If you are looking for a small car with great fuel economy and satisfying handling, go give the 2014 Mazda2 a look. But before getting one for yourself, remember to forget about the optional 4-speed automatic transmission and invest in the well-equipped Touring model.
UNDER THE HOOD
Powering the front-wheel-drive 2014 Mazda2 is a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder that generates 100 horsepower and 98 pound-feet of torque. It is paired with a 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic.
EPA estimates show that the new Mazda2 returns 29 mpg in city and 35 mpg on highway (32 mpg combined) with the standard manual transmission and 28/34/30 with the optional automatic.
ON THE ROAD
With a 100-hp power source, the Mazda2 could not deliver quick acceleration. But the manual transmission makes the most out of the 1.5-liter engine. The optional automatic gearbox does the opposite, though. Aside from it is less fuel efficient than the 5-speed manual, the 4-speed automatic feels rough during acceleration. Shifting is also inconsistent.
The Mazda2’s handling, however, isn’t as disappointing. The well-tuned suspension effectively provides satisfying ride comfort. Steering is also communicative and precise, which makes the Mazda2 quite fun to drive.
INSIDE THE 2014 MAZDA2
The Mazda2’s cabin looks economic basically because of too many low-cost materials. But the orange backlighting in the instrument cluster and center console and the sport seats make up a pleasant appearance for the subcompact’s interior.
The front seats are comfortable and provide enough room for taller passengers. But the cramped rear seats are disappointing. Likewise, the cargo area offers only 13.3 cubic feet of space which is small for the segment. That’s even if the rear seatbacks are folded down and the space increased to 27.8 cubic feet.
The 2014 Mazda2 has two models: Sport and Touring. The Mazda2 Sport is equipped with 15-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, front and rear cup holders, split fold-down rear seatback, sport cloth seats, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, USB/auxiliary input jack, antilock brakes, and stability and traction control systems.
The Touring model gets fog lights, chrome exhaust outlet, 15-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, cloth-trimmed seats with red piping and stitching, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cloth door trim, 6-speaker audio system, and trip computer.
Some features that are offered as options include roof rack, splash guards, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, all-weather floor mats, and Bluetooth.
Photo credit: mazdausa.com