They say good things come in small packages and it is an apt description of a relatively small car which is sure to satisfy the most discerning motorist – the latest generation of the Mazda 2 in the guise of the 1.5 Individual Plus Auto.
Sounding so enthusiastic in the first few sentences of a road impression is unusual but I make no excuses, it is a car worth looking at.
Check the following standard equipment list and you will understand why this one has an edge.
LED front fog lights, shark fin antenna, auto-fold door mirrors, leather seats and trim, remote central locking, keyless entry, stop/start button, digital rev counter, leather covered steering wheel with satellite controls and transmission shift paddles, electric windows all round, audio system with CD/AUX/USB 6 speakers, Bluetooth enabled, 7 inch full colour touch screen, cruise control, navigation, auto lights, auto wipers, automatic air conditioning, on board computer multi-information display, split and folding rear seat and a heads up display showing your speed, the area speed limit and navigation directions.
It’s not just the bells and whistles, safety is equally impressive.
ABS, EBD, BAS/EBA, SIX airbags (driver, front passenger, side and curtain), ISOFIX child seat mountings (outer rear), side impact bars, reverse camera and parking sensors.
But how does it drive? Surprisingly well, the 1 496cc 16 valve DOHC petrol engine produces 82 kW at 6 000r/min with a torque of 145 Nm at 4 000r/min and drive to the front wheels is via a 6 speed automatic transmission where it connects to the road via a set of alloy wheels shod with 185/60 R16 rubber.
That auto transmission also features steering mounted paddle shifts, but, quite honestly, the box selects cogs well without your assistance.
Ride quality is very good as is the handling even when carrying four adults, the suspension coping well with the extra load.
It’s rated as a five seater but four provides optimum comfort for passengers, luggage space is 280 litres, which is about the average for a car of this size.
As usual the folding rear seats give you increased load capacity but at the expense of rear passenger seating.
Fuel economy is claimed at 5.7l/100km and I averaged around the 6.5 litre mark for a combined cycle of rural and urban conditions.
Overall the Mazda 2 Individual + Auto has to rate as one of the best cars in the segment, build quality and specification levels are above the norm and contribute to making this car stand out from the crowd.
Priced at R292 000, it includes a three year/unlimited km warranty, three year service plan, three year roadside assist and a five year corrosion warranty.
The Mazda 2 will satisfy even the most discerning motorist looking to downsize – but not on quality and specification.
It’s a real winner!