Mazda Mazda 2 Hatchback 2003 - 2007

Mazda Mazda 2 Hatchback 2003 - 2007

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • Fun to drive
  • Affordable running costs and strong resale values
  • Extremely reliable

Cons:

  • Base model lacks equipment
  • The interior feels dull for the most part

Overview

The Mazda 2 is based around the Ford Fiesta's platform and was built in Fords Spanish factory so you would expect it to be extremely reliable as the lovechild of Mazda's mechanical reliability and Fords durability, the two don't disappoint either. It is also more enjoyable to drive than the Fiesta with the stiffer suspension giving it better handling and a sharper drive.

Exterior and Interior

The Mazda 2 may be based on the Fiesta's platform but it doesn't have the same good looks with its rear end looking more like a van with windows. This actually proves to be an asset though as its this height and shape that allows it to fit three adults onto the back seats comfortably with plenty of head and legroom, as well as a decent sized boot. The boot is big enough to hold a weeks shopping easily enough and for those larger unwieldy items you can make use of the high roof. There are split folding rear seats that fold nearly flat into the floor to increase the load space. The driving position is good too, being higher than most supermini's giving the driver good views of the road ahead. The cabin is full of dull looking plastics for the most part, but the dash does look attractive with its colouring surrounding the stereo with the contrasting blacks and greys. There are half a dozen trim levels to choose from but we'd opt for the TS2 that comes with added luxuries that the basic models miss out on and shouldn't costs you too much extra on a second hand model.

Performance and Economy

The entry level 1.25-litre petrol is a good little car for nipping around town in, but it struggles as soon as you get it on the motorway. It travels from 0-60mph in a slow 14.6 seconds, but it is the most economical petrol at 44mpg. The 1.4-litre is slightly better at 13.5 seconds from 0-60mph, but it doesn't offer much more and as such we would suggest going for the 1.6-litre unit with its 100bhp. This isn't the quickest of the engines at 11.0 seconds 0-60mph speed, but it makes motorway driving more enjoyable than the other two units and is just as economical as the 1.4-litre at 42mpg. The diesel engine is the real pick of the bunch though as it may not be much faster than the 1.25-litre at 14.5 seconds from 0-60mph, but it achieves 62mpg and is exceptionally smooth and quiet with the low down pull making town driving a doddle too. The cheapest to insure is the 1.25-litre petrol which falls into group 2, followed by the 1.4-litre diesel and petrol units falling into groups 3 and 4 whilst the 1.6-litre lands itself in group 6.

Like to Drive

Around town the Mazda 2 feels light and nippy even when using the small 1.25-litre petrol engine with the small size and power steering making parking effortless. The suspension is stiffer than that of the Ford Fiesta that it's based upon, which gives a firmer ride, but not uncomfortably so. This has a positive effect on the handling making it sharp and fun to drive. It corners well whilst maintaining fair amounts of grip, making it better to drive than the Fiesta. The 1.25-litre engine can prove to be excessively noisy when pushed hard, however, all the other engines are extremely refined and smooth whilst wind and road noise is also kept to a minimum.

Faults and Repairs

Mazda's are renowned for their mechanical reliability whilst Ford is known for its durability so you would expect the Mazda 2 to be combination of the two. Thankfully, the only problems to report are from diesel owners who have had to have their fuel pipes replaced, but the majority of these fell under warranty so you shouldn't have anything to worry about. The servicing costs are respectable, but be prepared to fork out as much to maintain it as you would if you'd bought one of the bigger cars from Mazda.