The 2014 Mazda 2 is one of the more entertaining small hatchbacks you can drive. It’s simple, even a little bare-bones, which plays to Mazda’s usual strengths in delivering good dynamics and sensory inputs, as well as great fuel economy. It won’t appeal to every driver–it’s quite small, quite basic in its features and content, and somewhat stark inside–but for drivers in need of city wheels and a good time, the Mazda 2 is a good pick.
It’s now in its fourth year on the market, and the basic car is several years older than that, having launched in Japan in 2008. But it’s one of the most fun-to-drive small cars around–one that almost seems to channel a bit of character borrowed from the MX-5 Miata sports car. To get that pleasure, though, make sure to choose the version with the five-speed manual gearbox.
The Mazda 2 shares some underpinnings with the Ford Fiesta, but its lines have fewer swoops and dips. The tasteful design sits upright, adopting a pert stance, and the very simple front end is low. There’s a lot of window space–meaning good outward visibility–and while the cabin can be dark, it’s clean and simple.