What is less than 13 feet in length, appears to be smiling and able to do a 3-point turn in a single lane? Why, the latest green crazed Mazda 2 of course. Small cars often give off the impression of being cramped, unattractive and incapable of providing ample protection for braving major highways, but this pint size dose of delight makes a better impression then a certain overpriced two door burp of a car. Mazda introduced the 2 after a long hiatus from the subcompact class since the 323 way back in 1994. Designed with the same front fascia the current lineup displays, as well as the sporty feel we have come to expect from Mazda makes, this, oh I hate to say it, is cute.  Our Spirited green metallic 2 was nick-named Jelly Bean for her bubbly and adorable appearance.

There are no hamsters under the hood but don’t expect lightening quick quarter miles or impressive 0-60 times. The fuel-efficient, 100-hp 1.5L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine earns 27/33 mpg with an automatic transmission that will allow you to successfully merge into traffic without ever sounding like a john boat, yet resembles a sewing machine while idling and in normal driving speeds. 36-month/36,000 mile “bumper-to-bumper” warranty, 60 month/60,000 mile, 24-hour roadside assistance, ABS, DSC, TCS, advanced dual front & side impact airbags and curtains, “Triple-H” body construction round out the standard safety features. IIHS gave the Mazda 2 “Good” ratings in frontal offset accidents and roof strength, and “Acceptable” ratings for side impact and rear crashes.
The Mazda 2 is available in a Sport or Touring trim, MSRP starts at $14,180. Our 2 Touring version stickered in at $17,480. A uniform color of black with red accents on the upgraded Touring cloth seats did not appear cheap but of good quality making the cabin seem more spacious then the exterior leads you to believe. Your head won’t hit the ceiling and if you just so happen to be stuck in the backseat, you won’t feel as if you are stuffed in a clown car. The amount of space is generous for such a compact vehicle. The optional, generic arm rest ($170) should be included with the Touring package. Where else would your elbow go since there is no center console at arm level reach? Instead, there are three cup holder/stuff collecting compartments to place whatever your heart desires. The rear seat splits and folds flat, providing an ample 28.3 cubic feet of cargo space for large items. And thanks to the hatchback opening and width, there is still plenty of space to stash groceries or whatever else you carry with you. Round is the shape of choice from the instrument cluster, radio/a/c pod, leather-wrapped steering wheel with controls for audio/cruise much like the uniform color of the upholstery to make the interior cohesive while avoiding a cheap appearance.

Overall, the Mazda 2 provided the essentials in style, functionality and the very important “new car factor.” At a budget friendly price, this car is ideal for first time drivers or those wanting to join in on the small car class and take advantage of the concentrated “Zoom Zoom” Mazda is finally offering once again.

About The Author

Sarah Mullins is Blast's Automotive Editor

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