2011 Mazda 2 Touring: Simplicity
August 18, 2011
Sometimes it's good to remind yourself of just how little you really need in a car. One day recently, I realized I hadn't driven the Mazda 2 in awhile and resolved to sign it out when it was next available. I actually found myself -- I wouldn't say pining -- but kinda longing to whip the little pod into a freeway on-ramp with its little 100-hp engine rasping away. And the Mazda 2 is not a car you really look forward to driving on a long commute.
It's small. You don't stand a chance against semis. Your nerves would like a sixth cruising speed. There's no Bluetooth, no USB (although there is an aux jack), no navi, no sat radio, no dual zone climate control. Yet I'm still trying to find something I don't like about it. If pressed, I'd say the manual transmission, while easy and slick-shifting, feels slightly Fisher--Price. I'd like to feel just a little more weight, as if there's real metal linking everything together.
But that's it. It's got power windows and mirrors, simple climate control, supportive seats, even a good stereo that pulls in a local college radio station. A Wilco b-side followed by some old R.E.M. works fine. The Maz2 isn't my first choice for a long-range daily commuter, but it does the job well and it's got spirit. Still enjoying it.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor