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2022 Mazda2 SP Pure review


This little hatchback has been a hit with Aussies for years, and the latest version adds sporty looks to the impressive package.

Little cars are big on features these days, but you’ll pay for the privilege. We find out if the Mazda2 SP Pure is worth adding to your shopping list.

VALUE

Mazda’s four-tier compact hatchback range kicks off at about $24,900 drive-away for the base Mazda2 Pure and rises to about $30,000 for the range-topping GT version. We tested the $27,500 Pure SP, the second rung on the ladder.

That’s expensive, but the days of sub-$20,000 hatchbacks pitched at first car buyers are gone – only emerging brands such as China’s MG are playing in that space.

The SP adds a splash of sporty styling to the 2. It has 16-inch black alloy wheels, black exterior highlights, a chrome exhaust and black cloth seats with contrast red stitching.

A seven-inch central screen is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and has Bluetooth connectivity and digital radio.

Mazda covers its cars with a five-year/unlimited km warranty and servicing is capped at $1702 over five years.

COMFORT

The Mazda2 is small inside, even compared to rivals, but there’s enough manual adjustment in the driver’s seat for most people to find a comfortable spot, while the leather wrapped steering wheel can be adjusted for reach.

The rear seat is tight and best used for shorter trips. There are no aircon vents or charging points in the back. A pair of USB charging ports and a 12V socket service the front row. The hatch’s boot is very small at 250 litres, but sedan buyers will be pleasantly surprised by the big 440-litre boot, which will swallow a set of golf clubs.

Well sorted suspension helps to iron out bumps and road imperfections, but you’ll feel the bigger potholes as it struggles to bring the car under control.

Tire roar and engine noise can be intrusive, but no more than other small hatchbacks.

SAFETY

Safety is Mazda’s strong point. There’s a long list of standard equipment eclipsing much more expensive machines.

The 2 will brake automatically if it detects a potential collision with a car or pedestrian and tug the steering wheel to keep you in your lane if you wander. Sensors will also pick up vehicles in your blind spot and sound the alarm if a car is approaching from the side as you reverse.

Other safety gear includes six airbags and a reversing camera with parking sensors.

DRIVING

The 2 isn’t meant to be a performance car, so frugality is the name of the game.

Power comes from a 1.5-liter four-cylinder petrol engine making 82kW and 144Nm. It feels zippy in traffic, but can sound coarse when revved hard.

The 2 is one of the more dynamic small hatchbacks. It has sweet steering and decent body control, making it a fun companion for a twisting back road.

On the motorway it feels stable and planted, but you’ll need to wind it up for overtaking.

Fuel use of 5.3L/100km is par for the course, but it benefits from only needing cheaper unleaded petrol.

VERDICT 3.5/5

Safe, stylish and cheap to run but its price pushes it out of the realm of most first-car buyers.

ALTERNATIVES

Toyota Yaris Ascent Sport, about $27,200 drive-away

Expensive, but packed with safety equipment. Available as a hybrid.

Kia Rio GT-Line, $27,990 drive-away

Range-topper with sporty flair and class-leading seven-year warranty. Not as good to drive.

MG3 Excite, $19,990

Cheap and cheerful, but crash protection, safety and roadholding are sub-par.

MAZDA2 PURE SP VITALS

PRICE About $27,500 drive-away

ENGINE 1.5-liter four-cylinder petrol, 82kW and 144Nm

WARRANTY/SERVICING Five year/unlimited km, $1702 over five years

SAFETY 6 airbags, auto emergency braking, blind-spot warning, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, reversing camera, parking sensors

THIRST 5.3L/100km

SPARE Space saver

LUGGAGE 250L

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