Interested in a Mazda 2?
    • Punchy engine
    • Fun to drive
    • Long list of standard safety equipment
    • Infotainment showing its age
    • Facelift a mixed bag
    • Pricier than an MG 3
    Not tested

    The Mazda 2 is an old girl.

    The current generation entered production in 2014, and has been treated to a couple of facelifts – the latest robbing it of some, if fortunately not all, of its elegant charm.

    And yet despite its advanced age, this is still a thoroughly charming little car. The basic engineering is solid, while there’s a long list of safety equipment.

    You need only look at the slightly older MG 3 to see what a difference it makes when a superior vehicle is left to age. The MG 3 is still a handsome-looking thing, but it simply can’t match the Mazda in terms of driving dynamics or safety equipment.

    How does the Mazda 2 compare?
    View a detailed breakdown of the Mazda 2 against similarly sized vehicles.

    How much does the Mazda 2 cost?

    2024 Mazda 2 pricing:

    • 2024 Mazda 2 G15 Pure manual hatch: $22,720
    • 2024 Mazda 2 G15 Pure automatic hatch: $24,720
    • 2024 Mazda 2 G15 Pure automatic sedan: $24,720
    • 2024 Mazda 2 G15 Pure SP hatch: $25,520
    • 2024 Mazda 2 G15 Evolve hatch: $26,220
    • 2024 Mazda 2 G15 GT hatch: $27,920
    • 2024 Mazda 2 G15 GT hatch: $27,920

    Prices are before on-road costs

    To see how the Mazda 2 compares with its rivals, line it up against its rivals using our comparison tool.

    What is the Mazda 2 like on the inside?

    Unlike the even older Mazda 6, which received a substantial interior redesign a few years into its run, the decade-old Mazda 2 still looks essentially the same as it did when it first launched in 2014.

    The basic design has aged quite well, however, while there’s also some funky new white plastic trim slathered across the dash and the sides of the centre console which adds a welcome splash of contrast. It’s unusual to see trim this colour in a car, and the texture of it is also quite unique.

    There are also some carbon-look trim inserts as well which are less attractive, but still vastly preferable to the drab black plastic you’ll find in other light cars. Cloth inserts on the doors also improve the ambience, though naturally most surfaces in this car including the dash top are otherwise hard plastic as is typical at this price point.

    The steering wheel feels nice, being neither too thick nor too thin and boasting leather wrapping – an impressive inclusion, given how many base model Japanese vehicles costing thousands more lack this. The wheel also has tilt and telescopic adjustment.

    The switchgear on the wheel is a bit finicky, however, given there can be three functions controlled with one basic button.

    The analogue speedometer pulses before you start the car, which might take you a while as the start button can be hard to find at first. The displays flanking the speedometer betray the car’s age, as does the infotainment system.

    The latter is an old MZD Connect unit, and its graphics are dated and its response times sluggish; Android Auto and Apple CarPlay also prove slow to connect, and should you start the car again without your phone connected there’s a lengthy loading screen.

    The MZD Connect system predates Mazda’s move away from touchscreens (and its subsequent, gradual return to them), but touch functionality only works when you’re stationary. Otherwise, you’ll need to use the rotary dial, which is located a little too far back on the centre console to feel natural to hand.

    The Mazda 2 has a reversing camera, but the quality is merely okay.

    Storage is average, too. There’s no centre console bin, which also means no centre armrest, while the cupholders are positioned further back on the console and therefore can be a bit awkward to use. However, the bottle holders in the doors fit even 1.5L water bottles.

    The current Mazda 2 may not have the tallboy proportions of the first-generation model, but this curvaceous hatchback still has adequate rear headroom for someone measuring 180cm tall; sitting upright, my head was only just brushing the roof. I can also sit behind my own seating position with plenty of knee room.

    There aren’t many amenities back here, though you’ll find top tether and ISOFIX anchor points for child seats.

    The Mazda 2’s boot measures 250L, and the rear seats split and fold 60/40. That’s on the smaller side in this class, considering the MG 3 has 307L and a Polo has 351L, but it’s about on par with the Swift.

    What’s under the bonnet?

    As with all Mazda 2 models in Australia, the G15 Pure is powered by a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine producing 81kW of power at 6000rpm and 142Nm of torque at 3500rpm.

    While our tester came with a six-speed automatic transmission, you can also get a six-speed manual in the G15 Pure.

    We averaged 6.4L/100km on a loop comprising a mix of inner-city, suburban and highway driving. This decreased to 6.3L/100km over the course of a week. That’s thrifty, but not as good as the 5.0L/100km combined cycle claim.

    It runs on 91 RON regular unleaded fuel and has a 44L fuel tank.

    How does the Mazda 2 drive?

    The Mazda 2 shows you don’t need turbocharging if you have a well-calibrated naturally aspirated engine and transmission working in harmony.

    The 1.5-litre under the bonnet is surprisingly punchy and sounds pleasant to boot. When I tested this car, I had just come out of a Mazda 3 G20 which had both a larger, more powerful engine and a better power-to-weight ratio, and yet while the more expensive car felt sluggish, the Mazda 2 felt peppy.

    You’ll have no problems darting around town or even overtaking on the highway, and while I imagine the six-speed manual is even more fun, the six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and never gets caught out.

    In addition to feeling peppier than the larger Mazda 3, the entry-level Mazda feels less firm. It can still be unsettled somewhat by patchier pavement and may take a moment to settle, but for the most part it offers a comfortable ride with good bump absorption.

    Without whipping out the decibel meter, we’d wager the Mazda 2 isn’t much noisier than the Mazda 3, either. Road noise is average at highway speeds, and the engine never sounds raucous or unrefined.

    The steering is nicely weighted. It’s light enough for manoeuvring in tight spaces, and yet it feels confidence-inspiring out on the open road.

    With pleasantly chuckable handling, the Mazda 2 offers a dynamic package that still stacks up well against the competition a decade after the vehicle first launched. It feels a little sporty and special to drive.

    The automatic stop/start system is well-calibrated, only intervening when you properly depress the brake pedal, while we appreciate the standard fitment of LED headlights as these provide excellent illumination.

    There’s also automatic high-beam, which means the vehicle will switch off high-beam if it detects another light source like an oncoming vehicle, and then flick it back on when it’s dark again.

    The lane-keep assist system will gently nudge you to keep you in your lane, with an orange steering wheel icon flashing up in the instrument cluster when it intervenes. Despite the extensive array of active safety features for a car this size and price, there’s no adaptive cruise control until the top grade.

    What do you get?

    Mazda 2 G15 Pure highlights:

    • 15-inch alloy wheels
    • LED headlights
    • Power-folding exterior mirrors
    • Rain-sensing wipers
    • 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
    • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto (wired)
    • DAB+ digital radio
    • 6-speaker sound system
    • Cloth upholstery
    • Leather-wrapped steering wheel, shifter
    • Tilt, telescopic steering wheel adjustment
    • Air-conditioning
    • Cruise control
    • Keyless start

    Is the Mazda 2 safe?

    The Mazda 2 had a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on tests conducted in 2015, but it expired at the end of 2022.

    All Mazda 2 models come standard with the following safety features:

    • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
      • Pedestrian detection
    • Reverse autonomous emergency braking
    • Blind-spot monitoring
    • Lane keep assist
    • Rear cross-traffic alert
    • Reversing camera
    • Rear parking sensors
    • Front, front-side and curtain airbags

    That’s more equipment than you’ll find in any base model rival.

    How much does the Mazda 2 cost to run?

    The Mazda 2 is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

    Mazda offers capped-price servicing for the first seven years or 105,000km, with intervals of 12 months or 15,000km.

    The first seven services are capped at $334, $526, $396, $526, $334, $587 and $334, respectively.

    CarExpert’s Take on the Mazda 2

    I’m not sold on this facelift, with its odd asymmetrical lime green exterior accents and EV-like closed-off grille.

    Like a fading starlet, it’s had one facelift too many in an attempt to look youthful; the Mazda 2’s discreet round of botox in 2017 had it looking better than ever, and this is a retrograde step.

    But while a second facelift is usually a sign a vehicle is showing its age, it’s surprising how nice the Mazda 2 still feels after all these years.

    Yes, the infotainment tech and instrument cluster betray the car’s age – but its spunky powertrain and fun-to-drive feel keeps this little hatch in the hunt.

    While the decision to add a bunch of safety features a few years back may have jacked up the price well above the best-selling MG 3, this gave the car the most comprehensive feature list of anything at this end of the market.

    The fact it manages to feel no slower, noisier or more uncomfortable than a base model Mazda 3 is also a feather in its cap.

    Whether this is your first car, a second car for commuting, or your last car, the Mazda 2 is still worth keeping on your shortlist.

    Click the images for the full gallery

    BUY: Mazda 2
    MORE: Everything Mazda 2

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

    Overall Rating

    Cost of Ownership7.7
    Ride Comfort8
    Fit for Purpose8.2
    Handling Dynamics8
    Interior Practicality and Space7.5
    Fuel Efficiency8
    Value for Money7.7
    Technology Infotainment6.8
    $22,870 MSRP
    Tell us about your car
    Share your thoughts and write a review of a car you own or have owned
    Tell us about your car
    Share your thoughts and write a review of a car you own or have owned