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Mazda 2 Sedan 2016 Review: Good 2 Boot

Derryn Wong
11/02/2016

A bigger booty isn’t bad, so proves the sedan version of the excellent Mazda 2

Singapore – Early last year saw the debut of the fourth-gen, all-new Mazda 2 compact hatchback here, and CarBuyer came away from the test drive impressed by the prowess of Mazda’s littlest one.

In CarBuyer #231, January 2015, we said, “No longer another faceless Japanese city car, the Mazda 2’s maturation into a stylish, functional and fun to drive machine makes it able to face up to competition from any Continent.”

Two things have evolved since then: The price of the car and the fact that it’s now sold here in sedan form.

Historically, the compact sedan market has had an image problem. Europeans simply didn’t make them, or if they did they became too expensive to sell here anyway, offering little over their hatchback brothers at the price level.

Japanese compact sedans are all the rage in Southeast Asia, being cheap to own and run, reliable and just about big enough. ‘Standalone’ ones, like the Toyota Vios, looked alright, but those descended from compact hatchbacks looked as if they had butt-enlargement surgery that went wrong. Examples include the old Honda Jazz, which became the awkward City sedan, and the Mazda 2, which people obviously bought based on its looks. Or didn’t, in the sedan’s case.

Yet, the new City grew out of its weirdness, and it’s the same happy case with the new Mazda 2 Sedan. It’s accepted that Mazda’s design team has pulled off the colossal task of re-defining the brand’s face to something that is unique, Japanese, desirable and almost universally acclaimed, at least within the car industry.

If you want to read more about that, check out CarBuyer.com.sg’s feature story, but in short, know that the new 2 sedan has managed to overcome the prejudices arising from the ‘Frankenstein compact sedan boot graft’.

Read More: Sub $95k Compact Japanese Sedans
Suzuki Ciaz – Thai Fighter
Honda City – The City to beat
Mitsubishi Attrage – Attrage of modesty 

Even more impressive is that the old and new sedans retain the same proportions and main lines on the body, like the downward sloping shoulder and belt lines. Where Mazda really sharpened its pens are the details, such as the new semi-octagonal grille. It’s as if they took the old grille and turned it on its head and where the old car had a low grille that made it seem it was about to plough the earth, the new one seems up-lifted, and sporty.

There are the same things that impressed us on the hatchback, like the attractive 16-inch wheels, the LED running lights, and all this combines to give the Mazda 2 sedan the feeling of a premium product. It’s just as well that this was totally absent before, since the price for the old car was significantly less, thanks to COE vagaries.

Naturally the hatch and sedan share everything except their booty – the wheelbase is the same, and the cars are almost the same width. The sedan is 260mm longer while also being 25mm shorter and 19kg heavier than the hatch, but stowage space expands from a limited 250-litres to a large 414-litres. There are still boot-mounted seat pulls, so you can stow even larger objects.

What’s interesting is that despite having the same wheelbase, Mazda claims the sedan has more legroom – likely because the rear seats are mounted further back, so there’s more room for the front row to maneuver now. It’s a trade off though – while there’s 1063mm and 881mm of quoted front and rear leg room (compare this to 809mm and 627mm on the hatch) there’s also slightly less headroom, or 937mm for the sedan and 1064mm for the hatch. So the answer to practicality needs is: Get the sedan if you need to cart people around but don’t mind tickling the roof with your hair if you’re tall.

There’s also the driving factor to consider:Putting an extra 25cm length and 19kg mass right where a non-Porsche engineer wouldn’t (i.e. behind the rear axle) the 2 sedan drives a little less nicely than its lighter, tighter hatchback sibling does.

Not to say that the four-door isn’t capable of a little fun, it’s still an impressive handling and riding car, it’s just that in comparison the hatch is slightly superior. Those watching their wallets will be pleased since the sedan is only marginally less efficient, and thanks to the 1.5-litre drivetrain with start-stop, the car’s conspicuously frugal.

Driven here is the Deluxe version of the sedan, which like the hatchback edition, adds a good lot of equipment for a $4,000 premium over the base Standard model. Highlights include full LED headlamps, Mazda’s excelled MZD connect infotainment system with navigation, reverse camera, auto wipers and headlights.

When the 2 hatch first launched last year, it was priced at $120,000 with COE. At that cost, it made a convincing alternative to a small Continental hatch – even a stylish one like a Mini. The Japanese made hatchback model is still like that, since it’s $4,000 more than the Thai-made sedan, although functionally there’s almost no perceptible difference between the two.

Good overall performance, frugality, an  impressive feature set, plus decent build quality and an almost full-leather interior, plus a ‘Thai’ price tag, means the 2 Sedan is  one of the standout examples of a small Japanese car.


Mazda 2 Sedan Deluxe

Engine 1,496cc, 16V, inline 4

Power 115bhp at 6000rpm

Torque 148Nm at 4000rpm

Gearbox 6-speed automatic

Top Speed 184km/h

0-100kmh 10.0 seconds

Fuel efficiency 5.2L/100km

CO2 121g/km

Price $89,999 with COE

Availability Now

Also Consider: Honda City, Suzuki Ciaz

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About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's chief editor brings 15 years of experience in automotive journalism. Previously, he was the editor for Top Gear Singapore, and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment. He's contributed to The Business Times, Today, and many other publications, and also covered technology as editor of Stuff magazine. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he is the Chief Slave of two cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong

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