They say good things come in small packages and the new 2011 Mazda2 is a good example of that old adage — it’s affordable, stylish and fun to drive.
The Mazda2 was designed and engineered from scratch and originally introduced with great success in Europe, Japan and Australia in 2007. Now, it’s finally come to the U.S. and I can only say that it’s about time.
This car has been acclaimed worldwide and has won 48 automotive awards, including Car of the Year in Japan, New Zealand, Chile, Bulgaria and Greece. It was selected as the 2008 World Car of the Year at the 2008 New York International Auto Show and has established itself as a player in the subcompact segment with total sales topping 400,000 units in the three years since introduction.
The new Mazda2 is available in two trim levels — Sport and Touring — and has a good combination of performance, sporty styling and simplicity. It has shortened body overhangs and the corners have been trimmed as much as possible to give it a compact form, yet still have a sense of stability and confidence.
Key design elements include a wedge shape that conveys a sense of forward motion, a sculpted form that draws the body inward fore and aft of the A-pillars, and distinctive character lines that extend from the front fender arches to the body shoulders.
On the inside, the design theme is “a space that communicates movement” with strikingly different contoured forms that combine thickness with visual movement and a low belt line, allowing for good forward visibility and an open, roomy feeling. The instrument panel helps to create a sense of space, with the controls concentrated in the central area. A simple center-stack shape is complemented by piano black trim and both audio and climate controls are easy to read, while the seats are upholstered in a textured fabric with a black keynote color.
The Mazda2 Sport is powered by a 100 hp 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine (27/43 mpg) and is available with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include 15-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers, 185/55/R15 all-weather tires, body-colored door handles and power mirrors, air conditioning, power windows and door locks, AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with four speakers, audio auxiliary jack, tilt steering wheel, remote keyless entry system, rear window wiper/washer and 60/40 split fold-down rear seats.
The Touring model takes everything on the Sport and pumps it up a notch. It comes with a five-speed manual transmission or available four-speed automatic transmission and has upgraded cloth seat fabric with red piping, 15-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, rear roof spoiler, chrome exhaust tip, leather-wrapped steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, trip computer and a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo system.
Base price on the Mazda2 is $16,435.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.
FOR APR. 19