Embrace the Shopping Cart - 2011 Mazda 2 Touring Long-Term Road Test
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2011 Mazda 2 Long-Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (4)
  • Comparison (1)
  • Long-Term (167)

2011 Mazda 2 Touring: Embrace the Shopping Cart

July 07, 2011

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I'm the first guy to tell you that a car should be more than just a shopping cart on big rubber wheels, but it seems like the Mazda 2 doesn't work too well for me because it doesn't have enough shopping cart in its DNA.

Sure, it goes to work right enough, recording 31 mpg in the daily commute. Of course, it carries stuff all right. There's plenty of cargo capacity behind the 60/40-split folding rear seat, and naturally you can make more room if you need it. As soon as the weekend comes, though, the Mazda just sits in the driveway.

Maybe the problem is the way it drives in parking lots. I feel like I'm asking for trouble every time I'm weaving among the Explorers and Tahoes. The Mazda 2 is a little too lively at low speed when what you want is deliberate pace. It's not like one of those shopping carts with a rogue wheel fluttering away, but it answers the accelerator pedal and the brake a little too eagerly, while the awkward clutch engagement is always a distraction.

All this is a bigger deal than you realize, because a parking lot is probably the most dangerous place that you can drive, since there are so many vehicles all moving randomly in different directions, while the drivers are completely distracted and so even more witless than usual. You're on the verge of crashing every second.

The Mazda 2 is fun when you go fast, but it doesn't drive slow in a way that makes me happy. If you're driving in a parking lot, what you really want is our Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, which doesn't do anything quickly.

Who knew that being able to drive like a shopping cart could actually be a good thing?

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (4)
  • Comparison (1)
  • Long-Term (501)

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