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Mazda2 (2002-2005)

by John Ewing,reviewed December 2009

The Mazda 2 was an all-new design and proved light cars could be more than just utilitarian transport, by offering a level of sophistication frequently missing from this budget-driven class.
It was the successor to the popular 121 ‘jellybean’ Mazda and the Metro.

What you get 

The Mazda 2 was larger and better equipped than the model it replaced from December 2002. Mazda kept life simple by offering one engine mated to either a five-speed manual or four-speed auto in a five-door hatch body. And there were only three specifications, the entry model, the Neo, the mid-field Maxx, and the even more-strangely named Genki mounting the top step of the podium.

Air conditioning, CD, dual-stage dual front airbags, tilt steering column, central locking and immobiliser are standard on the Neo. Additional items on the other models includes 15” alloys and on Genki, a body kit plus the added safety of ABS and EBD. From January 2004 Genki’s safety features were improved with standard head and side front airbags and brake assist. These items plus ABS and EBD became a safety-pack option on the other versions. Mazda 2 scored a four-star ANCAP crash rating.

How it drives 

The 1.5-litre DOHC engine with variable valve timing offers more power than some of its foes and is lively enough despite a lack of low-down pulling-power. A good balance between comfy ride and good handling has been struck, ensuring it’s one of the class’s leading lights for road manners. It’s worth seeking out cars fitted with ABS brakes for their improved brake performance and safety.

The easy-to-drive Mazda 2 offers practicality courtesy of good interior space for the car’s physical size and the versatile sliding and tumbling split-fold rear seat. It’s possible to have reasonable legroom for rear passengers or a useful load area. Interior layout is stylish and mostly user-friendly, while the Mazda 2’s build quality is equalled or bettered by few of its peers.

Mazda’s tiddler mostly comes up smelling of roses for reliability. However look for advanced wear on brake discs, oil leaks around the gearbox or lower engine areas and records showing careful scheduled servicing. Check also for uneven tyre wear, mostly due to wheel alignment problems.

Under the pump

Mazda 2 will use between 6.6 litres and 9.5 litres of fuel every 100km, depending on model and driving conditions.

What will it cost?

For an indication of what you would pay for this vehicle please go to RACQ's online car price guide or contact our Motoring Advice Service on 07 3666 9148 or 1800 623 456 outside the Brisbane area.


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Hyundai Getz

Hatch 3dr and 5dr, 2002 to 2005, 1.3 and 1.5-litre 4-cyl

VW Polo

Hatch 3dr and 5dr, 2002 to 2005, 1.4-litre 4-cyl
Mazda 2 2002-2005

Car Details

Vehicle make Mazda
Vehicle model 2
Year 2002
Current price range $ - $

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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.