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2011 Mazda MAZDA2

Overview
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2011 Mazda MAZDA2 Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 6.6

The 2011 Mazda2 makes its way into the small-car category with a big smile and a small engine. Although it shares the same underpinnings as the Ford Fiesta, the Mazda2 carries its own unique powertrain options, suspension setup and sense of interior and exterior style. While its main rivals are the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta, other competitors include the Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris and Chevrolet Aveo (as well as its forthcoming Sonic successor.) In this crowd we admire the Mazda2 for its sporty spunk in a field of grocery-getters.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a small car with sporty driving dynamics, simple packaging and a budget-friendly sticker price, the Mazda2 is worthy of consideration.

You May Not Like This Car If...

In a class where options like Bluetooth connectivity and navigation are important to potential buyers, the Mazda2 fails to offer either, which makes rivals like the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta more appealing.

What's New for 2011

The Mazda Mazda2 jumpstarts the low-priced end of the line-up by offering an affordable, fun and neatly-packaged means of transportation that doesn't stray from the brand's "zoom zoom" mantra. The Mazda2 comes in two trim levels, a well-equipped Sport trim and an even better-equipped Touring variant.

Driving the MAZDA2

Driving Impressions The Mazda2 isn't the fastest car in its class but it is an impressive performer. Mazda focused on saving weight when building the car, and the effort becomes apparent when...

driving it spiritedly. We put the Mazda2 through its paces in a variety of driving scenarios, and it frankly surprised us. Whether it was driving through curvy mountain roads, getting onto the freeway or passing other cars, the Mazda2's sure-footed suspension, grippy tires and eager little engine were up to the task. The steering is responsive, and the brakes are good, too. All of this lightness doesn't mean a compromise in comfort, though, as the cabin was surprisingly quiet even at highway speeds. But we were quick to realize that the Mazda2's main strength is driving fun.
Favorite Features

Comfortable seating
After hours of driving and no soreness to complain about, we were surprised at how comfortable the Mazda2's seats were. Most cars in this category have stiff seats with virtually no bolstering.

Five-speed Manual Transmission
Partnered up with the peppy engine, the slick-shifting five-speed manual makes the most out of the car's athleticism.

2011 Mazda MAZDA2 Details
2011 Mazda MAZDA2 photo Interior

The Mazda Mazda2's interior is roomy, well-appointed and, for a small car, reasonably well-isolated. Although hard plastic can be found nearly everywhere in the cabin except for the seats and armrests, the overall sense of functional style makes up for it. The Mazda2's interior is all business with clearly-legible analog gauges and well-placed, user-friendly controls. Along with the comfortable front buckets, the 60/40-split rear bench seat offers room for two adults or three children. Cargo space is minimal compared to that of the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta, but the cargo area is numerically larger than that of the Toyota Yaris, with 13.3 cu-ft of space with the rear seat up and 27.8 when it's folded.

Exterior
2011 Mazda MAZDA2 photo

While its teardrop shape is nothing new to the "b-segment" category, the Mazda2 does bring its own blend of subtle, yet sporty styling. The Mazda2's bodywork incorporates some "zoom zoom," exemplified by bold fender flares and swoopy side sculpting. A distinguishing feature is Mazda's familiar "smiling" grille. The less-expensive Sport trim version of the Mazda2 offers standard 15-inch steel wheels with full covers. The up-level Touring trim is equipped with similar-sized alloy wheels. "Aggressively cute" might sum up the Mazda2's design overall.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 Mazda Mazda2's base Sport trim level comes with the essentials including air conditioning, power accessories, tilt steering column, keyless remote entry and a four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system. Safety features include stability/traction control, antilock disc/drum brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Force Distribution and six airbags.

Optional Equipment

Opting for the up-level Touring trim adds some functional interior features, including cruise control, trip computer, upgraded cloth seats with red piping trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls and two additional speakers. And on the outside, the higher trim includes a rear roof spoiler, fog lights, chrome exhaust tip and alloy wheels. Options are minimal and are limited to dealer-installed accessories such as an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a compass and Homelink, floormats, a cargo net and Crystal White paint.

Under the Hood

The only engine offered in the 2011 Mazda Mazda2 is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 100 horsepower and 98 pound-feet of torque. It can be matched with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. These aren't especially impressive items, but the Mazda2's light curb weight makes up for them and contributes to the car's overall sprightliness and nimble response. While the manual transmission would be the top choice for driving fun, we did get a chance to try the automatic and found that it was more than capable around town and on the freeway.

1.5-liter in-line four cylinder
100 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
98 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/35 (manual), 27/33 (automatic)

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2011 Mazda MAZDA2 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.0
Out of 10

Based on 27 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.0/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Best for city life

By on Saturday, January 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Quick steering, small yet has 4 doors"

Cons: "Low power, not good for tall people"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love this car. It fits into most parking spaces, even in NYC, and has never given me trouble. The only issue I've had is going out of town - it's weak on the uphill. It's roomy enough for a kid and a dog, but we are also small people. If you have long legs, it will be painful. Overall, I would recommend Mazda2 to anyone who drives in the city or commutes to and from work."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Not worth the price

By on Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Looks good"

Cons: "Not reliable, poor quality"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Bought this car in April 2013 and wish I hadn't. Just had my second experience with snow in this car and it is by far the worst car in snow. EVER. Does not have enough power for hilly areas. I live in Delaware which is flat so it is OK but not good for traveling for this reason. Interior and overall design I have no complaints - You get what you pay for and I am satisied with that portion. It does not feel like a quality car AT ALL. I will be lucky if I get 100,000mi out of it before it crashes. Would not recommend."

Brake Issues

By on Monday, January 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Peppy"

Cons: "Brakes are horrible!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"My Mazda 2 was originally purchased as a "bargain" choice from a company with a solid reputation for making quality vehicles. However, the Mazda 2 did not have a track record that I could investigate. The car is very sporty and peppy. However, the brakes are a serious issue in this car. Since purchase, I have had this car in to the shop 5 times in the first 30,000 miles for the same issue. The brakes begin to vibrate drastically after about 5000 miles from each repair when stopping at highway speeds. The rotors continue to warp, seems to be inferior quality. They have machined the rotors as well as replaced them completely. The same situation keeps occurring. Now, the vehicle is past it's 36,000 mile warranty, and it appears I will have to continue paying out of my own pocket for additional repairs. Worst set of brakes on a vehicle I have ever had! Beyond that, a great little car ... but brakes are obviously a critical component!"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

The maintenance cost outweighs any $$ saved on MPG

By on Wednesday, December 04, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "decent gas mileage, fast pickup for 4 cylinders"

Cons: "HIGH maintenance frustrating"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I have had this car for 2.5 years. In that time I've had 6 flat tires with normal use. Of those 6 flats, 3 of them required buying new tires at $140 per tire. Because they are an odd size tire, there is only one place in Kansas City that carries them. Even the dealer doesn't keep them in stock. I was told they are high performance (read very thin rubber), and because of the odd/narrow size, most flats aren't going to be fixable. Top that off with needing full-synthetic oil making oil changes cost $50-$80 at the BEST... well, the maintenance costs on this vehicle outweighs any good in my opinion!"

What a sarcastic piece of junk!

By on Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I don't own this car

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "It wasa $12 rental."

Cons: "Noisy, vibrates, no OAT gauge."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I grabbed a Mazda 2 from a rental place in Ft. Myers last week. The engine started and ran well, albeit noisy, and the transmission seemed to take forever to shift up under normal acceleration. I found the seats uncomfortable, and after a short period of time, my lower back began to ache. After getting out on I-75, I wound her up to 70, the published speed limit. The front end immediately began to vibrate, so I had to complete my trip at 65 mpg. Being a black on black car, the A/C system seemed taxed, and I could not locate the outside air temperature gauge. Bummer. For fit, finish, and quality, stick with Toyota."

1 person out of 6 found this review helpful

Automatic transmission VERY laggy

By on Saturday, August 24, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fit & finish, ride & handling, braking, electrical"

Cons: "Laggy AND gutless in auto tranny version"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"There's a terrible lag between pressing on the accelerator pedal and when it actually moves. It's dangerous turning left across traffic. You try to ease on the gas and it just wont cooperate. I used to race motocross and this hits like an old 2-stroke dirtbike. At first it does almost nothing when you step on the gas. Then it moves a little. So you keep depressing the gas pedal and nothing happens until... it HITS and over-revs. But it's so underpowered it just makes a lot of over-rev noise before it finally lunges ahead. MPG is 28 mixed. All else with the rig is great."

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