2011 Mazda2 Hatchback Review, Specs and Rankings
THE AUTO PAGE
By John Heilig
Model: 2011 Mazda2 Touring
Engine: 1.5-liter DOHC I4
Horsepower/Torque: 100 hp @ 6,000 rpm/98 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 98.0 in.
Length x Width x Height: 155.5 x 66.7 x 58.1 in.
Tires: P185/55R15 (temporary spare)
Cargo: 13.3/27.8 cu. Ft. (rear seat up/down)
Economy: 27 mpg city/33 mpg highway/29.8 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 11.3 gal.
Curb Weight: 2,359 lbs.
Sticker: $17,185 (includes $750 delivery charge, $200 in options (pearl paint)
The Bottom Line: Most econoboxes these days tend to be just that, econoboxes. The Mazda2 is the rare exception, a subcompact car that’s fun to drive. Is user friendly and is reasonably comfortable.
You look at the group of subcompact cars available today and you see the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and smart. There’s also the new Mazda2, a cousin to the new Ford Fiesta sans some of the qualities that make the Fiesta a Ford.
But that’s okay. The Mazda2 is a good fit in the mix in its own right. It qualifies for the subcompact club with a 98-inch wheelbase and 155.5-inch 13 feet) overall length. It’s powered by a 100 horsepower inline four engine and uses a 4-speed automatic you don’t really need more) to get the power (what there is of it) to the front wheels.
But together, the Mazda2 will do almost anything that you ask of it. While the engine is buzzy, it does the job. During our test, we didn’t achieve the advertised economy, but 29.8 mpg isn’t bad, considering that we drove the Mazda2 primarily on local roads and didn’t do a whole lot of Interstate driving.
Handling is decent, and the attitude on most turns and exit ramps is flat. Thankfully, the front seats offer good side support, which contributes to the feeling of good handling and decent ride quality. The rear seats are cozy. They have fold-down headrests that contribute to the good rearward vision. The backs of the front seats have “knee indents” for rear passengers’’ knees, and they’re needed.
I thought vision all around was good, which is important in a subcompact. You don’t want some behemoth sneaking up on you, so it’s good to be aware – and to have the ability to be aware – of what’s around you.
As with most of the cars in its class, the M2 is basic, but everything is where it should be within the driver’s reach. The upholstery is cloth, but there’s a fun pattern to hide any dirt that may accumulate over the years. The seats are manual, but once the primary driver sets the seat, how often do you really need power seats to change them? And there’s no center armrest, but again, you can learn to live without one.
I liked the good-performing HVAC that had three well-labeled knobs. In addition, the audio system was clearly labeled. It offered AM/FM/AUX/CD and pulled in my Philadelphia classical music stations easily, something many much more expensive cars can’t do.
Even in a subcompact, cargo capacity is important. The M2 has 13.3 cubic feet of cargo volume that expends to 27.8 cubic feet with the rear seat backs folded. So if you have a golf twosome, both of you can ride in the Mazda2 and carry your clubs and paraphernalia in the back.
I was impressed. The Mazda2 is a practical car, in sticker, size and economy. I don’t know if I’d like riding in the back seat on a long trip, but around town it would be perfect. It’s still a big step up from the rollerskatelike smart.
© 2011 The Auto Page