2011 Mazda2 Touring/Commuting
September 28, 2011
Welcome to my Wednesday. I usually leave my house at 5:00 am to avoid exactly what you see above. But Wednesdays are different. After dropping my daughter off at school, this is what I face for the next two hours (it has lasted as long as three). At worst, I arrive (41 miles later) detesting all humanity and ready for two fingers of single malt. At best, I use the time to carefully examine a long-term test car. Follow me to the next page to see what I learned about the Mazda2 this morning.
The clutch pedal spring is light enough to endure (I'm guessing) 400-500 shifts. Also while the pedal feel itself is a little lacking as to where the engagement point truly is, the motor can lug along in 1st gear with the clutch engaged at very low speeds--negating the need ease it out of gear to coast.
The shifter's elevated location is very good--no reaching necessary. There's very little vibration in the knob. Also the linkage/bushings are on the soft and rubbery side which might feel less-than-positive, but I'd rather have it this way on a grinding commute. Can't imagine the fatigue an Audi R8 driver would feel click-clacking 400 times with his gated shifter.
There are plenty of nooks for stuff, like my mobile breakfast. Had I been able to simultaneously take a photo of my phone while it also rested in the empty square space, you'd see a map showing red and yellow traffic congestion and few other options.
I did wish several times for the conspicuously absent Bluetooth and/or USB jack so I could use my phone either as a hands-free communication device, or to listen to an audiobook or stream Pandora. Seems like a pretty big oversight to me.
So there you have it my friends. Woof. The fact that it was an uncharacteristically overcast morning has lent an even gloomier look than it normally has. Now where'd I stash that Macallan?
Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton @ 14,165 miles