2011 Mazda Mazda2 Long-Term Road Test

2011 Mazda 2: Idiot Lights Abound

December 01, 2010


If there's one thing that bugs most enthusiasts about economy cars, it's the presence of the much maligned "idiot lights" in place of actual gauges. As you can see, our Mazda 2 is full of them, including the blue "your engine coolant is cold" light you see here. I don't have a problem with them though.

Sure, the lights exist because people can't be bothered with know anything about their cars, but they're acceptable in a car like the Mazda 2. I mean, let's face it, people who drive a car like this don't really want to know about cars, they just want to get to where they're going and get out of their car as soon as possible.

Better to get their attention with a flashing light than hope they realize that 250 degree coolant might be a problem. Sure, the average temp gauge has a red zone and all that, but it doesn't turn all bright and shiny when things go bad.

So, idiot lights aren't all bad, as long as they're in the right kind of car.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2011 Mazda Mazda2 in VA is:

$112 per month*
* Explanation