2011 Mazda 2 Preview

FAST FACTS
  • Five-door hatchback body style
  • 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine
  • 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission
  • Designed to be fun to drive
  • On sale summer of 2010

Introduction

2011 Mazda 2With the redesigned stickering well north of the $15,000 mark, and with cash-strapped Americans becoming more interested in fuel economy and the environmental impact of daily commuting, the time is right for the Mazda 2 to make its North American debut. Unveiled at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2011 Mazda 2's arrival was accompanied by few details. What we've been able to gather can be found on the next page.

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2011 Mazda 2

Design

The 2011 Mazda 2 may have been introduced at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show, but few details regarding the car were released. Mazda says the subcompact new Two represents the brand's Zoom Zoom philosophy in its most concentrated form. The company refers to the 5-door hatchback's exterior design theme as "coordinated movement," the intent to make the Mazda 2 look like it's moving even when standing still. Its wedge shape, short overhangs, taut forms, and distinctive character lines are supposed to convey a "sense of stability and inspire confidence." As seen in the photos, alloy wheels and fog lights are available on the new Mazda 2.

Inside, an elemental dash design sporting stylistic themes familiar to Mazda fans faces what the company says is seating for as many five people. Obviously, rear seat space is at a premium for adults. The base car is expected to include few creature comforts, but up-level models are likely to have technology features demanded by today's younger buyers. Mazda claims additional details on trim levels, equipment and pricing are forthcoming at a later date.

2011 Mazda 2

Hardware

The 2011 Mazda 2 will have a 1.5-liter, inline 4-cylinder engine under its stubby little hood. Horsepower and torque figures are not available, but the Mazda's output should be comparable to other models in the segment such as the new and the 2010 Honda Fit. A 5-speed manual transmission delivers power to the front wheels, and a 4-speed automatic is optional. Given Mazda's focus on making cars fun to drive, we expect lively throttle response if not exhilarating outright speed.

The Mazda 2's suspension is fairly basic, with MacPherson struts in front and a torsion beam axle in back. Tuned for maximum responsiveness and handling, the Mazda 2's underpinnings work in tandem with 15-inch wheels and 185/55 tires to grip the road.

Safety and Technology

No details on safety features were given by Mazda at the car's Los Angeles debut. However, press materials do point out that the Mazda 2 received a 5-star European NCAP crash test rating, the highest in that particular safety test.