other on connectivity and infotainment. I also found that the stylish arrangement not only heightens the quality look but also accentuates the feeling of roominess. The interior features a rich blend of materials and finishings that are unusual for a car in this segment.
Mazda has evolved and redesigned the overall shapes and design details to give customers the impression that they are sitting in a more premium segment car. There are four spec levels: The entry level Active, the slightly higher spec Dynamic, the breadwinner Individual and the top spec with all the bells and whistles, the DE Hazumi diesel model. Keyless entry is standard across the range as well as the LCD dash-mounted screen.
→ Give me engine specifics
Of course, the all-new Mazda2 also gets the full range of SKYACTIV technology, including specially developed smaller and lighter powertrains.
The Mazda2 will be offered in a choice of two engines: A 1.5-litre petrol engine developing 82kW and 145Nm as well as a diesel, which develops 77kW and 250Nm – exactly the same as the VW Polo 1.6TDI. A choice of either a six-speed manual or a six-speed auto is on offer for the petrol models in Dynamic and Individual spec guise. The top-of-the-range diesel only comes with an automatic gearbox.
→ so what’s the verdict?
This car - in a word - is uncompromising. It looks and feels original and does so in a package that is completely harmonious. I think this is something that drivers and passengers will appreciate. The standard features list is jam-packed with goodies and the ride is surprisingly comfortable. I like the diesel model but I did notice that there is a bit of road noise that seeps into the cabin. Mazda SA is reinventing itself as a challenger brand and it has definitely taken the challenge to the competitors in this segment.