The new Mazda2 supermini is now here, replacing the long-serving previous model, which first appeared on the scene in 2008.

This latest third-generation version incorporates Mazda’s current 'KODO-Soul of Motion' design philosophy, resulting in a far more dynamic and muscular looking shape – and one that certainly stands out amongst the supermini crowd.

Mazda has gone against the current trend of using smaller turbocharged petrol engines, instead plumping for larger normally aspirated alternatives that have been designed and developed using the Japanese firm’s unique SKYACTIV technology - which is claimed to offer better real-world economy and efficiency.

There’s a choice of 1.5-litre, 75, 90 and 115ps petrol and 1.5-litre, 105ps diesel engines, all of which are Euro 6-compliant.

The 90ps 1.5 litre petrol engine tested here offers decent performance, although because it’s normally aspirated, you do need to keep the motor on the boil. Thankfully this isn’t too much of a chore as it’s a peppy and responsive engine. Refinement levels do suffer a bit when it’s being worked hard, although things are perfectly civilised at lower speeds.

Both road holding and ride comfort are appreciably better than on the old Mazda2, with passengers being quite well isolated from road ruts and bumps. It’s fun to drive too, the precise and nicely-weighted steering combined with compact exterior dimensions give Mazda’s supermini a nimble and agile feel. A smooth drivetrain, light clutch and slick manual gearbox also make for an accomplished city companion, although rear vision is a bit hampered.

The model range consists of a five level grade structure -SE, SE-L, SE-L Nav, Sport and Sport Nav. Available from SE-L 90ps grade, a 7-inch touch-screen combines with a rotary Multimedia Commander to create an enhanced human-machine interface (HMI) offering extremely safe, intuitive interactivity and infotainment control. DAB radio features for the first time in the Mazda2 and, in SE-L Nav and Sport Nav grades, a new navigation system offers greater accuracy, improved search features and three years of free map updates. Plus, occupants can always be online with MZD Connect. Mazda's in-car connectivity system works with compatible iPhone and Android smartphones.

The dashboard  design is a lot cleaner and less cluttered than many other superminis. Round, Audi-style air vents certainly help out in the style stakes, too. The soft-touch materials on the dashboard feel of good quality, and the carbonfibre effect inserts on the inside of the doors adds some extra visual interest.

There’s a good range of adjustment to the seat and steering wheel, including driver’s seat-height adjustment on all versions, combined with a well aligned driving position.

Despite the steeply raked roofline the cabin has an airy, spacious feel and gives front occupants plenty of headroom, along with a good array of storage cubbies. The rear accommodation is less spacious and can’t compete with rivals such as the Honda Jazz and Skoda Fabia. Boot space (280 litres seats up/950 litres seats down) is about average for the supermini class. However, the rear bench is comfortably big enough for two people – three at a squeeze.


The new Mazda2 is a considerably more appealing package than its predecessor and deserves strong consideration from anyone in the market for a supermini . All engines are clean and frugal and SE-L trim and above offers plenty of equipment.

Tech spec:

Mazda2 1.5
OTR price: £13,995
Max power: 90 ps
Max torque: 148 Nm
0-62 mph: 9.4 seconds
Top speed: 114 mph
Claimed combined mpg: 62.8
Emissions: 105g/km CO2