2011 Mazda Mazda2 Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Mazda Mazda2 Hatchback

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mazda Mazda2 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 100 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 29/35 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2011 Mazda Mazda2

  • The 2011 Mazda 2 keeps the fun alive as an economical hatchback, but comes up a bit short when compared to the competition.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sporty handling, cheerful styling, affordable price.

  • Cons

    Limited cargo area, outdated automatic transmission, limited features list, cramped rear seats.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 Mazda 2 is all-new.

Full 2011 Mazda Mazda2 Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Mazda 2 is all-new.


Entry-level hatchbacks have been getting better and better with the passing years. For the most part, it's getting harder to refer to them as penalty boxes as they've been receiving ever-increasing levels of comfort and features. Now you can add the 2011 Mazda 2 to that list of price-conscious hatchbacks. But in some cases we think it will struggle against its more well-rounded competitors.

Comparisons to the current darling of the hatchback segment, the Ford Fiesta, are inevitable since the Fiesta is actually built on the Mazda 2's platform. As such, both cars share some basic positives and negatives. On the plus side, the Mazda 2 is quite sporty to drive, and indeed this is one area where Mazda is quite proud of its new entry-level car. The car's sleek look (for a hatchback) and lower-than-average price are other highlights.

Like the Ford, however, the Mazda 2 is hampered by a lack of cargo space -- a Honda Fit can carry about twice as much gear as the Mazda. In addition, the Mazda 2's rear seats are cramped by comparison and its fuel economy doesn't exactly raise the bar for this segment either. The list of standard and available features for the Mazda is quite short, too.

Besides the 2011 Ford Fiesta and 2011 Honda Fit, other competing hatchbacks include the 2011 Nissan Cube and 2011 Nissan Versa, the 2011 Suzuki SX4 and Toyota Yaris. Certainly, the Mazda 2's sporty handling will be a draw, but in most other respects it does little to impress us. With the level of quality of subcompacts increasing yearly, we think consumers would be wise to shop the competition before committing to a 2011 Mazda 2.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Mazda 2 is a five-passenger, four-door subcompact hatchback that is available in two trim levels -- Sport and Touring. The Sport comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a tilt steering wheel and a four-speaker CD/MP3 audio system with an auxiliary input jack.

Upgrading to the Touring trim will get you 15-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a rear roof spoiler, chrome exhaust tips, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, a trip computer, cruise control, upgraded cloth seats with red piping, and two additional speakers for the audio system.

Factory options for either trim level include an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a center console with an armrest. Bluetooth and a removable Garmin navigation system are expected to become available as dealer accessories.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Mazda 2 is powered by a 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 100 horsepower and 98 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, with a four-speed automatic available at additional cost. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 29 mpg city/35 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined for the manual transmission and 27/33/29 mpg for the automatic. In Edmunds performance testing, the 2 went from zero to 60 mph in 10.3 seconds with the manual. This is performance on par with the rest of the class, but getting the automatic will slow things down considerably.


Standard safety features for the 2011 Mazda 2 include antilock brakes (discs in front/drums in rear), front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and stability and traction control. In Edmunds brake testing, the 2 came to a stop from 60 mph in 129 feet -- an acceptable distance for this type of car. In crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Mazda 2 received its top rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset and roof strength tests, but a second-best rating of "Acceptable" in the side impact test.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2011 Mazda 2's interior is comparable to other hatchbacks in this economical price range. The design itself is modern, with no elements to fawn over or bemoan. Hard plastics are plentiful, but that is to be expected. The front seats are relatively comfortable and offer enough room for taller adults, though the lack of a telescoping steering wheel is a notable omission. Also disappointing are the rear seats, which are flat and cramped. With those rear seats in place, cargo capacity is 13.3 cubic feet, which is small for a hatchback. With the 60/40-split seats folded (they don't fold completely flat), that figure goes up to 27.8 cubes -- a Fit can hold 57.3 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The 100-hp output from the 1.5-liter four-cylinder is weak by today's standards, even for an economy car. But the 2011 Mazda 2 makes the most of it -- at least with the manual transmission. The outdated four-speed automatic has rough tendencies under acceleration, downshifting from 3rd gear to 1st. Not only that, but the automatic comes with a penalty of a few miles per gallon compared to the manual.

The light 2,300-pound curb weight reduces the strain on the free-revving engine to give this hatchback a sportier feel. It also helps the car's handling, and as a result the Mazda 2 is likely the most nimble and agile car in its class. The steering is communicative and quick, a rarity among electric power steering units.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Happy with m2

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mazda Mazda2 Touring 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)

Don't know what people expect. If you are looking for a high end expensive sports car, shop on! With the 5 speed, this car has more than enough get up and go, and is a blast to drive. First gear could be a little taller. Seats are frim but nit uncomfortable. It handles like a go cart, and rides like one too, that's the car's design! It holds the road like glue, but picks up all the bumps. I live in Hampton Roads, VA, mostly highway driving, and with premium gas (which I recommend for performance) I average 38 mpg if I drive conservatively. Get a K&N air filter for the performance tweak, it's worth the money and the filter saves $$ in the long run as it is washable.

Automatic transmission is terrible

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mazda Mazda2 Touring 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

The car is great, but NOT with an automatic tranny. I would have bought the stick but my wife can't drive a stick. I miss my Echo, that was the best car I've ever owned. The ride is fine. But getting out into traffic is dangerous. The acceleration is very laggy. There's a delay. Going around corners is sketchy because throttle control is a guessing game. You step on the gas and it's a crapshoot what's going to happen. There's no gradual acceleration, it hits - reminiscent of a 2-stroke dirtbike. The cruise control buttons are my least favorite of all the types I've had. The fuel economy is not what I'd expect from a tiny car. The driver seat is all the way back and I'm 5'8".

9 of 15 people found this review helpful

Please read if your considering

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Vehicle: 2011 Mazda Mazda2 Touring 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)

Have 2011 Mazda 2 touring with 51k. Just retired my mazda protege with 300k on it. The protege has the 1.5 liter which only has with 90hp. The mazda 2 also has the 1.5liter. Every go see the christmas lights and you can not turn your head lamps off?The 2 doesnt have the day running lamps. Has a self adjusting timing chain and not a timing belt so thats saving you 500 to 600 every 100k that you have to change on most imports.I work at a big dealership and get to drive every make and model and can say with certianty that this mazda is the funnest car out. The 5 speed tranny is smooth. The engine isnt loud. So what it only has 100hp. Thats a upgrade for me from the 90hp I had for many years

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I've waited two years

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Vehicle: 2011 Mazda Mazda2 Sport 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

I drove a 2002 Protege5 for nine years, the longest ever for one car. I enjoyed it. It still looked good, but I was bored, so bought the 2011 Mazda 2 hatchback. Not good, Too light, skips all over the road, trunk and back seat, too small. The economy is awful, but I would like to trade the car before it begins to have trouble. I've only 12K miles, have driven two, less than 1000 mile each round trips. Taking a 800 mile round trip in two weeks. Highway mpg sucks. How can a good, 2002, go to a poor, 2011, like that? Angry

Loved it; hate it now

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Vehicle: 2011 Mazda Mazda2 Touring 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

I bought my 2011 Mazda 2 new back in November 2010 and initially wrote a glowing review about fun it is drive. Well, it's fun...when it's not in the shop. Once I hit 15k I've had nothing but problems specially with the brakes. The dealer tells me they are safe and that they squeak because of the brake pad composition but why didn't they squeak for the first year? Squeaks at low and high speeds and is embarrassing. I also has to flush the transmission at 20k because the fluid it comes with is cheap junk. At 22,300 miles I'm trading for a Honda Fit this weekend. No more mazdas for this buyer. Don't buy this car; save your money, take on a bigger payment and get a car with a better warranty.

3 of 10 people found this review helpful


by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mazda Mazda2 Touring 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

I was wanting to buy a new car for my wife and we wanted a smaller car than the 96 Maxima and better gas mileage. We looked at Toyota Yaris, Prius C, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa and the Mazda 2, as well as Ford Fiesta and Chevy Sonic. We ended up choosing the Mazda 2 because it and the Fit were the only 2 assembled in Japan. I wanted the Japanese quality. I am very upset with the dealership and not real happy with the car. We've only had it for 5 weeks so maybe things will improve. I knew it was not a "road" car and after 2 hours in it my back was very sore. It does not get anywhere near the gas mileage they suggest and I've always gotten more mileage than the window sticker says I should

Talk About The 2011 Mazda2

2011 Mazda Mazda2 Discussions See all Started By

2011 Mazda MAZDA2 Touring: Suspension Walkaround Our 2011 Mazda 2 has proven to be entertaining to drive in a small car sort of way, even though the suspension itself is fairly standard, as we'll soon...

Well at the moment, the only body style listed on the Mazda2 info page here at Edmunds is a sedan, so that's why I'm thinking it will wind up there...

It's time to move this message thread forward: Mazda has confirmed that they are bringing the Mazda2 to the US market probably late fall 2010 as a 2011 model....

Gas Mileage


  • 29
  • cty
  • 35
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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