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2017 Mazda 2 Review: First Drive

4 years ago

Good points

  • Grunty engine, sorted dynamics
  • Impressive safety inclusions
  • Strong value for money

Needs work

  • Not as practical as some rivals
  • Basic rear seat accommodation
  • No reversing camera on Neo
2017 Mazda 2 GT Hatch – Chasing Cars

Mazda’s 2 has always been a very good choice for Australians looking for a light hatchback. It has always offered a good mix of practicality, solid driving dynamics, and the high level of build quality and reliability that Mazda are known for – a purchase you can make with both your head and your heart. That’s a reputation the brand is keen to uphold with this month’s mid-life update to the 2017 Mazda 2.

From the tall-boy first-generation model, the sleek second-generation, and through to the more mature but still fun third-generation, the Mazda 2 has always seen sales near the top of the light car class. Since the third-generation model was launched in Australia in November 2014, it has sold over 33,000 units or more than 1,000 per month, to comfortably sit in second place in the light car field sales race – and first overall, if you the discount fleet sales that make the Hyundai Accent the overall segment leader.

For 2017, the Mazda 2 has seen a light refresh with some small but important equipment additions that make it the safest car in the light car field, whilst also adding more than $1,000 to its value equation, or so Mazda Australia claims. Pricing remains unchanged, starting from $14,990 for the entry-level Neo six-speed manual, rising to $23,680 for the top-spec GT six-speed automatic, plus on-road costs.

2017 Mazda 2 Maxx Hatch – Chasing Cars

New for 2017 includes the addition of Autonomous Emergency Braking (or Smart City Brake Support in Mazda speak) as standard equipment where it was previously a $400 option. Standard AEB means that almost all of Mazda’s Australian passenger car range now comes with the potentially life-saving technology as standard equipment, with the CX-3 due to be updated next month, one would make an educated guess in saying that it too will be blessed with AEB across the range, especially as the CX-3 is based on the Mazda 2.

Mazda have also revised the colours and trims available for the 2017 Mazda 2, removing some old hues and replacing them with a more mature set including deep blues, greys, and reds. The new 2 range also sees revised interior trims, a slim new steering wheel borrowed from the Mazda3, revised speedometer fonts, rear heater ducts under the front seats and more sound insulation added under the boot to lower road noise levels.

All of this adds up to a remarkably well-equipped light car that has never been such good value for money.

Key specs (as tested)

Engine
Capacity
1.5L
Cylinders
4
Induction
Naturally aspirated
Power
81kW at 6,000rpm
Torque
141Nm at 4,000rpm
Configuration
Conventional
Power to weight ratio
78kW / tonne
Fuel
Fuel type
Petrol
Fuel capacity
44L
Consumption
5.2L/100km
Average Range
846 kilometres
Drivetrain
Transmission
Manual
Drivetrain
Front wheel drive
Engine configuration
In-line
Gears
6
Dimensions
Length
4.06 metres
Width
1.7 metres
Height
1.5 metres
Unoccupied weight
1,038 kilograms
Cargo space seats up
250L
Cargo seats down
Not listed

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