Super Street Network

Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |   |  2011 Mazda2 - First Drive
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

2011 Mazda2 - First Drive

Big fun in a little package.

Peter Tarach
Mar 22, 2011
Modp 1104 01 o+2011 mazda2 first drive+front left side view Photo 1/2   |   2011 Mazda2 - First Drive

It’s time to face the facts. More and more auto manufacturers are building smaller cars, and while these B-spec autos don’t offer gobs of power or razor-sharp handling characteristics, they still capture some of the traits that make a car fun to drive. And the Mazda2 delivers that in more ways than one.

Believe it or not, the Mazda2 is lighter than a Miata (weighing in at 2,306 lbs compared to the 2,480 lbs), and because of its featherweight category, the Mazda2 delivers a solid punch from its 1.5-liter, 100hp and 98ft-lbs of torque inline-four. Pair it with a 5-speed manual transmission, and all of a sudden, the 2 becomes quite a blast to whip around in.

The powerplant can’t take most of the credit (actually it’s a small factor in why the 2 is so fun). Thanks largely to its nicely set-up independent suspension, the Mazda2 is surprisingly sharp in the corners, which led us to believe that some of the Miata’s driving characteristics have been passed down to its smaller FWD sibling. Even the brakes feel adequate for spirited driving. Not that you will be doing racing around in a car like this, but if you decide to do so, you won’t be dipping under 27 mpg that’s what we saw when driving the snot of out of the 2. Drive it like a normal human being, and the little 1.5-liter will reward you with 29 mpg in the city and 35 mpg highway. Not too shabby at all.

Since the Mazda2 delivers so much in the driving department, it’s got to have some shortcomings after all, it’s a $14K vehicle. That being said, the interior is a bit bland and plastic-feeling. It could use some color accents to liven it up, but for someone who isn’t looking for all the amenities, it gets a passing grade. The bonus for a car this small is that is has a usable back seat, which you can cram three people into. Long road trips could have cramp-ridden passengers, but around-town jaunts should come with no complaints.

Modp 1104 02 o+2011 mazda2 first drive+front interior Photo 2/2   |   2011 Mazda2 - First Drive

The Mazda2 reaches out to buyers who are looking for a no-frills, small, inexpensive and fuel-efficient vehicle. It proves that being low cost doesn’t have to mean being bland and boring. Instead, it packs a whole lot of driving excitement without pretending to be something it’s not. Zoom-Zoom is alive and well in the Mazda2.

Specs & Details
'11 Mazda2
Engine
1.5-liter inline-4-cylinder
Horsepower 100 at 6000 rpm
Torque 98 ft-lbs at 4000 rpm
Transmission 5-speed manual; 4-speed automatic available
MSRP $14,180

By Peter Tarach
352 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE CARS

Believe it or not but the birth of the world's first K20C1-swapped 10th-generation Civic Coupe was all started by accident.
Micah WrightDec 13, 2019
For April Taylor, the day a stranger backed into her Nissan in a parking lot marked the start of a project that would result in one of the cleanest, straightest S14s on the East Coast.
Benjamin HuntingDec 12, 2019
In a world with luxury sedans like the Audi RS7, Cadillac CTS-V, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, and BMW M5, it's easy for Lexus's GS F to be undeservingly overlooked.
Danny KoreckiDec 11, 2019
Ladies and gentlemen, please join us in recognizing and congratulating Kimberly Hamilton, Eric Lam and Leo Barrit!
Sam DuDec 10, 2019
We've seen Nick's EF multiple times, but seeing it on SEMA's main stage made it a deserving recipient of a 2019 Super Street SEMA Ultimate Award
Sam DuDec 5, 2019
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP