Mazda Mazda 2 Review: 2007 Model | Mazda 2 | Car Buyers Guide

2007 Mazda 2 Review

I know we're not supposed to judge a book by its cover but you just know, don't you, how the Mazda2 is going to drive before you even slip in behind the wheel. Everything about it just screams “fun,” from its playful expression to its lipstick-red paintwork. It’s a long time since a new small car has boasted such visual effervescence and energy.

This car simply has to be fun. Granted, our car is the range-topping 103hp, 137Nm, 1.5-litre Sport version with 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, automatic lights and wipers and a leather-covered steering wheel. However, leaving the high spec to one side it's still a wonderful thing to drive. The driving position is excellent, while the location of the controls, particularly the dash-mounted gear lever and pedals, is perfect for both the day-to-day stuff and the occasional enthusiastic blast.

The steering is precise, turn in is eager and there's proper feel and feedback through the wheel. Unlike the old Mazda2, also Fiesta-based but dumbed down to match the gormless appearance, this new Mazda2 would seem to retain all the upcoming Fiesta's poise and driver involvement. (Can the Fiesta really handle better?) The only chassis demerit is the ride quality which, on our Sport SE model, is surprisingly fussy at low speed and a long way off the standards set by the Peugeot 207 on country roads. Hopefully the non-Sport versions will fare better.

The cabin is a little bit disappointing too, not just because Mazda has used some depressingly cheap-looking plastic all over the centre console, but also because the design of the stereo and the dials is a little wanting. There's no doubt that the Mazda2 is built to stand the rigours of time and there are neat touches such as the post-box glove compartment lid and under-boot storage, but the hollow sound you get when you wrap a panel with your knuckles means the cabin doesn't have the feel-good factor of the exterior. Space, front or back, isn't a problem, thankfully, and the seats are superbly supportive and the boot's a proper size too. Overall, though, the Mazda2 is still fun with a capital F, proving that every now and again you really can judge a book by its cover. Think of it as being like The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden. Even before you turn the first page you just know it's going to be good.


Mazda 2

Engine: 1.5-litre 4-cyl., 103hp, 137Nm

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Acceleration: 0–100km/h: 10.4 sec

Top speed: 188km/h

Economy: 5.9L/100 km

CO2: 140g/km

Boot capacity: 250 litres

Weight: 960kg

Price: €20,895

Price as tested: €21,245


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