The 2014 Mazda 2 is a carryover model, unchanged for the new model year...more
When gas prices in the U.S. began to seem as if they had been imported from Europe, a new, minimalist breed of cars appeared on the American road. These cars are not about cheapness but are instead meant to be utterly practical runabouts, something like a cross between a car and a scooter.
It's no surprise that most of these vehicles are from Japan, yet they all embody a clever spirit of design that gives them appeal in crowded metropolitan areas in the U.S. Among them are the Honda Fit, the Scion iQ, and even the Mitsubishi iMIEV electric. There's also the Chevrolet Spark, which actually comes from Europe, and the Euro-designed Fiat 500, which shows that these little cars can become fashion icons.
Like the Mitsubishi i, the 2014 Mazda 2 has been honored in Japan for the caliber of its design. It combines the compact size and space-efficient interior that you expect, yet it also has been executed with the clever utility and spirited performance that can make small cars fun to use and fun to drive.
The 2014 Mazda 2 looks pocket-size, measuring 155.5 inches long, 66.7 inches wide, and 58.1 inches high. Yet, like some sort of high-fashion clown car, it has the ability to hold humans of reasonable size thanks to 42.6 inches of front legroom and 39.1 inches of front headroom. The rear seats are meant for Friday night transportation only, while the hatchback configuration and flip-down rear seats afford useful practicality for errands on Saturday morning.
Just as you'd expect from a Mazda, this lightweight front-wheel-drive car has an exuberant personality, and it makes more from its 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine than you'd expect. It delivers 100 hp at 6000 rpm and 98 lb-ft of torque at 5000 rpm. The engine also makes 29 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway when you choose the five-speed manual transmission or 28 /34 mpg when you choose the four-speed automatic. The clutch action of the Mazda 2's manual is a little tricky, so we'd recommend the automatic for hassle-free urban mobility. The 2014 Mazda 2 is lively and agile, you can pretend that you're driving a first-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata, only with a back seat.
- Chevrolet Spark
- Fiat 500
- Ford Fiesta
- Honda Fit