- Sharp exterior styling
- Best interior design in the segment
- Very efficient engines
- Less boot space than competitors
- Engines aren’t as powerful as rivals
- Infotainment system is a bit dated
The 2 is ideal if you’re looking for a car that’s stylish inside and out with fuel-efficient engines and decent running costs.
Not only does it promise excellent fuel consumption, but it has a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating and is also a former finalist for World Car of the Year.
Style is a strong point for the 2. The exterior is sharp and dynamic while the interior has a minimalist, premium feel.
Promising a comfortable drive, even over longer distances, the 2 is enhanced further by a relaxed driving position. It’s also compact in size which makes it easy to park and drive in the city.
Inside, the Mazda 2 feels uncluttered and creates a feeling of calm. There's a great infotainment screen on top of the dash which can be accessed through an easy to use rotary dial or buttons on the steering wheel.
The instrument cluster (which you see through the steering wheel) is dominated by a central rev counter that creates a bit of a race car feel. All of the dials are easy to read and some later models feature a head-up display. This projects driving information onto the windscreen which means you can see it without looking down. The climate control dials also feel solid and are easy to use so you won't be distracted from the road ahead.
There’s a reasonable amount of storage space including cup holders, door pockets and a decent-sized glovebox, so you’ll definitely have enough space for all your everyday essentials.
Interior space is great, particularly for those sat in the back. Boot space is 280 litres, which is smaller than rivals like the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo, but it’s still spacious enough to hold a pushchair, a few small suitcases or the big shop. When you fold the seats down this expands to 1,150 litres.
The Mazda 2 combines precise steering with a comfortable and composed drive, which makes it great on long-distance journeys.
The diesel engines, which were dropped from the line-up in 2016, deliver an excellent fuel efficiency of up to 83 mpg. The 1.5-litre petrol engines are a little slower than most rivals, but you’re unlikely to notice and they deliver a really good economy of up to 63 mpg.
The six-speed manuals are the most popular, but the 2 is also available with a six-speed automatic transmission, so you should be able to find one if you prefer driving automatics.
Prices can actually be a bit higher than rivals like the Fiesta, but for the extra cost you’ll get a more premium feeling interior.
In general, insurance costs are going to be lower than a Polo and a bit higher than the Fiesta, while tax will be about the same. Servicing and parts costs are also likely to be similar to its competitors and are unlikely to stretch your budget.
The Mazda 2 falls behind most of its major rivals in a number of reliability surveys. However, many of the issues are fairly minor and easily fixed. There have been a couple of recalls, but if the car has been serviced at a franchised dealer then these will have been fixed.
Euro NCAP gave the Mazda 2 four stars for safety. It has an electronic stability program which is an system that helps to maintain the car’s stability and Isofix mounts for child seats.
Higher spec models have features like autonomous emergency braking. There’s also an optional safety pack that provides blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning.
Best for economy - 1.5d SE-L
Best for family - 1.5 88 hp SE-L Nav+
Best for fun - 1.5 GT Sport Nav+
There are a number of trim levels to choose from in the Mazda 2 range. All have different levels of equipment and characteristics, but a good choice is the SE-L Nav+ which comes with a good range of kit including sat nav in the infotainment system.
Petrol models are the perfect all-round option unless you do high mileage (more than 12,000 miles a year) in which case you should consider a diesel. The middle of the range 1.5-litre petrol 88 hp provides enough power for most but if you plan to regularly drive with a car full look for a 1.5-litre petrol with 113 hpwi.