By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.9
Once regarded as the best way to achieve good fuel economy, subcompact cars like the 2014 Mazda2 5-door no longer reign supreme as the most miserly modes of transportation. However, they still offer the most affordable way to get into a new car. The Mazda2's strong points are obvious just by looking at it. Aggressive styling, bold colors and a long list of standard features give it a leg up on more expensive alternatives, as does its reputation on twisting back roads. Offered in a single, 5-door hatchback configuration, the Mazda2 isn't as versatile as the Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio or Nissan Versa. The Mazda2 is also noticeably lacking in the areas of horsepower, audio and infotainment upgrades and – with only four gears – a modern automatic transmission.
If you're looking for a reliable, fuel-efficient small car that is also as much fun to drive as it is to look at, we think you'll find much to love in the 2014 Mazda2 hatchback.
Those who prize audio and infotainment systems won't be happy with the Mazda2's limited options. The 100 horsepower and 4-speed automatic won't do much to help, either.
There are no major updates for the 2014 Mazda2 5-door.
Driving Impressions No matter how you slice it, the 2014 Mazda2's 100 horsepower just isn't going to impress anyone concerned with speed and passing power. However, those who show patience will be...... well rewarded by the Mazda2's go-kart-like handling and excellent 5-speed manual transmission. Weighing a mere 2,300 pounds has its advantages, and Mazda's suspension engineers have exploited every last one of them. Toss the Mazda2 into a curve, and the feeling is almost Miata-like, with immediate turn-in and a responsive suspension devoid of dramatic lean or dive. You can have fun with this car all day, that is until you come upon a slow-moving truck and need power to pass it quickly. Still, from its comfortable cabin to the compliant ride, the Mazda2 earns its "zoom-zoom" stripes with ease.
Some bargain-basement cars can punish with rock-hard seats that are neither supportive nor comfortable, but not the 2014 Mazda2. We found the Mazda2 seats not only comfortable on long trips, but offering enough side bolstering to hold the driver in place during spirited driving.
5-SPEED MANUAL TRANSMISSION
Mazda makes some of the best manual transmissions in the industry, and the Mazda2's 5-speed gearbox is no exception. It works well in this car, maximizing power and adding a bit of fun to the driving experience.
For such a small car, the 2014 Mazda2 hatchback's interior is refreshingly large and airy. The dash design, with its orange backlighting and a circular center-control motif, recalls Mazda's design past, but we like the look and it definitely works here. The Mazda2's front bucket seats are great, but the back seat is a little cramped and the head restraints awkwardly positioned. The hatchback's cargo area isn't as generous as that of the Nissan Versa or Honda Fit. Folding down the 60/40-split rear seat increases cargo volume from 13.3 cubic feet to just over 27.Exterior
While the 2014 Mazda2 hatchback's teardrop silhouette is nothing radical, the lines and curves that flow across the car's body have a trademark Mazda feel. Big fender flares and swept-up side sculpturing add visual interest below the raked beltline, while expansive front-door side windows look airy and provide excellent outward visibility. Following Mazda's latest styling theme, the Mazda2 features a wide, grinning front grille similar to, but less obnoxious than, the Mazda3's front end. The entry-level Sport trim comes with 15-inch steel wheels with full covers while the Touring trim rolls on 15-inch alloy wheels.
The 2014 Mazda2 hatchback's entry-level Sport trim comes with the essentials including air conditioning, power accessories (windows, door locks and side mirrors), tilt steering column, keyless remote entry and a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system. Safety features include stability/traction control, anti-lock disc/drum brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Force Distribution and six airbags.
Opting for the Mazda2's up-level Touring trim adds some functional interior features, including cruise control, trip computer, upgraded cloth seats trimmed with red piping, leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise controls and two additional speakers. On the outside, the higher trim level includes a rear roof spoiler, fog lights, chrome exhaust tip and alloy wheels. Options are limited to dealer-installed accessories such as an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a compass and HomeLink, aftermarket Bluetooth phone connectivity, a center armrest with storage bin and a cargo net.
The only engine offered in the 2014 Mazda2 is a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder that produces 100 horsepower and 98 lb-ft of torque. It can be matched with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. None of that looks particularly impressive on paper, but the Mazda2's light curb weight (only a little over 2300 pounds) helps the powertrain do better than you might expect and contributes to the car's overall sprightliness and nimble response. While the manual transmission would be the top choice for driving fun, the automatic works fine around town and on the freeway.
100 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
98 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/35 mpg (manual), 28/34 mpg (automatic)
A base 2014 Mazda2 Sport has a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $15,515. Opting for the automatic transmission adds $840. The higher Touring trim level starts at $17,005 and runs $17,845 with the automatic. As you might guess in a hotly competitive segment, the Mazda2 hatchback costs about the same as the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit and Nissan Versa and is slightly more expensive than the more utilitarian Toyota Yaris. However, dollar-for-dollar, the Kia Rio 5-Door and Hyundai Accent offer more features and technology for the money. Be sure and check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. As for resale value, we expect the 2014 Mazda2 to hold its value on par with the Kia Rio 5-Door and Toyota Yaris, do a little better than the Ford Fiesta, but fall well below the Honda Fit.
By Jen on Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "great mpg, very very fun to drive,"
Cons: "wish it had more sync technologies like bluetooth"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I absolutely ENJOY driving this Mazda. It is the first Mazda I have owned, and it will not be the last. It is a wonderful value, great engine, and a FUN drive! Plus, excellent gas mileage. You will not be disappointed with a Mazda2."
14 people out of 26 found this review helpful
By Mazda2too on Saturday, August 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "gas mileage, fun to drive, very reliable"
Cons: "no clock"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I got this when another car kept having engine problems and I had to get something quickly for not too much money. Being able to park in almost every tight spot is amazing, but also the car is zippy, cute, gets great gas mileage and not everyone has it. I feel lucky to have this car for the price."
12 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By ashok672 on Friday, August 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "greate price, extremely fun to drive"
Cons: "interior tech features lacking"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I own a CX-5 and I got Mazda2 as a second car for my wife but I started driving this little more than my wife. The handling is amazing and the engine power is good enough for daily commute to office. It wont do good in hilly areas but it is not a concern to me. Amazing value for the price of car. The interior needs lots of improvement. Hopefully the 2016 mazda2 announced recently addresses those issues."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful