Sporty handling is a given with Mazda’s models, and the 2 is one of the sharpest superminis around
Our pick: 1.5 90 PS SE-L
The fourth-generation Mazda 2 has a tough job on its hands; not only does it have to compete against the UK’s best-selling car, the Ford Fiesta, it goes up against the Vauxhall Corsa, VW Polo, Peugeot 208 and even the Audi A1 and MINI 5dr.
Taking cues from the CX-5, Mazda 6 and Mazda 3, it features a chiseled exterior and a plush interior with more space and a bigger boot than before – thanks to an 80mm increase in wheelbase. It’s great fun to drive, too, thanks to its low kerbweight, agile chassis and a range of SKYACTIV engines and transmissions.
A punchy yet efficient 1.5 SKYACTIV-G petrol is available in three power outputs and with new six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes, while the 1.5 SKYACTIV-D is only available with 104bhp and a manual gearbox, but returns incredible fuel economy and CO2 emissions of 83.1mpg and 89g/km – putting it among the cleanest cars in its class.
The Mazda 2 is packed with technology, too, including a head-up display, a seven-inch central touchscreen with excellent smartphone connectivity and safety kit including an auto brake function and lane departure warning.