2011 Mazda 2: Spot-On Effort Levels
March 31, 2011
I don't know if I was inspired by my time in Project Miata, but I enjoyed the Mazda 2 a little more than usual last night. For reasons I can't exactly explain, I've never been all that excited about the 2, even though I usually like small hatchbacks.
Last night, though the car was really working for me. I realized that the seating position, though awkward for several of our editors, actually fits me well. Pedal spacing could be better for heel-and-toe downshifting, but well, maybe the Mazda engineers figured no one does that while running around the city. I do, because it entertains me.
But whatever, what I mainly noticed during this drive, was that the effort levels for the shifter and steering are right-on.
Yeah, both the shifter and the steering wheel are dainty in size, and you look at them and expect they'll be really light in their effort. And there is an easiness to them. I go from gate to gate with my thumb and forefinger.
But there's nothing loosey-goosey here, certainly not by subcompact standards. The shifter slots positively into each gate. The steering is steady on center, and as you add input, there's a nice fluidness to it along with some very definite information about which way the front wheels are pointing.
And I feel like the effort I apply to the shifter is of exactly the same intensity that I use for my steering inputs. We're all working together as one thing, moving parts in a single machine. And that's a pretty neat feeling to have for $16K.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 7,751 miles