2015 Mazda 2 video review

Wins on showroom appeal and driver-entertainment – best small car?

By Shahzad Sheikh

2015 Mazda 2 review

I drove the previous Mazda 2 three years ago (review here) and frankly I really quite enjoyed it. So much so, that I forgave the cheap brittle plastics, tinny build and low-rent interior. However watch my video review of the all-new 2015 Mazda 2 by clicking below, and you’ll see why it’s no longer necessary to be so forgiving.

This latest fourth generation Demio – as Japan knows it – is a revelation not only in compact car dynamics, but also in small-car refinement and showroom appeal. The first time I got in this thing, I was completely taken aback, and pretty sure that they’d delivered the wrong car.

2015 Mazda 2 review

Why? Because it feels like a far more class act then an entry-level baby Mazda has any right too. Take something as simple as the gorgeous spherical bevel air-vents – softly damped in movement, stylish looks, quality feel. Then move your fingers across the dashboard and touch up the squishy leather trim, accompanied by the chrome slat.

2015 Mazda 2 review

And it continues with the leather upholstery with neat inserts and racy red striping, to the buttons and paddles on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, the pop-up heads-up display, Mercedes style floating centre infotainment display, reversing camera, icy climate control and array of connectivity inputs, including two USBs. There’s even a Sport button for the 6-speed transmission.

2015 Mazda 2 review

This is obviously a range-topper (dubbed the ‘R’), but it’s the one you want at AED11,000 more than the base model because it comes with side and curtain airbags, 16-inch alloys, more speakers and most crucially – all-round disc brakes rather than the rear drums on lesser versions.

2015 Mazda 2 review

The base model is the S priced at AED47,900 and there’s also a mid-level V version priced at AED51,900. There’s also two saloon versions available the S at AED47,900 and the R at 57,900 – but the hatchback looks better methinks.

2015 Mazda 2 review

Frankly though don’t think of this as a cheap Toyota Yaris rival (though interestingly the Yaris in some markets is in fact a Mazda 2 – which of course is no longer based on the old Ford Fiesta). Instead think of this as a highly desirable, semi-luxury small car with a great feel-good factor.

2015 Mazda 2 review

And a major part of the feel-good factor also stems from the drive. I’m not talking performance. This is not a hot hatch by any stretch of the imagination – well it can hardly be at only 106bhp and a 0-100kph time of 9.0seconds.

2015 Mazda 2 review

But it’s not the way it accelerates that gets to you, it’s the way it carries itself, the way it maintains its poise, the eager-puppy manner in which it ravishes corners, the feedback you get through the responsive and well-weighted steering, the reassurance of the meaty brakes and the giving nature of the crisp transmission – though forget Sports and use the paddles I would suggest.

2015 Mazda 2 review

Then there’s the ride, reasonable and comfy on the motorway, working hard to subdue the still slightly apparent float and wobble that a small tall tiny-tyred car would exhibit, especially from buffeting. But road roar is kept to a minimum, there’s little or no squeak or rattle and only the wind noise would cause you to increase the stereo volume – 6-speakers on this. The same suspension keeps things planted when you’re on it. Understeer is gentle and arching, but responsive to throttle lift-off, and all generally very capable and satisfying.

2015 Mazda 2 review

Verdict

I’m really quite taken with this little 2015 Mazda 2. I have to concede that the price is on the high side in this segment of the market, however I end up dismissing it on the basis of the fact that this feels, rides and drives like a bigger, more up-market and expensive car. If you bought this, you wouldn’t really question where the cash went – you can see it and feel it.

2015 Mazda 2 review

Ideally for a couple or single person – the  rear is only a temporary place for adults to be although boot space is adequate, and a couple of small kids would be alright back there – or as a first car for someone that enjoys DRIVING as a opposed to just going fast and likes the finer things in life.

2015 Mazda 2 review

I would go so far as to say that I even like this more than the current Mazda 3 – it would be my pick of the range here for sure. And if Mazda saw fit to stick at least another 80bhp in there – with a manual gearbox – we’d be all over it.

2015 Mazda 2 – The Specs

Price (hatchback – for saloon see text above):
S – AED47,900 (US$13k)
V – AED51,900 (US$14k)
R – AED58,900 (US$16k)
Engine: 1.5-litre four-cylinder, 106bhp @ 6000rpm, 102lb ft @ 4000rpm
Performance: 0-100kph 9.0secs, 185kph, 5.0L/100km
Transmission: 6-speed auto, front-wheel drive
Weight:  1050kg

Let us know what you think of the new 2015 Mazda 2 in the Comments below

12 responses to “2015 Mazda 2 video review”

  1. Todd says:

    Nicely done, as always. I had to chuckle when you extracted yourself from the back seat.I especially appreciate the plug for the manual – it’s almost as if you had me in mind :-).

    I have.a top spec Mazda 6, and except for the sunroof (the 2 doesn’t have one, right?) the 2 seems better equipped. My 6 doesn’t have a heads up display, sports mode, or leather on the dash. Maybe the 2016 6 will have that stuff…

    Keep it up!

  2. jon says:

    well-covered review.great job.usually here in UAE for a small car it always forgets for safety.and it should be the one to be prioritized.now if it is pricier and one can stretch the budget it is always worth to buy with your lives on it.thanks also for mentioning it how it drives in highway.for a small cars, it always the concern how you are able to cope.

  3. vinod says:

    Excellent review !! Thanks

  4. I took delivery of my top of the range Mazda 2 earlier this week and I am totally in love it with it. Just love driving her, she is a beauty called Bluebelle 🙂

  5. Raheel Shakeel says:

    Great review, seems like an amazing car. Can you please review Peugeot 208 GT line. planning to buy a small car & confused between these 2, your review will make it easier for me to decide as i really like your reviews.

    • admin says:

      We haven’t had an opportunity to review the Peugeot – and are unlikely to do so in the near future. In any case, of these two, for our region, we’d recommend the Mazda

  6. Anand says:

    I bought the R trim and was hoping it would have the safety features like BSM LDW .

    The safety section on the touch screen is blank.

    Is the above true or am I missing a setting?

    Its a 2016 Mazda 2 R
    Thanks

    • Anand says:

      I was hoping it would have features like

      Blind Spot Monitoring
      Lane Departure Warning
      City Braking System

      Does the GCC R Trim miss out on the above ?

  7. Anand says:

    How does one play a USB source through Mazda Connect.
    I have the songs loaded in the ROOT folder but the device is not read.

    The device plays on my laptop . So there is no issue with the USB .

    Please advise .

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