With this year’s redesigns of the Mazda3 and Mazda6, Mazda deservedly grabbed the attention of the automotive industry with its two most popular models. Both cars are affordable, extremely efficient, stylish, and really fun to drive. But it’s apparent Mazda flat out forgot about the rest of its vehicle lineup, because….what the hell?
Take a look at the Mazda5, for instance. It’s kind of a minivan hatchback thing that isn’t big enough for families and is useless to the rest of the population. Every once in a while I see one of these things on the road and I am sure to keep my distance. You can’t trust people who spend $20,000 this way.
But the Mazda5 isn’t the worst of it. Not even close. There is one car, and I use that term lightly, in the Mazda lineup that leaves an unwashable stain of sad— the Mazda2.
The first thing you need to know is that this hatchback is fitted with a 100-horsepower four-cylinder engine. Yep, 100 horsepower. That’s less than a lot of motorcycles. Even for a small hatchback that’s kind of pathetic.
It gets worse. The Mazda2 is not just short on power, it’s also short on space. With all the seats in place, it offers about the same amount of trunk space as a small sedan. No big deal, right? Just fold down the se — damnit, the seats don’t fold flat. Even when they are sort of folded, cargo space expands to just 27 cubic feet, which pales in comparison to the 47 cubic feet of the Hyundai Accent or the 57 cubic feet of the Honda Fit.
Okay, so it’s not very powerful and it’s not all that spacious. Mazda must make up for these shortcomings somewhere else, right? Nah, this car just continues slowly driving down this endless path of disappointment and shame. It’s fuel-economy is a huge let down with 32 combined mpg, it’s no more affordable than its chief competitors with an MSRP of nearly $15,000, and it’s possibly the dullest looking vehicle on the road.
I don’t only have bad things to say about the 2014 Mazda2, though. It has cutting-edge standard features like air conditioning, a CD player, power windows, and get this — keyless entry. That’s right, there is a button on the key that allows you to unlock the doors without ever turning a key.
In Mazda’s defense, they are redesigning the hatchback for the 2015 model year and it’s expected to be built on a shortened version of the CX-5’s Skyactiv platform, which likely will lead to substantial improvements. Mazda has shown the ability to build a great car and hopefully that is what we’ll see with the 2015 Mazda2.