2009 LA Auto Show: 2011 Mazda Mazda2
A major Mazda success story in Europe and Asia, the Zoom-Zoom crew revealed the official U.S. version of its B-segment Mazda2 at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show -- although it did hold back on a good deal of detail specifics on exactly how this engaging subcompact will be equipped, packaged and priced when it finally goes on sale here in late summer of 2010.
Available in several body styles worldwide, America will only see the five-door hatchback version for starters, however, a sedan still seems likely to join the mix at some point. While retaining the same basic exterior design as its international siblings, our version does boast a restyled front fascia treatment that more directly reflects Mazda's new corporate "smiley face" first seen on the Mazda3. In the confirmed column, U.S. cars will be fitted with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that's likely to make about 105 horsepower and offer buyers the choice of a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. While Mazda remains rather tight-lipped about possible trim lines and feature sets, a look inside the Mazda2's reasonably spacious and well-finished passenger cabin shows it embodies a user-friendly mix of style and functionality. And true to Mazda's Zoom Zoom credo, all versions of the Mazda2's will definitely come standard with the kind of nimble and responsive suspension tuning that ensures a fun-to-drive character will remain as just as important to its overall personality as being practical, comfortable, safe and affordable.