THREE INTO TWO DOES GO
Following a successful introduction of the fivedoor, the Mazda2 now appears in three-door form. Keen to accentuate the car’s sporty look, Mazda’s decision to lose the rear doors should boost the youth vote and capitalise on the car’s sales successes.
Has it worked? From a purely aesthetic standpoint the answer has to be yes. While the Mazda2 already strikes a rakish pose, the absence of the rear doors cleans up its profile view. The various creases and lines flow front to back uninterrupted, creating a racy-looking appearance. Like the five-door car, Mazda has done much to keep the weight down. There’s been an approximate 100kg reduction over the older Mazda2, and the new three-door drops a further 10kg. Mazda admits that losing the rear doors hasn’t impacted on economy or performance figures, however that this latest model bucks the current trend for gaining weight is itself progress. Regarding the sole diesel option, the 67bhp headline figure might not sound exciting but the little 1.4-litre unit’s ability to propel the Mazda2 along shouldn’t be underestimated. Its modest power output is overshadowed by a claimed combined economy figure of 65.7mpg and, at a time when cars’ CO2 ratings have become so important, an impressive 114g/km figure. It might take 15.5 seconds to reach 62mph from rest and top out at modest 101mph but, really, it would be foolish to criticise such a performance in light of the potential savings. The recipient of numerous awards, criticism of the Mazda2 has been in short supply – and rightly so. From behind the wheel, the car makes all the right moves. The ride is well judged, the manual gearshift, steering and brakes all offer plenty of control, the car is fun to drive fast or slow and as refined as bigger models. The diesel motor is eager, not lacking in performance and a quiet travel companion. Anyone searching for a catch will be sorely disappointed.
Crucially, easy access to the rear is aided by a useful slide-forward function of the front seats, while in the back there’s plenty of leg and headroom even for adults. Further back and the car’s boot is wide and accommodating, boosting its all-rounder potential. Available in TS and TS2 trim, standard kit levels are well judged. The inclusion of a Thatcham category one alarm and immobiliser on all cars is a welcome addition. Like I said, there is no catch.
RIVALS: FORD FIESTA STYLE CLIMATE 1.4 TDCi, TOYOTA YARIS TR 1.4 D-4D, VAUXHALL CORSA CLUB 1.3 CDTi ECOFLEX
- Engine: 1399cc, 4 cylinder, turbodiesel
- Gearbox: 5-speed manual
- Max Power: 67bhp at 4,000rpm
- Max Torque: 118lb ft at 2,000rpm
- Max Towing Weight: 800kg
- Combined Consumption: 65.7mpg
- CO2 Emissions (taxband): 114g/km (B)
- 0-62mph: 15.5secs
- Max speed: 101mph
- Insurance Group: 3