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2014 Mazda2

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/12/2014 Jason Udy

Vehicle Overview

Although related to the Ford Fiesta, the 2014 Mazda2 hatchback is noticeably smaller and lighter than its platform-mate. The Mazda2 is powered by a 100-hp 1.5-liter I-4 with 98 lb-ft of torque mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. EPA-rated fuel economy is 29/35 mpg city/highway for the manual and 28/34 mpg with the automatic. With just 100 hp, the Mazda2 could use more power, but even still, the subcompact shines on twisty roads.

During our 2011 Mazda2 First Drive, we noticed that "the suspension is stiff enough and well damped for reasonably flat cornering … Being front drive, there's a dose of built-in understeer, though the steering and chassis are crisp enough for really good left-right-left transitions."

In our 2011 First Test, a manual-transmission Mazda2 accelerated from 0-60 mph in just 9 seconds and ran the quarter mile in 16.8 seconds at 80.2 mph. After a seven-car economy hatchback comparison, the 2011 Mazda2 came in fifth place, ahead of the Kia Rio and Suzuki SX4 but behind the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Chevrolet Sonic, and Hyundai Accent. "Judges raved about the short, precise shifter, the direct steering, pleasing interior ergonomics, and the amount of road feel that all contribute to a lot of fun on the back roads. Unfortunately, fun to drive isn't much of a judging point this time around, where we placed an emphasis on practicality, comfort, and economy, just as the majority of B-segment car buyers would."

In a year-long long-term test of a 2011 Mazda2, despite its shortcomings, we grew to love our long-termer: "If we rated our long-termers yearbook-style, the 2011 Mazda2 Touring would be voted Most Bang for the Buck and Most Likely to Make You Smile. It was far from the fastest, biggest, or most well-appointed car in our garage, but in its 12 months and 18,000 miles, the peppy green hatch won the hearts of almost everyone on staff."

Other than new exterior colors and more red stitching inside of the uplevel Touring model, there are few changes for 2014 as Mazda prepares a new model to be built in Mexico alongside a Toyota-badged variant. The 2014 Mazda2 hatchback hasn't been rated by the NHTSA, but has earned a good rating in the moderate front overlap and roof strength test and an acceptable rating in the side impact test and for its seats and headrests by the IIHS.

New for 2014

For 2014, Mazda2 Touring models gain red stitching on the steering wheel and seat cushion as well as exterior paint changes: Reflex Blues and Jet Black replace Clear Water Blue and Brilliant Black, respectively, while Zeal Red is new and Spirited Green have been discontinued.

You'll Like

  • Spritely handling
  • Easy to park
  • Hatchback utility

You Won't Like

  • Harsh ride
  • Lack of power
  • Cramped interior

Key Competitors

  • Chevrolet Sonic
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Honda Fit
  • Toyota Yaris

Sum Up

3 star Cheap and fun to drive, but needs an update.

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