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Mazda Mazda2

Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,030
Talk about the new Mazda2 here!

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Comments

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,748
    Saw an interior pic of the dash and prefer the Fiesta's layout much better. Hopefully they'll tweak the 2's to make it look less low rent. Overall, I like the Fiesta much better...can't believe I'm saying that because the few Ford's that we owned were pure crap from day 1! Will show both to the wife when she starts her search later in the year.

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    The Fiesta interior is nicer, but, the Mazda2 interior does not have as much of a low rent feel when you see it in person. It is put together very, very well.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,748
    We relly like our '05 M3s and will look 1st at the M2.

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Nimble, quick, well put-together.

    Small - Yaris LB (lift back) sized. But a much larger trunk!

    Published specs for wheelbase are .9" shorter than the 2003 model year VW Golf and 1.6" narrower body. The 2003 Golf had 115 hp and weighed 2,857 pounds vs. 100 hp for the new Mazda2 and 2,300 pounds. So when people exclaim that "B" segment cars are too small, it's good to remember that cars have "inflated" over the past 10 years and the "B" segment, as represented by the Mazda2 and Honda Fit, are really very similar in size to what used to pass as acceptable compact cars.

    I test drove an automatic Sport model on a 12 mile loop - dealership to an on-ramp, up a hill, across a transition section, then back down a hill on surface street. Never felt the car lacked power, even with a 180 pound or so salesperson in the passenger seat. Ride is very controlled - supple bordering on firm. Very little body lean. Good braking. Passenger compartment is very quiet at highway speeds, and even relatively hushed under acceleration up the on-ramp, but this is a small car and at high rpm under heavy throttle some engine roar comes into the cabin. RPM did not exceed approximately 4,500. Automatic is well matched to the motor - downshifts readily, no hesitation, holds it in gear longer than typical in these gas mileage conscious days. Clearly tuned for driveability.

    Tires are V (!) rated and relatively low profile (185/55). This car has "drive me!" written all over it.

    Interior is simple but clean, comparable to the last generation VW Golf, but without soft touch padding on the dash (the Fiesta has soft touch padding). Textures on the plastic pieces in the Mazda2 are excellent. The only out-dated item in the dash is the slide lever to switch from recirculated air to fresh air - it is a mechanically operated damper, not electrically operated. Many entry level cars have not made this switch yet. There is no operational advantage to a manually operated damper, except that the control circuitry for defrost operation with a motor can be set to switch to fresh air automatically. If you use defrost on this (dehumidifying) you will need to adjust the recirculation lever yourself.

    "Stalk gear" on each side of the steering column to operate turn signals, lights, and wipers is top notch - something from a much more expensive car. Radio with "piano black" surround looks classy. I prefer the "all black" (except for some brushed satin door trim) to the abundance of brushed satin in the Ford Fiesta, but this is a question of taste.

    From a practical standpoint, it is easier to buy a 2 than a Fiesta if you are sensitive to price. There are only two trim lines and no real options other than the auto transmission. Even floor mats are included! A neat electrical button on the rear hatch unlocks it (it is operable when all doors are unlocked). Much nicer than the mechanical black plastic button on the Yaris LB. There is a lip on the bottom edge of the 2's hatch for lifting it up instead of the slightly cheap looking "hook" on the Yaris LB.

    The less expensive Sport edition of the Mazda2 doesn't punish you with such cheaper trim items that you feel downmarket - a problem with the Honda Fit, which forces you to choose between cheap looking (old-fashioned black outside mirrors and dull gray headlight surrounds, instead of body-color and chrome). The Sport 2 is classy, the Touring 2 is sportier spoiler, aluminum wheels, tweeters. If you need cruise control (long drives would not be out of the question on this car) you will need the Touring edition.

    The radio operation is relatively simple and intuitive, rare these days; sound quality on the Sport, is only average, but I didn't try it with a CD so maybe the FM is a little "flat." I suspect a simple front speaker upgrade would fix this - if there is any problem it is the crispness and highs from the speakers, not the head unit.

    The steelies with wheel covers look better than average - both the new Golf last year and this Mazda2 come with unusually nice wheel covers - especially compared to the really bare bones look of the base model Honda Fit.

    This is a very nice car and I am seriously thinking about getting one, probably in the automatic since it has adequate pep and doesn't feel "ancient" despite having only 4 speeds.

    This car is an outstanding example of what careful engineering can achieve at this modest price point. It is the first economy car I have driven that doesn't feel or look cheap. It's small, and simpler (teutonically simpler?) than the 3 series, but solid.

    Truly "zoom zoom concentrated." I had feared cheap, but they have delivered simple and sweet.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Great review!

    I drove the Mazda2 Sport with the 5-speed manual.

    Overall, it is put together much better then it looks in print. It really does not feel underpowered either.

    Without driving the Fiesta, I cannot tell which drives better, but not one review has said the Fiesta is more nimble and the Fiesta is not faster, either.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,748
    It sounds like the Touring model is the way to go. Will definitely make sure the wife tries it 1st. It's the size she wants and if the reliability is as good as our 3s has been, it could very well be the next car on her side of the garage. Thanks for the review, as it has put my mind at ease. Yay!

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,771
    edited August 2010
    Thanks for the detailed review. I got my first real look (other than an auto show) at the Mazda2 today when I picked up my 626 that was in for some work. A red base automatic was sitting outside, and the high-zoot model inside. For $1400, I don't see the benefits of the higher-level trim. You get alloys, but the wheel covers on the base model looked like alloys to me until I got up close. The base model has all the key equipment, including power windows and an aux input jack.

    One thing I noticed was the driver's seat height adjuster works well, in that it doesn't pitch you forward as it raises. With the driver's seat raised all the way, I still had enough headroom (I'm 5'10") and it created excellent toe space in back. The back seat is cramped, but with the driver's seat elevated I was able to slide it forward and still be comfortable, while being reasonably comfortable in back--enough for a couple of hours at least.

    The car has some quality touches: the doors close with a solid "thunk", the seat fabric (black) looks pretty good, and the radio display is quite nice as noted earlier. But there's signs of cost cutting: no padding anywhere, even on the door arm rests (Mazda: talk to Nissan!); no iPod jack; no center console or armrest; no rear center armrest; and no tilt/telescope steering column (if it does that, I couldn't find the lever).

    But the base (Sport) Mazda2 is a good deal I think. The list on the car I looked at was $15.5k, with automatic and all the standard safety features including ESC. Consider that a 5-door Yaris so equipped will be over $16k, as will the 4-door Accent with ABS and automatic (but no ESC). Think of it: a Mazda for less money than a Hyundai! :) Also, I remember the list price on a 1997 Sentra GXE with a stick shift and 2 airbags that I leased back then was about the same as the Mazda2 today. What inflation?!
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Besides the alloys and some appearance items, the touring also adds:
    Cruise control
    Trip computer
    Leather-wrapped steering wheel
    Steering-wheel-mounted audio controls
    6 speakers (instead of 4)

    I don't care about trip computers myself, but I'd probably want the rest of that and would much rather have alloys than fake alloy wheel covers. I don't think I can ever buy another car, though...I've been ruined forever by getting a Mazda6 for $16K a few years ago.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,771
    edited August 2010
    The only thing I'd really miss out of that list is the cruise control, although I wouldn't be taking that car on many long trips (and it would be my daughter's car, anyway). And the trip computer is nice, but I can live w/o it. The plastic wheel felt pretty meaty, and I used audio controls on the dash for 35 years so I can do it again.

    I actually prefer wheel covers if they look decent. Too many high curbs in my town that jump out and attack alloy wheels, plus alloys can pit/rust/leak over time (as on my 2000 626).
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    It's not so much the steel wheels as when they put wheel covers on that are trying to look like alloys and meanwhile they don't cover the entire wheel. My wife has something these, which are fine by me:

    image

    I've never understood why steel wheels have to be made ugly, so that plastic covers are needed. They seem to do steel truck wheels without covers, why can't steel wheels for cars be made to look good w/o covers, too?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,771
    In the Old Days, ca. 1970s to early 80s, steel wheels were au natural. I owned a few cars in that time period, and they had "styled" steel wheels with a little hubcap. A couple of Toyotas I owned even had steel chrome trim rings to dress up the wheels even more. I've seen a few current models e.g. RAV-4 with styled steel wheels. But it's pretty rare these days. But that's ok. My two cars that have steel wheels, a Sonata and Sentra, both have good-looking wheel covers--especially the Sentra's.

    I owned a Jetta and Rabbit with exactly the wheel covers in your photo. Not great looking, but easy to keep clean!
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Sans padding, the door arm rests on the base model will be more durable, long term - nothing to wear through or snag or rip. The steering wheel has adjustable tilt but not adjustable telescoping - the adjustment lever is WAY back there, probably to discourage (wisely discourage) drivers from doing it while driving.

    In terms of iPod jack, yes it lacks one that would allow you to navigate an iPod from the car radio's screen instead of from the iPod. But it DOES have the typical "audio in" which lets you feed the music from an iPod out the headphone jack into the car stereo. That's enough for me. Also the radio is MP3 capable, meaning a single CD can conceivably hold a LOT of music. (I don't know how easy it would be to navigate folders on an MP3 encoded CD.

    Backy, you used to have well-though out "amateur" (only in terms of getting paid!) reviews of small cars. I hope you test drive the new crop and share your perspective with the rest of us.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,771
    I am more concerned about the comfort and durability of my elbows vs. durability of the arm rests. :)

    Thanks for the compliment. :blush: I will definitely drive the latest crop of small cars when it gets closer to the time to replace my leased Sentra with the car that my daughter will take to college. There's several new small cars here or coming soon--the Mazda2, Fiesta and redesigned Focus, redesigned Accent and Elantra, the Cruze, and probably others e.g Yaris replacement. Will be a tough choice the next go-round!
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,748
    Wife saw it & liked it...she would like to stay in the Mazda family. Will test out a C class tomorrow, as we got a coupon for a free prize & a free detail on any car of ours...actually 2 coupons. So I figured I'd set up a test drive since I'll be there for a couple of hours. Hopefully I won't like it too much or I might be tempted to buy it, since I'm due a substantial chunk of $ within the next couple of months! But since I'll be retiring within a few months, wifey would kill me if I spent like 35k on my dream car! Can always dream though!!!

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited August 2010
    I actually prefer wheel covers if they look decent. Too many high curbs in my town that jump out and attack alloy wheels, plus alloys can pit/rust/leak over time (as on my 2000 626

    Interesting. The problem I have found with plastic wheel covers is that they don't stay on the car. And, the second problem happens when you want to replace one with a matching original, that is, the problem is the ridiculous cost.

    On the other hand, I have found that my alloys are holding on and holding up, even after 8 years.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,771
    Most wheel covers I've had are held on by the wheel lug nuts--they don't come off unless you take them off. Which reminds me of a funny (in hindsight) story: when I bought a used car last winter that had new tires, I noticed after I got home that the wheel covers hadn't been aligned with the valve stems, so they were inaccessible. And the wheel covers are held on by the lug nuts. Took the car back a couple days later and they fixed it.

    Re cost, I've had success buying replacement wheel covers on eBay. On a minivan I leased, I went to Target and bought some nice looking covers for (I think) $25 for a set of 4, and put them on until it was time to turn in the van. Can't do that as cheaply with alloys. ;)

    OTOH, only one of the alloys (bright-finished) on my 626 is in good shape, the others are pitted, rusted, and/or leaking (yes, I wax them). Alloys on my 2004 Elantra (painted) aren't rusting, but have several scrapes on them because the spokes stick out just enough to catch high curbs. I had to replace one once when my wife slammed into a curb in a blizzard, and it cost a LOT more than a steel wheel + cover.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Most wheel covers I've had are held on by the wheel lug nuts
    Not in my limited experience. I use plastic wheel covers on my winter tires and alloys for the summer. I learned to use plastic aftermarket cheapies because the originals are at least four times the cost; would you believe $100 for a plastic wheelcover from the dealer?

    had to replace one (i.e. alloy) once ...it cost a LOT more than a steel wheel + cover
    You're right. An alloy is more expensive than a steel wheel + plastic wheelcover.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Most after market wheel covers are clip on at the rim only.. Most factory wheel covers lock on at the hub usually via the wheel bolts, and clip on at the rim as well.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Acceleration felt similar to the automatic. Meaning the automatic is geared and tuned towards performance rather than miserly fuel economy.

    Other driving dynamics similar of course.

    Stick shift felt more "involving" and "connected" but hey that's the nature of shifting for yourself.

    Revisited the radio. Speaker quality is fine. I am sure the tweeters on the Touring edition sweeten it up, but for a daily commuter the stock speakers in the Sport model are very satisfying.

    Great car. Quite simply it blows the Yaris LB away in price, performance, quietness, and materials choices and details.

    Can't compare it to the Fit - apples and oranges - mini mini van which is noisier but a real cargo hauler. Comparable mileage.

    In terms of the Fiesta, I prefer the Mazda2 styling but that is ABSOLUTELY a personal choice only.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,748
    I used to go to a used hub cap place down here when I owned my Toyota's and dressed each car with oem hub caps...they had a large selection for a very reasonable cost. Toyota doesn't use the bolt on type, at least not back in the '90's. Now, all 4 cars in the stable have alloys which look great!

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 796
    edited August 2010
    If you need OEM wheel covers in the future, you can find them much cheaper from an auto salvage dealer via www.car-part.com. For instance, plastic wheel covers for a 2008 Mazda3 can be had for under $20 each. Ones in less than perfect, but still pretty decent, condition are $10 or less each! Just FYI...

    I have a 2006 Mazda3 with the factory 17" alloy wheels and I learned the hard way just how expensive they are to replace! :cry: They retail for $436 from Mazda, even now! I had a run-in with a very nasty pothole (at least 8" deep) and it bent both wheels on the right side of the car. I lucked out an found one used at a local salvage yard in great shape for $125 and had one of the damaged ones reconditioned for $100- good as new.

    Along with the wheels, the replacement tires are also ridiculously expensive for a compact car that only had a sticker of $18k. The original Goodyear Eagles were toast at 32k miles and a new set of identical Goodyears would have cost almost $1100! I laughed at the tire guy and quickly found a set of Dunlops for $600 that lasted longer than the original ones!

    The Mazda2 has 185/55VR15 tires on all models, with plastic wheel covers on the Sport and Alloys on the Touring model. Just out of curiosity, I checked the prices for replacements and they range from $100-$120 locally. Not as bad as a Mazda3, but they ain't the $40 175/70R13s I remember buying for my old Hondas either.

    At least both models of the Mazda2 deliver a lot of features at a very reasonable price ($1100-$1600 less than similar Fiesta models). I also think the MZ2 is the better looking of the two and the 5-speed manual is peppy enough and has acceptable fuel economy. But the MPG ratings with the 4-speed automatic aren't very impressive...27/33 with a combined average of 29MPG (per FuelEconomy.gov). The only competitors with lower figures are the Chevy Aveo (25/34 and 28mpg avg) and Nissan Versa 4AT (24/32 with 27mpg avg). The Fiesta 6AT is rated at 29/38 and 33mpg combined and Honda Fit (base model) gets 28/35/31 (Fit Sport is rated at 27/33/30).
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,748
    Our '05 Mazda 3s has the 16" alloys and the tire prices are pretty reasonable. I was able to get a "buy 3/get 4" tire deal from my mechanic on some decent Yokahoma tires and look almost brand new with almost 2 years and 24k on them. We didn't like the ride of the 17" alloys when we bought the car and have been quite happy with the smaller diameter alloys. Hoping this will be the last set of tires we'll have to buy for it!

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Good observations igozoomzoom. Tirerack has replacement tires ranging from $79 to $99 already - the $99 are the o.e.m. replacement, the $79 have a rebate offer and are summer Yokohamas. They also have $86 Hankook 418. All are the required V rated tires. Consumer Reports tested the Hankook in this V variation and gave it a Very Good rating for noise (important to me), very good in ice braking (amazing for a "V"), and very good in ride comfort (also amazing for "V", most have a stiff and hence uncomfortable sidewall. V rated tires on a car that one magazine tested with a top speed of about 103 mph are interesting - clearly there for handling not speed, although some tire advisors tell me they would rather drive a V rated tire across a hot road at 85 mph than an H rated tire.

    In terms of fuel economy, for careful drivers the Mazda 2 may surprise - it is 200-300 pounds lighter than its competition, and 100-300 cc. smaller. I believe those factors will make up for shift-point and other tuning biased towards spriteliness instead of beating the EPA cycle test. Or I could be wrong and the slight mileage penalty in the Mazda2 could be due to cost cutting in the engine - single point instead of multi point fuel injections, coatings or lack thereof on the cylinder wall, etc. All we know for sure if that Mazda intended to deliver a fun car and not the thriftiest one - a theme across the whole line - and I'd rather give up 2-3 EPA rated mpg than the fun factor.

    Take a look at Valerie Neff's review of the Fiesta - she loved the Euro spec one with the 5 speed when she was one of the "early drivers' program" but now she has an North American spec with the automatic, she's cool on it - the automatic disappoints her.

    Well we can wait for more reviews to come out and then weigh them Rotten Tomatoes style, but the early reviews threw a curve ball at me by preferring the slightly down market 2 to the slightly up market Fiesta - enough to get me to test drive the M2 - and it is indeed sweet. Without getting pretentious and running up the tab too high.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Car and Driver is reporting 10.1 0-60 times for the automatic and 9.1 for the stick; they also anecdotally reported the stick is "far more satisfying to drive." That compares to Consumer Guide which reports no real difference between the stick and auto. But I think CG may have been referring to real road driving and not performance tests. Performance tests can be misleading because who burns out and floors it all the way to 60 mph in 2nd gear (the usual way to get the best 0-60 times because shifting from 2nd to 3rd eats up time)?

    I would have to agree with "more satisfying to drive" though - not based on my particular test drive of the 2, but on the many stick shifts and few automatics I've driven the past 10 years - you feel more connected and alert with a stick shift. Of course, on city streets and in slow and go traffic you can wish for an automatic....
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Car and Driver reported 9.9 and 8.5 0-60 times for the 2009 Fit in automatic and stick - if we can disregard sample variations, the automatics are comparable and the Fit stick is clearly faster.

    That, in fact, is how my (separated by two weeks) test drives of the Fit stick and Mazda stick felt - the Honda felt a tad quicker and freer rev'ing.

    Caveat: I revised my opinion on the radio after a revisit and think I owe the stick shift Mazda2 a second drive.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Automobile has this to say about the 5 speed vs. automatic issue:

    I drove both the automatic and manual Mazda 2 within days of each other and while both cars impressed me, the manual 2 is, in my mind, the much better package. On the highway, the four speed-auto runs out of gears causing revs to consistently stay up over 3000 rpms. The manual's fifth gear is just enough to keep revs and noise down in the cabin. I was cruising at 80 mph on the highway and, unlike the 2 with the auto box, the manual car never sounded buzzy. In fact, the engine sounded remarkably at ease. Impressive. At this speed, even in fifth gear our Four Seasons Honda Fit's 1.5-liter 4-culinder would have been deafening. link title

    Two comments. Generally automatics are tuned to run at lower rpm than the stick shift - when I test drove the M2 auto at 70 mph, rpm were not "over 3000 rpm". If this test driver was speeding and slowing (passing cars then slowing etc. then speeding back up) the automatic may have been "hunting" by dropping out of lockup in 4th gear or even down to 3rd causing the rpm to run higher (I had a similar experience with a 4 speed auto trying to follow a friend one time). Conversely, the stick shift in the Yaris LB, Fit, and Golf (all from personal experience) ran about 800 rpm higher than the auto versions - 3800-4000 rpm at 80 mph - geared so you wouldn't be likely to need to downshit to 4th on the freeway.

    In other words, I think this test driver was pushing both cars on the freeway and found it easier to maintain speed without noisy downshifts in the stick shift. From that perspective the comment is probably valid - but it's not the usual scenario of keeping up with the flow of traffic at 75-80, where downshifts aren't needed very often if at all.

    Was IS fascinating is the comment on noise level. I found the Fit "buzzy" at 80 because it is turning about 3850 rpm, pretty high. Apparently the Mazda2 has found a way to keep the cabin quiet (the rpm may still be high, but to no ill effect). That's a big plus. Noise levels have been one reason I've shied away from the Fit despite the superb seating ("Magic Seating").
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Motor Trend is reporting 9.0 second 0-60 for the stick, .1 better than Car and Driver, so it looks like there isn't a lot of sample to sample or test to test variations.

    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/hatchbacks/1008_2011_mazda2_test/index.html
    Turns out the manual Mazda2 faster than everything in our recent Budget Banshees four-way comparison test. In fact, the only thing quicker than the Mazda2 in this segment is Honda's Fit Sport manual, which puts down an absurd 8.3 sec./60 time and 16.3 sec./84.8 mph quarter mile - an advantage that doesn't translate to handling."

    ">link title
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    From Motor Trend comparison test of Fiesta Fit Versa Yaris LB

    INTERIOR NOISE - Cruising @ 70 mph, sones/dBA

    Fiesta: 24.7/67.5 Fit: 25.2/67.6 Versa 23.8/66.0 Yaris LB 27.0/69.2

    Read more: link title

    Note that although the one review cited in my earlier post lambasts the noisiness of the Fit, there isn't much difference in actual dB between the Fiesta which gets kudos for quietness and the Fit which gets lambasted for noisiness. Maybe the character of the noise?
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,748
    Our Versa is a quiet car with great seats but just can't get used to the CVT and how it spools up the speed from a stop...not enough umph for me...prefer a regular auto tranny which can get out of it's own way when necessary. The kid don't mind and it's her car so... Seriously can't wait to drive the Mazda2 and the Fiesta back to back to see which we could live with on a daily basis.

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

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