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Mazda Mazda2



  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Nice video review on Consumer Reports - does not require a subscription:

    link title/

    If above link does not work, cut and paste: 87256001/490985308001/
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Great video! I'm looking forward to the CR article with all the details.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Buried in the side bar on the Edmunds Inside Line test results are noise results for the 2009 Fit and 2011 Mazda2 - at 70 mph, they test the Fit at 70.4 dB and the Mazda2 at 72.9 dB, an audible difference. In comparison, they rated the VW Rabbit (2006) at 66 db at 70 mph cruise.

    I am puzzled why subjective reviews say the Mazda2 is much quieter....
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Loudness, a subjective measure, is often confused with objective measures of sound strength such as sound pressure, sound pressure level (in decibels), sound intensity or sound power. Filters such as A-weighting attempt to adjust sound measurements to correspond to loudness as perceived by the typical human. However, loudness perception is a much more complex process than A-weighting. Furthermore, as the perception of loudness varies from person to person it cannot be universally measured using any single metric.

    Loudness is also affected by parameters other than sound pressure, including frequency, bandwidth and duration.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    I test drove two versions of the Mazda2- the 'base' Sport model with 5-speed manual transmission (True Red) and a Touring with 4-speed automatic (they call the color 'Spirited Green', but I call it 'Kermit Green')....I can't imagine actually buying that color for the long haul, but that's just my opinion. It's not as garish as the Fiesta's "Lime Squeeze Green", thankfully. Not to mention Yellow Blaze or Bright Magenta (ick)! Not sure what Ford is thinking, but I digress....back to the Mazda2 test drives...

    I can confidently say that the Mazda2 Sport (5MT) is the best value among these subcompact models. For $14,730 (including $750 Destination), you get Power Windows, Locks & Mirrors, A/C, Remote Keyless Entry, a rather decent sounding 4-spkr audio system with AUX input, side-impact airbags & head air curtains, Stability Control, Traction Control, ABS with Brake Assist & Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and it even has standard front & rear carpet floormats! The Honda Fit Base 5MT costs $920 more but lacks Brake Assist, Stability Control, Traction Control and Keyless Entry. The Ford Fiesta SE is $1140 more than the Mazda2 Sport and has most of the same features (except Brake Assist and you have to pay extra for rear floormats) but doesn't add any features despite the higher price. :confuse:

    When I first learned that the MZ2 engine only made 100hp, I was a little concerned. But the car weighs 200+ pounds less than most competitors (Fit and Fiesta) and the little 1.5L peak hp and torque output is reached at lower revs than the other guys. It's torque peak (98 whopping lb-ft) is at 4000rpm, while the Fit's 106lb-ft is at 4800rpm. The combination of lower weight and a little more power accessible lower in the rev range give the car plenty of 'zoom-zoom'. It actually reminded me of driving a friend's '87 Mazda 323 3-door hatchback way back in high school....I was surprised at how much spunk that little car had and it was a blast to drive. Thankfully, the Mazda2 has a much nicer interior design with better than average fit-and-finish and material quality that isn't abysmal (although the Honda Fit's interior design is uglier to me, Honda doesn't skimp on using the best materials). I was very impressed with the seat comfort, especially for a small car. I'm 6'2" and 235#, so I don't find a lot of very small cars to be comfortable. The Chevy Aveo seats = purgatory, IMHO.... :surprise:

    I also took a drive in a Mazda2 Touring with an automatic tranny. My expectation was that the Touring upgrades would be absolute necessities for me, if I were to buy one. But I was dreading the performance-robbing automatic shifter like I would a root canal! For the most part, both of those expectations were way off base!

    The Touring model does add some nice goodies to the standard features list (Cruise Control, upgrade to 6-spkr audio w/ controls on steering wheel, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Alloy Wheels, Rear Liftgate Spoiler, Red Piping on Seats, Fog Lights, Trip Computer) for $1455 more than the Sport. The Automatic adds another $800, so the price of the car I drove was $16,985. It's still a very reasonable price for a subcompact with that level of equipment....but it's also crossing into Mazda3 i Sport price range! As good as the Mazda2 is, the Mazda3 is simply MORE car, even if it has less features when comparing the i Sport to a MZ2 Touring. It's almost like a style vs. substance dilemma comparing the two...

    As for the 4-speed automatic- When I think of a small car with limited power being saddled with an automatic, I always flash back to my step-mom's '87 Toyota Tercel! :cry: It was rockin' 78hp (I think "hp" meant hamster-power in this one instance) and a 3-speed automatic...the neighbor kid's Barbie Dream Car could outrun it in the 1/4 mile! :blush: If you managed to get up to 55 or 60mph on the highway, you could floor it and it would kick down to 2nd and rev so hard that it would shake the fillings in your teeth, but that speedo needle wouldn't move. You just had to wait for gravity (or drafting) to help you out eventually.

    In the Mazda2, the automatic is very well suited for city driving (stop-and-go). It doesn't feel the least bit underpowered and it knows how to downshift just as quickly as it upshifts. A lot of automatics rush thru the gears to get into O/D for fuel economy, but getting a downshift takes a heavy foot and some patience. Not the case with the MZ2. thankfully. It did an acceptable job of merging onto a 70mph freeway, although I gunned it at the top of the ramp. The problem that I noticed was that it runs out of steam over 70mph. Flooring it at 70 will get a quick downshift to 3rd, but forward progress isn't nearly as swift as it feels in slower situations. I recently had a 2010 Toyota Corolla rental car for several weeks and it also had a 4-speed automatic. Overall, the MZ2 felt quicker than that Corolla in all situations, so it's probably more than adequate for most drivers.

    I didn't intend for this to be so long, but I was very impressed by the little charmer known as Mazda2! Anyone else taken one for a drive? Or perhaps even purchased one?
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    The Mazda2 is available in six color choices, according to the Mazda site, press releases, brochures, etc. But Aquatic Blue doesn't show up in any dealer inventory, just the other five colors....what gives?

    I test drove and really liked the Mazda2 Sport yesterday, but I would want the Aquatic Blue if I buy one....or maybe they could just spray on the Celestial Blue they use on the MZ3 s, that would work.. ;)
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited September 2010
    Touring model does add some nice goodies to the standard features list ....but it's also crossing into Mazda3 i Sport price range! As good as the Mazda2 is, the Mazda3 is simply MORE car, even if it has less features when comparing the i Sport to a MZ2 Touring. It's almost like a style vs. substance dilemma

    Agreed, I also find the pricing model for the Mazda2 is curious. In Canada, the Mazda2 GS automatic is approaching the price range of a Mazda3 GX automatic with a more powerful engine and more space. On the other hand, the Mazda2 is lighter and more fuel efficient. Does this mean the base model of the Mazda2 will be the choice for most buyers as they will get the fuel economy and the price point?
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,279
    We've had such good luck with our '05 M3s that the wife is now saying she's leaning towards one, preferably a 2012 Touring model as she hated the seat fabric on the Sport model & I really want the alloys. Not crazy about the 15" size, as we have 16"'s right now and it drives like it's on rails. But our girls have the 15" size on their sub compacts and are happy with the size. And 15" tires do cost less to replace.

    We'd go for the Silver color unless they add a blue one. Just not sure how happy she'll be going from a 2.3 down to a 1.5 engine...the lack of power is something she'll notice right away but she says she really wants to go a size smaller. She'll get whatever she wants but I'll push for a 2012 model on whatever she buys.

    The Sandman :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    edited September 2010
    The Mazda3 is "MORE car" in the sense that it has hundreds of extra pounds of steel to shunt around, and uses more gas to do so, while providing steering and handling that is more numb.

    If that's MORE car, I will take LESS car, thank you very much!

    The price difference between Sport and Touring is so small on the M2 that I think a lot of people will go for the Touring just to get cruise, alloys, and the nice red piping on the seats (which adds a very nice touch to the interior I think).

    Honda thought more people would want the base Fit too, when it came out, and in the end they are selling more than 70% in the Sport (upper level) trim instead...

    I just saw a Mazda2 on the highway painted in banners saying "Check out" and stuff like that. A rolling advertisement, and I have to say that green color is really growing on me....

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    The Mazda3 is "MORE car" in the sense that it has hundreds of extra pounds of steel to shunt around, and uses more gas to do so, while providing steering and handling that is more numb.
    Agreed (although I think the Mazda3 handles and steers well). My preference is for lighter vehicles. This means a large engine would not be required. I'll have to test out the Mazda2 to see if the 1.5L is up to the job.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I am surprised I didn't read their "safety features" spec sheet carefully enough to notice that there are NO rear side curtain airbags.

    The front passengers get side curtain and side torso airbags; the rear passengers nothing.

    A bad cost/weight saving move. Side curtain airbags (the head protecting kind) are a real life saver for adults.

    The jury is out on kids. If they are in those forward facing child seats, I don't think side curtains add anything. If they are in a booster seat you have to balance the safety provided when they are in proper position (seated upright) vs. the risk of injury from the side curtain if they fall asleep and slump against the window.

    Of course some side curtain airbags use sensors to determine if people are out of position, or newer ones "roll down" and put the person into a safe position.

    Thoughts on Mazda's decision to omit?
  • Are you sure about this? Car and Driver's article mentioned there were no rear side airbags too but I just double checked Mazda's website. It clearly states that "side curtain airbags help protect front and outboard rear passengers". Plus, the picture of the airbags deployed shows the curtain extending to the rear seat. Based on this info, it appears the 2 has head protection for the rear seat. cleCode=MZ2#/safety/airBags
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Thanks for finding that. I got the information from Car & Driver then looked at the online spec sheet at which said:

    "Front side-impact air bags and side-impact air curtains"

    Now that I read that description again it is ambiguous. The features link you found makes it clear there IS front and read side curtain protection. THANKS FOR THE CORRECTION.

    The 2 is back on my list....
  • No problem. I thought it was strange Mazda would omit that when every other 4 door car (except the Aveo) offers it. I was a bit disappointed when I read that article, so I decided to check Mazda's website to be sure and was happy to see Car and Driver was wrong. Then you made me think I was seeing things so I checked it again, LOL.

    Since you are one of the few in here that actually have driven this car, how do you rate the AC's performance? The 3 was known to have weak AC and my friend's 5 has a hard time cooling off the interior in Florida's hot and humid weather. I'm hoping the same problem doesn't afflict the 2. The 2 is highest on my list of cars once my 95 Integra GSR sedan decides to kick the bucket.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Didn't run the air much, seemed fine, but keep in mind I don't mind a little warmth and seldom use the aircon, so your mileage will almost certainly vary. The fan is quieter than on most cars at the "1" setting which I like. I know VW has the philosophy that road noise about 10 mph drowns out fan noise but still I like a quiet fan. The 2 is worth your test drive. I expect to see Sport stickshifts as dealer ad specials sometime after February for under $13k. Every dealer needs an ad-worthy loss leader and dealers usually use stick shifts for that purpose since a lot of knuckleheads assume an automatic and when they come in and see it's a stick, shop the other more profitable cars.

    So I will probably bide my time...
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    edited September 2010
    One of the characteristics of the Mazda2 is the use of a torsion beam in the rear suspension. It shares this in common with the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit and Nissan Versa, My understanding is a torsion beam suspension is inferior to the multi-link suspension. The Mazda3, VW Golf and the Mini all use a multi-link suspension.


    p.s. I would be especially interested in "seat of the pants" evidence ;)
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Suspension tuning seems to matter more than torsion beam vs. independent link. Not in the theoretical, ultimate sense - almost every writer and engineer seems to agree that independent is MUCH better, theoretically - but in the actual delivered product sense. I have a 2009 Rabbit (multi link) and it outrides and nearly matches the handling of my MINI base model (multi link) - but the MINI, much harsher riding, out performs it simply due to lower center of gravity. In my two test drives of the Mazda2 ("just" a torsion beam), it seems to match the Rabbit in handling, much better ride than even the base edition MINI, a little firmer ride than the Rabbit.

    All of these cars outperform my series of old ZX3's (Focii) from what I remember - they were tuned a little loose. My old Golfs (torsion beam) outperformed the ZX3's, in turn, despite the ZX3's having multi-link.

    Everything outperformed the '90's series Civics I had, which were supposed to have a great independent rear suspension and clearly had a low center of gravity.

    I would place more stock in the subjective impressions of the magazine writers than in other factors. I find them pretty reliable.

    The Nissan Versa I had (6 sp manual) was a dog in terms of handling, but a nice supple "French" style ride.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Note that the 2011 Jetta will have a beam rear suspension except in the very high end trims. Test drive reports from the major car mags indicate that ride and handling don't suffer compared to the current Jetta.
  • Torsion beam suspensions are not as inferior as some would lead you to believe. I think some people have been led to believe that a torsion beam is no different from a rigid axle because it's described as not being independent. Torsion beams are in fact independent suspensions because the wheels are able to move up and down completely separate from each other, thus providing a comfortable and stable ride. They are considered semi independent because the wheels are still physically linked to each other by 1 beam that travels across the width of the car which greatly limits the amount of toe control the suspension has over the tires. In fact, you cannot adjust toe on a torsion beam, so never let a shop tell you you need a rear alignment. There is nothing to adjust. This could be looked at as a good thing since that's one less maintenance expense. Torsion beams are cheaper to produce, take up less space, and can handle more curb hopping abuse than a multi link setup while providing the benefits of independent wheel control.

    What does all this mean? Well, the average driver will not be able to tell any difference between a torsion beam and multi link setup. If the springs, shocks, and anti roll bar are tuned properly, a torsion beam can handle just as good as a multi link. Where a torsion beam loses some of its composure is in extreme handling manuevers, such as sudden high speed lane changes or high g sweepers that take the tires to the limit of adhesion. On a track, a torsion beam has more of a tendency to be tail happy because of its lack of accurate toe control over the wheels. It's just not quite as capable or accurate in it's control of the tire's contact patch with the road. That being said, I feel its a good suspension design and perfectly capable for 99% of the drivers out there.

    FYI, the Golf had a torsion beam suspension from 1976-2005. VW must have felt the design was plenty good to use it for so many years. I can say without a doubt that my 84 Rabbit GTI was one of the best handling cars I have ever driven.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Thanks for the excellent input!

    My followup question is an obvious one: if the torsion beam suspension is not inferior to the multilink independent suspension, then why are more expensive models routinely equipped with the multilink? For exmaple, Mazda only uses a torsion beam suspension on the Mazda2 and not the Mazda3, Mazda6, Miata, CX7 & 9, etc. Put another way, are torsion beam suspensions an effective compromise to keep vehicle costs affordable? This is starting to sound similar to discussions about drum brakes versus disc brakes.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Great comment.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Why do luxury cars offer V8 engines when V6s are much more practical and economical and provide more power than nearly anyone could want? For that matter, why don't luxury cars offer I4 DI turbos vs. V6s, since the I4s offer comparable power and torque but better fuel economy? I think it's one thing: tradition. Who wants to be the first luxury automaker to put a torsion beam suspension into their (FWD) car? Independent rear suspensions are perceived as being better than torsion beam suspensions, so the most costly cars are going to have them if only to meet customer expectations as to what should be in a costly car. And maybe there are some advantages to independent rear suspensions on FWD cars. I've owned several vehicles with independent rears and several with beams, and I couldn't say from the driving experience which was which. Maybe if I carved mountain canyons at high speed every day I could tell.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    The base Jetta S also gets a 2.0L 115hp 4-cylinder that makes the 100hp 1.5L in the Mazda2 a powerhouse in comparison! =)
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    It's just a theory, but I believe the requisite BLACK interior in most Mazda3 models is a factor in the A/C performance issues! They get hotter, take longer to cool down...I have an '06 MZ3 s 5-door with Black/Red cloth interior and the A/C performs much better after being parked in the shade (even on a 95 degree day) than if it was parked in direct sunlight....
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    I had to read that one twice (115 hp Jetta) when I first read about it. It seems like one of those trims that no one will actually buy, but it's there to offer a low advertised price--kinda like the Mazda6i SV.
  • Your welcome.

    As for your question, I think what Backy said a few replies up answers your question. Multi link suspensions offer the absolute best in terms of maximum handling prowess, thus why cars like the Miata have them. Because this fact is known, an automaker wants to be known for providing the best to its customers. It's all about perception. But, yes, a torsion beam is an effective compromise. It provides handling that can't be distinguished by the average driver from a multi link and a ride that matches it while being cheaper to produce, thus keeping the cost of the car down.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    "Where a torsion beam loses some of its composure is in extreme handling manuevers, such as sudden high speed lane changes"

    So IRS means better emergency handling? Perhaps avoiding a collision?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    The difference isn't that great. Stability control makes more of a difference anyway. VW grumbled about having to upgrade to multi-link on the Golf, they didn't think it was worth the cost, but since Ford had figured out a cheaper way to do it on the Focus, VW had to match them. Rumor was VW was going to revert back to torsion beam on the next gen Golf but market perceptions make that unlikely.
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