The update brought forth plenty of new features on board plus a few tweaks, along with a mild nip-tuck with its exterior. As before, the Mazda2 comes in either hatch or sedan body styles, and we found ourselves behind the wheel of the former recently.
Though our three-day stint with it was brief, it was enough for us to gauge how it stacks up against its rivals, especially in these weird new pandemic times. From that, here are six key facts you ought to know about it.
1. It’s small
Our UK counterparts don't call this a 'Supermini' for nothing...
Even when we last tested it in pre-facelift form, the size deficit was hard to ignore, more so in hatchback form as pictured. You’d definitely stand a better chance with the booted sedan version for those annual trips to IKEA.
In truth, cabin space wasn’t always this hatchback’s forte, but it isn’t as bad as it seems once we got to grips with it. Even in its un-booted form, it will still ferry four full-sized adults in relative comfort, though we won’t deny how tall and lanky types will find headroom a tad scarce in the rear.
At least there’s plush leather seats to bask in still, which now sport a subtle yet tasty new dark blue hue with contrasting black inserts.
2. It does look neater than before
Sure, at first glance, it may seem as if Mazda didn’t do anything with the Mazda2’s exterior. However, like the leather seats we mentioned earlier, the treatment here is equally as subtle, but one that’s also very welcoming indeed for most.
Study it long enough and it’s easy to see how the deletion of forward foglamps has cleaned up this hatch’s front fascia. Matching that is a new mesh grille design that’s akin to the Mazda3’s, new all-LED headlights, a reshaped and equally cleaner-looking rear bumper, not forgetting a snazzy new set of 16-inch alloy wheels too.
Overall, this is now an even more handsome-looking supermini than before, but we’ll let you be the judge of things here…
3. It also drives better than before
As the old saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. In this Mazda’s case, it’s in the way it drives. Things felt noticeably better than before here as it now sports a tauter ride, more responsive steering, and feels a lot less taxing to pilot over long driving stints.
Much of this is borne out of the Mazda2’s adoption of Mazda’s even cleverer G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) suite – the pre-facelift had the ‘regular’ GVC (sans ‘Plus’) suite. Adding to this too is the retuned suspension hardware the Mazda2 rides on now.
In short, the subtle tweaks underneath have ensured this good-looking supermini drive as well as it looks.
4. It still feels quite peppy
Yep, and you can thank Mazda’s signature high-compression and direct-injection ethos for this. The 114bhp and 149Nm delivered by the 1.5-litre Skyactiv-G 4cyl sitting up front are indeed enough to get this supermini’s claimed 1,56kg kerb weight going without struggle.
Yes, not gravity-defying headlining figures, but it its delivery does feel a lot more dynamic. We reckon the fact it still employs a six-speed automatic box – not a CVT as found in other similarly sized and priced rivals – makes all the difference here. Sweetening the powertrain’s whole affair is the next point…
5. The powertrain package is very efficient
When driven right (read: conservatively), it’s really not difficult to match or do slightly better than Mazda’s claimed 5.3 litres/100km average. And unlike some of its rivals, which more often than not requires powertrain streamlining with a dedicated 'Eco' mode, this Mazda is much more straightforward to hyper-mile in. In theory, getting upwards of 500km with each full fill up of its 44-litre tank is indeed possible – about RM70 per fill-up with RON95 or RM85 with RON97.
6. It’s pricey, but…
The other thing Mazda ‘face-lifted’ here is this supermini’s price tag, and it now breaks the RM100k mark. Regardless of body style, the Mazda2 in its refreshed form now commands an eye-opening RM103,670 sans insurance, thus making it pricier than similarly-specced rivals and even the standard Proton X70.
Perhaps the saving grace here is the inclusion of a five-year or 100,000km free service coverage on top of the similar length standard warranty it already comes with. In fact, Mazda’s the only one in segment to offer said free service package included in its sale price.
Also, in line with Mazda’s centennial celebrations this year, there’s one-year’s free insurance OR an additional 1-year or 20,000km warranty extension to consider if you buy one anytime from now until Dec 31. Would this be enough to entice you into getting this pint-sized but handsome hatch, then?
Have a click-through of the extensive gallery prepared below for an in-depth look around of the face-lifted Mazda2 hatch...