2011 Mazda 2: Liking the Goofy Shifter
March 16, 2011
Normally, shifters mounted in the console like this are awful. It's no fun ripping gears with a stick that you pull up and down instead of back and forth.
Now from a usability standpoint, a shifter in such a location is great. Minivans often stick their automatic shifter levers on the console to make them easy to reach. Fair enough.
So I found it odd that I actually liked the shifter action in the Mazda 2 while driving around last night. Maybe it was my low expectations. After all, this is a 100-horsepower car, can't really expect to have that much fun no matter what the shifter feels like.
Throw the little 2 around a bit, though, and it responds well to quick shifts. The gates aren't particularly distinct, but the shift action is smooth. It takes plenty of back and forth to keep this Mazda moving, so the slick shifter is a nice little bonus.
Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com @ 7,506 miles