2011 Mazda 2: No Respect, No Respect
November 23, 2010
Maybe I should name the Mazda 2 Rodney instead, because it gets absolutely no respect on the road. People turn in front of you constantly, just assuming that you suck and are content to drive at a pace matched only by the Columbia Glacier. I can't tell you how many times I caught people by surprise as they turned in front of me, only to discover a big happy face grille quickly filling their mirrors. Or, as I turned right onto Wilshire Blvd yesterday evening, a woman in a Prius coming the opposite direction started to turn right in front of me only to end up slamming on the brakes and coming to a stop in my direction in the left-most lane. She apparently wasn't expecting me to accelerate so damned fast.
But wait, you're thinking, isn't the Mazda 2 one of the slowest cars sold in this country?
Correct, our long-termer was clocked at 9.9 second from zero to 60 mph. Yet, you must remember that people accelerate unbelievably slow relative 0-60 times. A time of 9.9 seconds is good enough to leave just about every driver in your dust, and I'd say that's about the pace I normally accelerate regardless of the horsepower I possess.
Take Friday evening, when I came to a stop light alongside a Honda Accord Coupe V6 with tint and dubs. The light turns green and as always in the 2, I gun it, absolutely embarrassing Mr. Accord. He, not surprisingly, was shamed by getting roasted off the line by Baby Sparkles, and then proceeded to out horsepower away to maintain his manhood. This episode has already been repeated several times ... twice with BMW 3 Series drivers.
See, I feel compelled to drive the snot out of the 2. For starters, I'd prefer to accelerate at my normal pace and not in fact be slower than the Columbia Glacier. And second, the 2 is a fun little car that's really quite a hoot to drive quickly. Yet, when people see our little white hatchback, they don't expect you to be having fun in such a small car. No, we've clearly "bought" it because we're poor and couldn't afford a real car. We're probably 83 years old and our color certainly doesn't help despite being fancy metallic white.
On the contrary, I say. Little, underpowered cars like the Mazda 2 can be just as fun as they are economical, and I think I shall continue startling the masses with my oh-so-blazing speed.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 2,732 miles