Monday, October 19, 2015

Used Car Review - Mazda 2 (2010-2015)

Unappreciated when new, appealing now used. Myk Belmonte checks the allure of this sub-compact.

2010-2015 Mazda 2

We all know the relationship Ford and Mazda used to be years ago. Just like any typical marriage, the two manufacturers would usually share engines, platforms, and in some cases, vehicles. The union ended sometime in 2010 after the Blue Oval letting go of it due to the economic crisis which occurred two years prior.

Bet you don't know this one: the DE platform Mazda Demio/2, built from 2007 until 2014, utilizes its platform with the 2008 Ford Fiesta. It was the first M2 to get a sedan version for select markets and carry a CVT transmission for Japan and Hong Kong units only. You may not know this but the third generation model (the one you are reading here) won the World Car of the Year title in 2008.

To compete in the ever increasing sub-compact passenger sedan market, Mazda launched the 2 in 2010 with the hatchback first with the sedan preceding it a few months after. Although it may have some advantages, its cousin (the Fiesta) overshadowed its presence and was more sophisticated than its Japanese counterpart. Local sales ended in 2015 with a more advanced fourth generation model having its local launch on the same year. Variants available for both body styles include a 1.3 and 1.5 powered models.

Value and Costs
For just between P300,000 to P550,000, a used Mazda 2 is a good buy especially if you want more driving flair while retaining a small footprint in size and fuel consumption in your daily commute. In that price range, rivals exist but they may be less sporty to drive (excluding the similar Ford Fiesta here).

Units purchased from January 1, 2013 (translation: those bought from the time when Berjaya Auto Philippines took over distribution rights) benefit from the Youjin3 coverage, which promises free maintenance and roadside assistance for three years. One niggle to look at for 2010 to 2011 models are a noisy rack-and-pinion steering mechanism, in which affected units were fixed under warranty.

Exterior and Interior
Tiny it may seem, the Mazda 2 hatchback has better proportions than the sedan, which may look bulky for some. However, the design looked fresh despite newer competition. Do take note that 1.3 models have hubcaps as standard though there was an option for 14 inch alloys in December 2014 while 1.5 variants get 15 inch alloy wheels. Side skirts and rear spoiler come standard in the 1.5 hatchback, as well as the 1.3 Speed.

Space for the front occupants are decent but overall it trails behind class leaders when it comes to legroom, plus the rear seats are tight. Freeing space upfront is done by the shifter situated at the dashboard, which is a good thing. The center console is as narrow that only a single bottle can be held and only a few items can be stored. Lastly, the materials used aren't the high quality ones, unlike in its American brother.

Both the ZJ-VE 1.3 carrying 85hp at 6,000rpm and 122Nm at 4,000rpm and the ZY-VE 1.5 having 103hp at 6,000rpm and 135Nm at 4,000rpm have their own strengths and weaknesses. The former is smooth but does not have any top level punch while the latter can acquit itself well. Both of them are good and can carry themselves on, thanks to a lighter chassis and body.

Driving Impressions
Driving feel is one thing that this vehicle is known for, with a precise steering, lightweight body, and a supple suspension. Give it a curved road and this small car will glide and dance without any drama. However, the sedan has a tendency of feeling lose due to a tall and long trunk, while the hatchback is much better in this aspect alone. Both variants have their positives and negatives, so it is a matter of compromise. Do take note that the 1.3 can be only had with a manual while 1.5 variants are available in both transmission options.

There are cars that are easy to drive and own for the city living, and there are cars that are fun to drive which are reserved for weekend driving. The Mazda 2 converges the two ideas into one body, and with a cheaper price now, the sports car traits coupled with a economy car body is a good purchase if you want that type.

The Good:
  • Fun to drive
  • Easy to own
  • Cheap prices
The Bad:
  • Lack of interior space
  • Cheap interior trim
  • Sedan not at par with hatchback when it comes to performance
The Pick: 1.3

Engines: 1,348cc ZJ-VE and 1,498cc ZY-VE I4 gasoline
Power: 85hp @ 6,000rpm (1.3), 103hp @ 6,000rpm (1.5)
Torque: 122Nm @ 4,000rpm (1.3), 135Nm @ 4,000rpm (1.5)
Fuel Consumption: 9-11km/L (city), 12-14km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic (1.5 models only)
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear torsion beam

Price (New): P689,000-P800,000
Price (Now): P300,000-P550,000
Rivals: Chevrolet Aveo, Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Honda City, Honda Jazz, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Nissan Almera, Suzuki Swift, Toyota Vios, Toyota Yaris
On Sale: 2010-2015

Mazda Pasig - (02) 655-1005

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