The attractive little Mazda 2 may not have the same mass-market appeal as cars like the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo, but it offers a great balance of handling, performance and real-world running costs - and now Mazda has given its supermini contender a subtle upgrade to try and widen its appeal.
Building on the current model’s strengths of a low kerb weight, slick manual gearbox and MX-5 inspired cabin, Mazda has subtly tweaked the 2’s styling, adding redesigned wing mirrors, new LED foglights and some fresh exterior colour choices. Inside, the 2 inherits the same sporty steering wheel as the MX-5 and adds some trim updates too.
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Mazda has also simplified the engine range, dropping the diesel option and now only offering the 1.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine in 74bhp, 89bhp and 113bhp forms. Changes to the suspension and damping set up have been made to improve ride quality, while Mazda has also paid attention to the electric steering to improve feel and feedback.
Added across the range is Mazda’s clever G-Vectoring Control system from the recently updated Mazda 3, which subtly reduces torque when the car enters a corner, adding load to the front axle and in turn improving front end grip. Mazda has been specific in distancing this technology from traditional brake activated torque vectoring, substantiating the company's claim that the 2 is the most dynamic option in the supermini class.
Alongside existing models, Mazda has also launched two new flagship GT and GT Sport spec levels, the latter exclusively available in 114bhp guise. These new trim levels include a new black and brown leather interior, access to the aforementioned new exterior colours, and a new rear spoiler.
The new Mazda 2 is on sale from June with prices starting from £12,695. It comes ahead of several new debuts in the supermini class - the all-new Ford Fiesta is due later this year, with the all-new Volkswagen Polo set to join it not long after. Can Mazda take the fight to these cars? We'll have to wait and see.