2017 Mazda 2 update review
- 23 Feb 2017 at 14:48
- WRITER: RICHARD LEU
Japanese B-segment hatchback and saloon get improved road manners and higher cabin quality.
Mazda has updated its entire 2 model range with some exterior and interior changes. More importantly, the 2 becomes the second Mazda to gain G-Vectoring Control after the 3, which was also revised last month.
The 93hp 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and six-speed automatic transmission have been carried over unchanged. It comes in four grades ranging from 529,000-670,000 baht and sells more in numbers than the pricier diesel (see sidebar at the bottom). As before, the four- and five-door models are priced identically.
New materials in the cabin help boost perceived quality.
The immediate improvements when driving the 2 is that GVC tech which makes the ride more stable and handling more intuitive, although by not a large degree when compared to the 3.
The other enhancement is cabin quietness when cruising at speed. Mazda attributes this to a new front windshield. Speaking of the interior, the upgraded trim on the fascia, door panels and seats help lift perceived quality to a higher plane than in rivals.
Although the 1.3-litre motor is tuned for economy (a claimed 23.3kpl), it is smooth and quiet when compared to Ecocar-labelled competitors using 1.2-litre engines.
Suede leather seats are unique in its class.
The only visual change is the insertion of chrome around the fog lamps. Mazda stresses that the 2’s design has been “well received” by the market, so a facelift was unnecessary. Either they are true or their designers have ran out of new ideas.
And while the addition of steering-mounted paddle-shifters and head-up display should please focused drivers, there aren’t available across the range (unlike GVC which is).
The only other downside is an inherent thing in the 2: not so roomy rear quarters and boot space when compared to Ecocar opponents like the Suzuki Ciaz saloon and Toyota Yaris hatchback.
Chrome accents around the fog lamps is the only cosmetic update outside.
Buy or bye?
Thanks to some small but significant updates, the 2 stands out its class with good driving dynamics, refinement and cabin quality. And if figures are anything to go by with, the 2 is the most fuel-efficient car around.
That says very much about how the 2 fares in the Thai B-segment. If you can live with a relatively cramped package that only couples may forgive, the 2 is a fine alternative worth weighing over big-time players.
Benefits from G-Vectoring Control can be felt on the move.
THE DIESEL ALTERNATIVE
The Mazda 2 continues to be the only B-segment family car in Thailand to come with the choice of a diesel-turbo engine.
Offered in both saloon and hatchback forms, the diesel variant commands a circa-120k baht premium over the petrol version. Merits, however, come in the form of better acceleration and overtaking power thanks to higher outputs of 105hp and 250Nm and a higher fuel economy rating of 26.3kpl.
Mazda says some tweaks have been made to the diesel motor in a bid to reduce turbo lag and noise. Although it’s generally refined in its own right, it still can’t beat the petrol head for outright quietness.
The diesel model also stands out in range-topping form, at 769,000 baht, with some features not available in the petrol alternative: blind spot and rear traffic alert, all-round disc brakes and 16-inch wheels (which make the ride harsher, though).
For this kind of money, treat the diesel-powered 2 as a decent alternative to the Honda City and Toyota Vios, two non-Ecocars with 1.5-litre petrol engines offering superior all-round performance than Ecocars with sub-1.3-litre petrol units.
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