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Published on April 16th, 2010 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Mazda2 sedan test driven

This is a long awaited market entry in a crowded segment dominated by the Vios and City. The Mazda2 did not get the ‘World Car Of The Year’ award for nothing, the looks was one of the first points to attract the judges to this stylish looking compact car. The hatchback is the most stylish of the two and the sedan comes across as being little more conservative. We test the sedan here. It is clear that buyers today start by being attracted to looks and brand value and only then after will common sense take place. Vios and City buyers are low depreciation and reliability hunters who fail to realize that these cars also depreciate nearly as much and they too come with after sales issues that 3S centers try and cure in the 1st few free service visits. Furthermore, a fully imported car is somewhat better in build and even quality which have been proven after a 3-4 years into ownership. But never mind for now as car buyers are like ladies wanting a LV bag. They are after a perceived brand only and not the true value offered by the vehicle in question.

Inside the Mazda2 is comfortable with good front seats and space for three at the rear in a pinch however headroom in the rear is lacking and most basketball players will not be able to get in at all. Cold air-conditioning is great, an MP3-compatible stereo with a CD player, remote central locking, power mirrors and windows and two storage spaces in the cabin, also anti-lock brakes are standard, along with dual front airbags and five proper lap-sash seatbelts are all included in its price that starts from RM77k. There’s no stability control though.

The 1.5 liter MZR engine under the hood is not exactly groundbreaking. As far as power and torque are concerned, the engine produces 103 bhp and 135 Nm of torque which works rather well with the 4-speed automatic transmission to get good in gear response and top speed of 175km/h. It kicks down a gear when we want quicker acceleration and holds high gear to more efficient cruising when we need it to.
On an open road, the Mazda2’s dynamics easily transforms what can undoubtedly be perceived as a mere city slicker into a true driving machine for its segment but not a segment winner. Turn the car into a sharp corner and it responds quickly, changing directions with ease as long as the tires can hold on to the pavement.

It is no performance car, but its directness and the way it takes on turns inspires some confidence. It might not make as much of an impact on a market dominated by the Vios and City, but for those who choose to get the Mazda2 will be enjoying it the moment they drive out of the showroom.


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