New Mazda2 unveiled ahead of arrival next March

Will high tech and low emissions help the new 2 waltz around its opposition?

Mazda hopes the 2’s sharp lines and new petrol engines will chime with Irish buyers.

Mazda has officially unveiled its new Mazda2 supermini which will go on sale here next March. The new model, which for the first time in the nameplate's history does not share its mechanical package with the Ford Fiesta, will come with a range of new 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines.

The new 2 sits on a platform that uses Mazda's recently-introduced philosophy of SkyActiv – which is marketing mumbo-jumbo for lower weight, increased stiffness and improved fuel consumption. Lightweight high-tensile steel now makes up 65 per cent of the whole body, which allows Mazda to claim that torsional rigidity (which is key for refinement, safety and handling) has gone up by 22 per cent compared to the outgoing model, while the weight of the body shell has fallen by seven per cent.

The engine range is entirely new to the 2, and all share a common capacity of 1.5-litres. The diesel, which will presumably sell in small numbers in Ireland, has impressive outputs of 105hp and 220Nm of torque, which should ensure that the diesel 2 feels rather more fleet of foot than most diesel superminis.Of rathe more import are its consumption and emissions figures, which at a claimed 83mpg and 89g/km are both rather impressive.

It’s the petrol engines that will be more appealing to Irish consumers though, as the extra cost of a diesel engine is generally anathema to small car buyers here. There is a three-engine lineup for petrol-lovers but we will only get two of them – the top-rated 115hp version is for European and UK buyers only.


The other two versions come in 75hp and 90hp flavours with emissions of 110g/km and 112g/km respectively, and Mazda claims 57-58mpg for the pair. That sounds questionable, considering that, without the currently trendy light pressure turbo attached to either unit, both engines will need to be revved hard to keep up with the flow of traffic. That will probably be fin, considering Mazda’s reputation for making zippy, rev-happy engines, but the effect on your fuel bill could be deleterious.

The new 2 is 140mm longer than the outgoing model, and 80mm of that has been inserted into the wheelbase – a move which Mazda says makes the driving position one of the most comfortable and adjustable in its class. Safety has also benefited – apparently the longer wheelbase and body allows the safety engineers to more finely tunes to load-paths of any frontal impact.

High-end safety options will also be available as a back-up to such impact-resistance. The 2 can be had with blind-spot monitoring, automatic city braking (which throws out an anchor at speeds of up to 30kmh if it detects an imminent collision). lane departure warning and automatic high-beam headlamps.

Other high end options include Mazda's MZR-Connect system, which connects your Android or IOS phone to the central infotainment systems and uses the phone's connectivity to access internet radio and allow the sat-nav to find local information around and about you – the cheapest fuel prices, for instance, as well as reading out your Tweets and Facebook messages.

The cabin lifts much from the larger 3 and 6 models, using the same big-rev-counter-digital-speedo instrument pack as the 3 and an identical 7” touchscreen for the infotainment.

Mazda Ireland says that prices “will be close enough to where we are now” which would suggest a starting price of around €15,500 for a 1.5 75hp petrol.

Neil Briscoe

Neil Briscoe

Neil Briscoe, a contributor to The Irish Times, specialises in motoring