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2011 Mazda MAZDA2

Overview
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2011 Mazda MAZDA2 Review

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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.

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
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 43 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

So fun!

By on Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fantastic handling, economical, reliable"

Cons: "Small gas tank, low hp"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"There are a lot of things I like about this little guy, the best thing about this car is absolutely its handling, the steering is so responsive, an absolute delight to drive on curvy roads. It is economical, easy to park and maintain. Sure it could use more hp and a bigger gas tank, but it is still great value for the money."

Great City Car

By on Tuesday, May 3, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price, compact, gas efficient"

Cons: "Not the most stylish or impressive"

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

"This is about the smallest 4 door car you can get. It's compact, gets great gas mileage, is easy to park, and is surprisingly spacious. It's not a flashy car, but it is reasonably and very reliable. I've had no mechanical issues whatsoever. Highly recommend if you want a no fuss car in the city."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great Car for the Price

By on Monday, March 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Mazda's Zoom Zoom Technology"

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

"I currently own this vehicle and it is a fun and joy to drive around. The maintenance is very inexpensive when compared to other vehicles and for a compact car it zips around. This is the second Mazda I have owned I highly recommend the brand."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Great value for the money

By on Sunday, March 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "purchase and maintenance costs"

Cons: "small gas tank, overdrive auto transmission"

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

"It's not a luxury car. It's not a sports car. It's a comfortable, fun to drive, reliable car. It's easy on the wallet--- to purchase, drive and maintain. The gas tank, at 11+ gallons capacity, is a bit small. A true, 5 speed auto transmission would be a big improvement."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Keeps running great, over 40 mpg on trips.

By on Monday, January 4, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun and economical to drive."

Cons: "Not as pretty as my Vette!"

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

"I always wanted a Corvette and a Mazda. Owned the 1996 Corvette, it was beautiful and ate my lunch besides increasing my stress level. The Mazda is maintenance-free except for state inspections and normal wear and tear and service items. That's it. One almost expects it to be totally free of failure forever. I love to drive it and the better than 40 mpg on trips is a real plus. Shifts through manual gears effortlessly. Quick as a rabbit when you have to get up to speed for any reason. Is great in the snow. A little noisy (wind), not air ride suspension, and a broken "cover" for the cigar lighter."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Not bad for the price.

By on Monday, July 6, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,900

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price, fun to drive, absolute joy"

Cons: "Could use a Center consul, more horsepower"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I bought this car 3 months ago. Had 26 miles on it. Now almost 7k. Did great on a long trip to Florida from New York. Had to buy seat cushions. After about an hour your butt will be numb. Great size for a single person. Had a car seat in the back the past few days and had to have the driver seat all the up. My Mazda 2 came with Bluetooth. It doesn't always read my iPhone as a phone. Most of the time it will start playing music when I push the answer key. Doesn't like hills. I have the 5 speed manual transmission Pros. Great on gas. Almost 40mpg. Small tank. 11.3 gal. Cost about $25 to fill. Drives great. Great value. Over all a great car. Really fun to drive. Cons. No leg room in back. Trunk is very small. Doesn't like hills. For singles or 2 adults or teenagers. Only 100 hp $20 oil changes are no longer. uses OW-30 full synthetic motor oil. Mazda charged me about $77 for oil change and tire rotation that's after $20 off first service. If you are the only one in this car is will be great."

31 people out of 44 found this review helpful

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