Lane Departure Warning System, Full LED headlights, Smart Key, automatic high beam control, blind-spot monitoring, Active Driving Display … no we’re not driving a premium sedan but rather the smallest Mazda, the Mazda 2.
It ‘s really amazing how this city car can prove that the technologies that we usually find in premium cars are equally valuable in this compact car. But that’s not all. It also manages to do all of this with style. The Exceed version that I’m driving it is in a fantastic Soul Red color that makes it really appealing. The Mazda 2 is an urban car that wants you to travel in luxury and the first demonstration is outside. In addition to this fantastic color it is easy to perceive that the body assembly are of excellent quality and the chromes adorn the car’s lines.
And there is more: the Full Led headlights accompanied by light sensor ensures visibility of top of the range car in the night and the design of the LED DRL (Daylight Running Light) fits perfectly with the front of the car. Very well here! By opening the doors interior reveal, white leather with red and black inserts contrasting the red stitching. The interiors are even better than the exterior. It looks really nice and you feel that the leather is well made.
In addition, the ergonomics of the driver’s seat is really good. Each button is easily accessible and there are many areas where slip on objects of everyday life: keys, phone, wallet etc … The Smart Key System allows you to get into the car without bringing out the key and also you can turn on it with a button. Once pressed, the 1500 cc diesel engine comes to life along with the 7 ” display in the middle of the dashboard and Active Driving Display.
On the latter it is good to say a word. The Mazda 2 HUD system is really useful. It’s the first time that I can test this technology and the possibility to have all the basic information (speed, navigation instructions, cruise control settings and more) always ready to be read while driving is really interesting even in terms of safety. The infotainment system is well made too. The large display can display radio control, CD player, USB (2 ports), Bluetooth streaming, phone, car information and satellite navigation.
The navigation system proves to be accurate, the voice prompts are well done and the car warns the driver about the presence of speed cameras and traffic lights with camera, suggesting you to slow down when necessary. Very interesting is the “Smart” history on the navigation system that manages to suggest the places already visited intelligently. For example, if you are away on business, the morning will suggest how to reach their place of work and in the evening the hotel. All this is controlled by a wheel placed behind the shift stick easily detectable even while driving without any distraction. There would be the ability to control the system even through voice commands but I would not recommend to try it, the diction command appears not intuitive and most of the time the system does not transpose correctly.
Once on the road the first thing that deserves mention is the 1.5L Diesel engine which this car is equipped. With its power of 105HP and a torque of 220 N/m, supported by an excellent 6-speed gearbox, I do not think there’s a better match for this Mazda 2. You get the feeling that this engine is “born” around this car: turbo lag nearly absent good acceleration and very good efficency. If you drive at 90 km/h hardly exceed 30km/l and during my test drive, I drove into the city, highway and mountain roads without looking after consumption and the onboard computer has never dropped below 20 km/l!
Thanks to the weight of the Mazda 2 and the performances of this engine you’ll also have a fun car to drive. Driving assistances are also many: the Lane Departure Warning System will warn you if you cut a line and the blind spot detection will become your best friend in the city helping you detecting obstacles and other cars in the traffic. The I-Stop (the Mazda’s Start and Stop), turning off the engine during the stops, will reduce fuel consumption even more.
How about drive it? The small size of the car is really useful into the city, surely this is the natural habitat of the Mazda 2 that also shows the excellent suspension system that dampen impeccably uneven ground while leaving you also entertained if you choose to drive a winding road. If into the city turns out to be a good car in the traffic, Mazda 2 is fun even when you are away from it, thanks to the good match between the engine and chassis.
There is so much in this small car that proves to be suitable for many purposes always with excellent operating economy. What is the price of this small luxurious car? € 19,950 to which we must add another 700 for the Premium Metallic paint, 600 for the I-Activesense Technology and another 600 for the Leather Pack. Definitely not a cheap car but I assure it will repay you. Mazda 2 is an excellent car: great technology, low fuel consumption and excellent roominess and riding comfort. Surely the voice control system has to be reviewed and also I can not understand why the external mirrors, electrically folding, do not close together with the car’s closure.
Given all this technology on board I would also have expected an anti-collision system that, thanks to the radar technology, would also help cruise control maintaining the safety. Maybe an automatic transmission would also help in the city centre. Anyway leave it has been a disappointment, I and Mazda 2 we shared two wonderful weeks together.
Text: Edoardo Mascalchi
Photos: Edoardo Mascalchi