2012 Mazda 2 Review

2012 Mazda 2 (or is it the 2012 Mazda Mazda2?)

1.5L 4-cylinder, 100 hp, 98 lb-ft, front-wheel drive, 4-speed automatic, cloth seats, 28/34 mpg, 2,359 lb curb weight

Who knew Mazda made a 2? This is another low-miler with less than 1,500 on the clock. The upscale Touring model has a base MSRP of $16,020 for the 5-speed manual, compared to the Sport’s $14,530. Add $840 to each if you want an automatic. Our Crystal White Pearl paint job tacks on another $200.

For the extra $1,490, the Touring edition gets you a rear spoiler, fog lights, cruise control, chrome exhaust outlet(!), 15″ alloys, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and some fancy red piping on the seats.

Funny how Mazda included the spoiler on the Touring instead of the Sport model. Not a big deal, though, because it would be a stretch to describe anything about this car as sporty.

It still has drum brakes in the rear. Those are still being used? At least the front has discs to help scrub speed. Tires are all-season Yokohama Avid S34 in a whopping 185/55R15.

Up front is Mazda’s signature toothy grin. Lighting is typical halogen reflector headlights and fogs.

This hatchback is very small and the cargo space was tight, even for a small car. The rear hatch opens with the little black button below the Mazda logo. Folding the back seats makes enough room for a good-sized dog crate, but barely.

Folding the seats down requires removing headrest and parcel shelf. They take up a lot of room if you keep them in the car, but you can slide them down behind the front seats.

Unfortunately the seat backs do not fold flat, and there is a step up preventing a totally flat cargo space. The dog did not appreciate the unstable ride.

The instrument panel was sparse. Outside temperature is given, but there is no engine temperature gauge, only a little blue light that comes on suggesting you take it easy until it gets up to operating temp. A fog light indicator was missing from the cluster; you have to bend your eyes around the steering wheel to the physical switch on the headlight stalk to see if they are on.

The biggest disappointment was 1.5L 4-cylinder pushing only 100 hp. Power was nonexistent, and forget about passing on the highway. Gas pedal travel was short, so it always felt like something was blocking the pedal and holding the engine back. Nope, that’s all she wrote.

If you do not want to go fast or haul a lot of cargo, it might be ok.

Mazda’s website http://www.mazdausa.com/mazda2

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