Published on August 24th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Mazda2 Demio SKYACTIV Initial Impression & Test Drive In Japan
Production of the Mazda2 (named as the Demio in Japan), which was fully redesigned for the first time in 7-years, has already started at Mazda’s Hofu Plant No. 1 in Yamaguchi, Japan. Following the Mazda CX-5, Mazda6 (named as the Atenza in Japan) and Mazda3 (named as the Axela in Japan), the all-new Mazda2 is the fourth in Mazda’s line-up of next-generation models which adopt the full range of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and KODO-Soul of Motion design. The all-new Mazda2 will be launched in Malaysia in a few short months.
The all-new Mazda2 brings a level of functionality and added-values exceeding the expectations for a car of this class by evolving the concepts and technologies cultivated through the development of earlier next-generation products, and condensing them in a compact body. KODO design gives the car the look of a living creature, and imparts a presence unrivalled in the class. Developed based on the same engineering concepts as those in larger next-generation models, new SKYACTIV engines, transmissions, body, and chassis, allow the all-new Mazda2 to provide both outstanding safety and eco-performance, and the brand’s trademark driving pleasure. The model also features a wide range of cutting-edge technologies such as the Mazda Connect next-generation car connectivity system, and a wide range of i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety features that aid the driver in recognizing and responding to hazards.
The all-new Mazda2 is available with the SKYACTIV-D 1.5, a new small-displacement clean diesel engine that offers excellent fuel economy and eco-performance while delivering torque comparable to a 2.5-liter petrol engine which sadly will not be sold in Malaysia due to the low quality Euro 2M diesel which is sold in all fuel stations in Malaysia.
Malaysia will however get the next-generation high-efficiency direct injection petrol engine, the SKYACTIV-G 1.5 which offers spirited performance with fuel sipping qualities. We took the Mazda2 out on the closed race circuit and after just 3 corners we can say that the real proof of the Mazda2’s dynamic ability was well proven. Its involving handling at speed is satisfying, where this Mazda2 will have you smiling all the way from 1st gear right up to 6th.
The SKYACTIV power steering works with you request almost immediately which is very effective, going precisely where you point it. Charging into corners or speeds through a series of corners, this ever-agile Mazda2 kept faithful to our intentions, the excellent damping, strong grip and smoothly compliant ride keeping us smiling at how better this would work in the all new Mazda MX5 with its lower centre of gravity and tauter chassis.
It is clear that that the drivetrain engineers had done some fine-tuning of the chassis and suspension to improve the latest model’s handling over that of the previous Mazda2 by more than a couple of yardsticks, with this latest mazda2 showing enhanced stability both in a straight line and under hard cornering.
Naturally it helps that the character of the chassis and the naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre SKYACTIV petrol engine are so well in sync. Of course this new chassis could take more power but in this segment, this Mazda2 does not need it and instead customers are looking for a quality drive. Wherever you are in the rev-range, throttle response is ready. Thrash it and it just comes back, eager for more; even approaching the engine revolution limit, the Mazda2 is still ready.
This new Mazda2 is a solidly competent, appealing small car with sure-fire hit written all over it. Wait for its arrival in Malaysia early 2015.
With total sales of over 2.4 million units, the Mazda2 is one of Mazda’s core products. Starting with the launch of the original in 1996, the Mazda2 has brought new value to the subcompact segment every time it has been fully redesigned. With this fourth generation Mazda2, Mazda again offers customers around the world a new interpretation of a high quality compact car.