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#27

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $14,720 - $17,050
Invoice: $14,535 - $16,834
MPG: 29 City / 35 Hwy
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Mazda Mazda2 Review

The 2014 Mazda Mazda2 ranks 27 out of 40 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Mazda Mazda2, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Mazda Mazda2 is ranked:

Automotive reviewers say the 2014 Mazda Mazda2 is a sprightly car that’s fun to drive, but it’s surpassed by rivals that offer more tech features, roomier interiors and more powerful engines.

Test drivers say the Mazda2’s four-cylinder engine has enough power for a daily driver, though they point out that the Mazda2 takes time to get up to highway speeds. Reviewers report that the standard five-speed manual transmission makes good use of the engine’s power, though a few critics say the clutch feels numb. A four-speed automatic transmission is optional, though some auto writers say that it is less polished than the more modern six-speed transmissions found in rival cars. Equipped with the automatic, the Mazda2 gets an EPA-estimated 28/34 mpg city/highway, which is OK for the class, but not as good as the fuel economy of competitors like the Chevrolet Spark. Test drivers say the Mazda2 handles nimbly and is one of the more enjoyable hatchbacks to drive thanks to its razor-sharp steering and responsive brakes.

As with most affordable subcompacts, the 2014 Mazda2’s cabin is basic and uses hard plastics, but auto writers say that quality upholstery and a simple, uncluttered design give it a touch of class. The front seats are quite supportive, they say, but the rear seats are small even by subcompact car standards. The Mazda2 comes with a four-speaker CD audio system, an auxiliary input, a USB port and keyless entry. Optional features include Bluetooth, cruise control and a six-speaker audio system. The Mazda2 lacks features like available navigation and infotainment systems, which are available in many rival cars. Reviewers say that the audio and climate controls are generally easy to use. There’s a typical amount of cargo space for the class, but critics say the Mazda2’s oddly-shaped cargo bay limits its capacity to carry bulky items.

  • “With a playful character and nimble handling, the Mazda2 subcompact hatchback is a top choice for those who prioritize driving enjoyment over all else. Though not without faults - chief among them middling fuel economy and limited space - the Mazda2 is a strong enough package to merit consideration from more mainstream buyers, too." -- Left Lane News
  • "The Mazda 2 does many things well. It's relatively refined, a joy to drive, and boasts interior decor that would be at home in a pricier car. However, it's somewhat lacking in horsepower, and the amount of interior space and its subsequent configurability doesn't really outshine a few of its key competitors." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "The Mazda 2 charms with its eager driving feel and no-frills personality, but overall we think there are better choices for a subcompact. The 2013 Fiesta is the most direct competitor, offering a similar fun-to-drive experience with a nicer interior and more available features." -- Edmunds (2013)
  • "The pint-sized 2013 Mazda2 packs a big wallop of fun. It's quick, agile and stylish, but space is more cramped than the competition and its materials interior could use an upgrade." -- Cars.com (2013)

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Other Cars to Consider

The Kia Rio gets excellent fuel economy and it’s available with features you can’t get on the Mazda2, like a rearview camera and an infotainment system. Test drivers like the Rio’s six-speed automatic transmission, saying it shifts smoothly and is quick to downshift when more power is needed.

The Ford Fiesta receives praise from reviewers for its upscale cabin and comfortable seats that offer ample head- and legroom. It also has athletic handling, they say, which makes it one of the most fun-to-drive subcompact cars.

Compare the Mazda2, Rio and Fiesta »

Details: 2014 Mazda2

The 2014 Mazda2 seats five and is available in Sport and Touring trims. A 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission are standard and a four-speed automatic transmission is optional. The Mazda2 hasn’t changed much since its introduction in the 2011 model year, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2011 to 2014 model years.  

See the full 2014 Mazda2 specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/14/14

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