The Mazda 2 hatchback gets a subtle upgrade
The upgraded Mazda 2 five-door hatchback has arrived with subtle yet noticeable enhancements. I’ve always liked the Mazda 2, based on its solid construction and good-looking exterior design.
The entry-level Active model incorporates a solid black bumper, and the mid-tier Dynamic has a solid colour-coded grille with a yellow insert.
Our test unit, the range-topping Individual, sets itself apart with a striking honeycomb radiator grille, red insert, and contrasting roof wrap. Mazda has fitted this version with black 16-inch alloy wheels. All Mazda 2 models have auto-levelling LED headlamps.
Two new hues have been added to the colour palette: Air Stream Blue, and ours looked gorgeous in Aero Grey. Currently, there are 11 exterior paint colours, three dashboard panel tones, three roof colour options, and six-wheel cap colours, and Mazda boasts 198 possible colour combinations.
The interior and layout remain the same, though the freestanding infotainment screen has increased to 8 inches. Unfortunately, it still operates on the older-generation Mazda Connect system, unlike newer Mazda models like the CX-30, which feature a more attractive interface. Leather is applied to the car's multifunction steering wheel, shift knob and handbrake handle.
I liked the Alcantara finishes on the dash and seats with the red stitching; it created a sporty atmosphere. Some present features include push-button ignition, front/rear electric windows, keyless entry and automatic climate control. It’s also Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatible. You can also pair your smartphone via Bluetooth connectivity, and it offers an auxiliary jack and a USB port for four speakers.
In keeping with its flagship status, the Mazda 2 Individual has black side mirror caps, rear parking sensors, a reverse camera, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, automatic headlamps, steering wheel shifter paddles, head-up display, wireless charging and tailpipe finishers. The boot capacity is 280l, which does not feel enough, and the folding of the rear seats extends to 950l.
The Mazda 2 was powered by a 1.5l four-cylinder SkyActiv-G petrol engine, making 85kW and 148Nm of torque. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and sometimes, it felt underwhelming due to the high revs upon uphill battles, but the overall feel of the Mazda 2 is that it still rides pretty well. Fuel consumption: I achieved 6.7l/100km.
Safety features include dual front airbags, ABS brakes with EBD, emergency brake assist, cruise control, and Isofix points. It further benefits from side and curtain airbags.
At the same time, the Individual model grade boasts a simple yet underrated set-up; however, pricing might be a consideration when paying close to 400k for a compact vehicle.
Pricing for the new 2023 Mazda 2 model line-up:
Active manual: R307,100
Dynamic manual: R335,500
Dynamic automatic: R354,700
Individual automatic: R398,700
Pricing includes a standard three-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty and service plan.