Review: Mazda 2 (2015)

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Impressive small hatch that offers a fine blend of comfort and handling. Good economy. Well equipped as standard. The best looking and altogether nicest small car in the class.

No spare wheel - just a tyre repair kit. Some build quality issues.

Mazda 2 (2015): At A Glance

Mazda is on a roll these days, with an impressive range of cars that are good to drive, stylish and practical. Those ingredients have now been distilled into the smallest model in the range – the Mazda2. The result is a success, giving big players like the Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Fiesta something to worry about.

Like the old 2, the latest model is a great car to drive. The gear change is wonderfully slick, the suspension offers a great blend of comfort and handling and the steering is direct and precise. It lacks the feel of the previous model, but it’s still up there with the best little hatches on sale.

Performance is best from the 115PS petrol or 105PS diesel, but the less powerful 90PS and 75PS petrol models are perfectly capable for most drivers – though they do run out of puff on hills and motorways. The diesel offers great in gear performance thanks to a 220Nm torque output, but it is a lot pricier than the petrol models.

Emissions are low across the board thanks to Mazda’s SkyActiv technology. Overall the diesel offers the best figures on paper, with emissions of 89g/km and economy of 83.1mpg. The cleanest petrol is the 90PS model, with emissions of 105g/km and economy of 62.8mpg.

The cabin of the Mazda2 gets plenty of nice modern touches including an intuitive, easy-to-use touchscreen with and impressive nav system and, on higher trim levels, an optional safety pack with head up display, lane departure warning and cross traffic alert to help with reversing out of parking spaces. There’s also DAB radio and smartphone connectivity to make life easier.

Prices are competitive for the most part, but picking the more powerful petrol engine or the diesel will push them up. In fact, if you’re tempted by the extra power then you might as well save a few more pounds and buy a proper hot hatch. For everyone else, the 90PS Mazda2 makes a great alternative to the usual Fiestas and Corsas and is well worth a test drive. 

Mazda2 1.5 automatic 2015 road test

Mazda2 1.5 diesel manual 2015 road test

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What does a Mazda 2 (2015) cost?

List Price from £15,800
Buy new from £14,190
Contract hire from £156.43 per month

Mazda 2 (2015): What's It Like Inside?

Length 3885–4060 mm
Width 1695–1983 mm
Height 1475–1495 mm
Wheelbase 2490–2570 mm

Full specifications

Significantly, the new Mazda 2 has the best satnav of any car in the World with the most up to date mapping and an included European update subscription for the first three years. We put it to the test in Spain where constant changes to the road system have most satnavs sending you down wrong turns and getting lost.

Yet with this system, over more than 200 miles of twists and turns, we never put a wheel wrong. It’s also compatible with smartphones, yet, unlike other systems, doesn’t depend on them. Control is by touch-screen when stationary or by an intuitive rotary knob when on the move.

It even has a topographical display showing, for instance, that you are on a road along the side of a ravine or in a tunnel. Do not order a new Mazda 2 without the indispensible satnav.

Fit and finish of the new Mazda 2 with the optional £800 leather upholstery was excellent, seats reasonably comfortable for a small car, ride quality absorbent, but rear knee room and luggage capacity was not as good as the Fabia. A sore point is no spare wheel, just a useless tyre repair kit that we all know rarely works, but at least standard TPMS gives plenty of warning of any problems.

There’s a special Mazda 2 Sports Launch Edition that adds some useful kit, but deletes others (see the specs section). Importantly it includes the excellent satnav and also metallic, mica or pearlescent paint that would otherwise add £530 to the price.

Child seats that fit a Mazda 2 (2015)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Mazda 2 (2015) like to drive?

The new Mazda 2 has either the 1,496cc petrol engine first seen in the Mazda 3, in three states of tune offering 75PS, 90PS or 115PS. Or an all-new, low-compression, manifold-in-head 1,499cc turbodiesel offering 106PS and 220Nm torque. All engines are chain cam.

Gearboxes are 5 or 6-speed manual or a lightweight 6-speed torque converter automatic available only with the 90PS 1.5 petrol engine. Tyres are relatively deep profile: 185/65 R15s or 185/60 R16s, helping to give a comfortable ride.

We got to try the 90PS automatic in top-level Sport Nav auto trim on 16” wheels with the 185/60 R16 tyres, and also a 90PS petrol SE-L Nav with 5-speed manual transmission.

Our first impression was excellent refinement on smooth surfaced Spanish Autopista, though tyre noise did start to feed through on coarser surfaced roads.

The steering has come in for a bit of criticism from other sources and in truth it doesn’t feel as connected to the front wheels as in the old Mazda 2 that put sportiness before refinement. It’s okay. Better than a new Fabia. Not as good as a current Fiesta.

Gearing worked out at 30mph per 1,000rpm either in 6th in the auto or in 5th in the manual. But the manual struggled a bit on steep Autopista inclines, requiring a change down to 4th.

The Mazda 2 auto comes with standard paddleshifts and a ‘sport’ mode. Forget ‘sport’ auto. That just has the engine revving the nuts off its crankshaft. For decent control on a twisty mountain road or in a town with steep inclines, you’re up the creek without the paddleshift. That gives you all the control you need for a smooth drive. But on the level, in town, just leave it in auto and it’s fine. Our test showed 6.3 litres per 100 kilometres that translated to 44.5mpg, which isn’t bad considering that a lot of the route was on mountain roads.

Driven sensibly over distances, both the manual and the auto 90PS petrol versions should give 45-50mpg.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.3 57 mpg 14.9 s 115 g/km
1.5 115 50–57 mpg 8.7–9.0 s 117–130 g/km
1.5 75 55–60 mpg 11.3–12.1 s 110–118 g/km
1.5 90 55–63 mpg 9.4–9.7 s 105–118 g/km
1.5 90 Automatic 52–59 mpg 11.1–12.0 s 112–125 g/km
1.5 D 83 mpg 10.1 s 89 g/km

Real MPG average for a Mazda 2 (2015)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

40–83 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Mazda 2 (2015)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

What's the best nearly new car for around £7000?

I'm looking to purchase a car for £7000 - £8000 and was wondering what models you think would be best to look at in terms of reliability? I'm looking for something with around 30,000 to 40,000 miles on it, preferably under three years old, and can be new or used. For example I found a pre-reg Kia Picanto 2019 model for £7500, but then if you look into the used market there are Kia Ceed's going for around £8500, used of course with around 30k miles on them. I'm really interested in Japanese cars, but don't know where to start when it comes to shopping with those. I'm looking to run this car into the ground so the newer the better so I know all the maintenance has been done well and the car has been looked after, which is why buying new (pre-reg) is tempting. I'd really appreciate some advice from you.
It probably comes down to how much space you need and what kind of driving you do. If you cover quite a lot of miles or need a big boot, something the size of the Kia Ceed would be the best option. If you only use your car for short journeys and only carry one or two people, look for something smaller and newer like the Picanto. A nearly-new Kia Picanto would be a great little car and it'll come with the remainder of Kia's seven-year warranty. Small Japanese cars like the Toyota Aygo and Mazda 2 aren't as good as the Picanto. The Honda Jazz is a bit bigger but could be a good option - it's very reliable and ultra practical.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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