Mazda 2 Review 2023
Mazda 2 At A Glance
The Mazda 2 is an affordable little car that lives in the shadows of rivals like the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and Toyota Yaris. And while it's starting to show its age in some areas, recent updates and an impressive amount of standard equipment mean it remains one of the most likeable small hatchbacks you can buy today.
Like its bigger siblings, the Mazda 2 surprises in how fun it is to drive. Much like a Ford Fiesta, it feels agile both in and out of town, with sharp steering and a very slick six-speed manual gearbox.
In typical Mazda fashion, the 2 takes a stand against the trend for tiny, turbocharged petrol engines. Instead, it's available exclusively with a 1.5-litre petrol engine available with a variety of power outputs (75PS, 90PS and 115PS).
We've sampled the most powerful engine, which comes with mild-hybrid technology (badged the e-Skyactiv G). It's certainly revvy enough for most drivers - and efficient, too, officially capable of up to 56.5mpg. Aside from a small economy boost, the mild-hybrid setup makes little difference in day-to-day driving - consider the new Yaris-based Mazda 2 Hybrid if that's what you're after.
The Mazda 2's cabin feels modern and stylish, while equipment on our high-spec GT Sport Tech test car is more akin to what you'd expect on bigger, more expensive cars. Standard equipment includes a 360-degree camera, adaptive LED headlights and a blind spot monitoring system. Even the mid-spec Mazda 2 GT Sport gets heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel and a head-up display.
There are some negatives. Some of the interior finishes feel a bit flimsy, while we've had a few reports of rattles developing as the Mazda 2 gets older. If you're buying a used example, it's worth listening out for these on the test drive.
Also, even with the six-speed gearbox, the Mazda 2 isn't the most refined at motorway speeds. You'll notice quite a lot of engine, wind and road noise at 70mph. That used to be acceptable in small cars meant for the city streets, but rivals like the Volkswagen Polo do a much bigger impression of a bigger car.
Don't let these put you off, though. Not only do we think the Mazda 2 remains one of the most stylish small cars on sale, it's also fun to drive and loaded with equipment.