2012 Mazda Mazda2 Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Mazda Mazda2 Hatchback

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mazda Mazda2 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 100 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 28/34 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2012 Mazda Mazda2

  • The 2012 Mazda 2 offers a fun drive in an economical hatchback, but comes up short when compared to more practical competition.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sporty handling; cheerful styling; simple-to-operate controls; affordable price.

  • Cons

    Smaller cargo area than rivals; sparsely appointed cabin; outdated automatic transmission; cramped rear seats.

  • What's New for 2012

    For 2012, the Mazda 2 sees no changes.

Full 2012 Mazda Mazda2 Review

What's New for 2012

For 2012, the Mazda 2 sees no changes.

Introduction

It used to be that economy cars were good at economy and, well, not much else. But for 2012, that's no longer the case, as the entire field of small cars now offers levels of performance, comfort and features unheard of just five years ago. For an example, look no farther than the 2012 Mazda 2.

The Mazda 2 is closely related to the impressive Ford Fiesta, and as with the Fiesta, its driving dynamics are one of the car's primary strengths. The 2 boasts a fun-to-drive nature, thanks to its diminutive size, light weight, nimble handling and quick steering. It's also quite a cheerful little car, with cute styling. A low starting price is another advantage for the Mazda.

Unfortunately, the Mazda also comes with its share of drawbacks. For one, it doesn't offer much in the way of cargo space -- a Honda Fit can carry about twice as much gear. Furthermore, compared to the latest bumper crop of rivals, the Mazda 2's rear seats are cramped and its fuel economy is nothing to brag about. The Mazda 2's limited features list might also be a concern -- it's fine for what most people expect from this class, but most other models now offer more convenience or tech-oriented options.

Take a drive in the 2012 Mazda 2 and it will no doubt charm you with its spunky, back-to-basics personality. But in most other respects, other choices will probably work out better for you. With the ever-increasing quality of subcompacts, consumers would be wise to check out the aforementioned Fiesta as well as the new Chevrolet Sonic, Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Mazda hatchback is available in two trim levels -- Sport and Touring. The Sport comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a tilt steering wheel and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary input jack.

Upgrading to the Touring trim will get you 15-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a rear roof spoiler, chrome exhaust tips, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, a trip computer, cruise control, upgraded cloth seats with red piping, and two additional speakers for the audio system.

Factory options for either trim level include an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a center console with an armrest. Unlike some rivals, upscale factory features such as heated seats, Bluetooth (it's a dealer accessory here) and an integrated navigation system are unavailable.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Mazda 2 is powered by a 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 100 horsepower and 98 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, with a four-speed automatic optional.

In Edmunds performance testing, the Mazda 2 went from a standstill to 60 mph in 10.3 seconds with the manual transmission. This is slower than most other cars in this class, and getting the automatic will slow things down further, as it has just four gears to work with compared to the six of some competitors.

The EPA estimates fuel economy at 29 mpg city/35 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined for the manual transmission and 28/34/30 mpg for the automatic.

Safety

Standard safety features for the 2012 Mazda 2 include antilock brakes (discs in front/drums in rear), front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and stability and traction control. In Edmunds brake testing, the 2 came to a stop from 60 mph in 129 feet -- an acceptable distance for this type of car.

In crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Mazda 2 received its top rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset and roof strength tests, but a second-best rating of "Acceptable" in the side-impact test.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2012 Mazda 2's interior gets the job done, but not much more. The overall design is without flourish, but there's an unexpected honesty about the cabin thanks to the simple controls. Hard plastics are plentiful, but that is to be expected. The front seats are relatively comfortable and offer enough room for taller adults, though the lack of a telescoping steering wheel is a notable omission. Also disappointing are the rear seats, which are flat and cramped.

With the rear seats in place, cargo capacity is 13.3 cubic feet, which is small for a hatchback. With those 60/40-split seats folded (they don't fold completely flat), capacity goes up to 27.8 cubes -- again rather stingy, as an Accent holds 47.5 cubic feet while a Fit boasts 57.3 cubes.

Driving Impressions

The 100-hp output from the 1.5-liter four-cylinder is weak by today's standards, even for an economy car. But the 2012 Mazda 2 makes the most of it -- at least with the manual transmission. The outdated four-speed automatic has rough tendencies under acceleration, downshifting from 3rd gear to 1st. Not only that, but the automatic comes with a penalty of a few miles per gallon compared to the manual.

The light 2,300-pound curb weight reduces the strain on the free-revving engine to give this hatchback a sportier feel. It also helps the car's handling, and as a result the Mazda 2 is among the most nimble cars in its class. The steering is communicative and quick, rare traits among electric power steering units.

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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Absolute blast

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Mazda Mazda2 Touring 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)

I had my Mazda 2 for 6 months now and just love driving it anywhere I can, even with 2 child seats in the back there is ample seating room (as long as there's just kids) back seat is only good for 2 adults at most. The lay out is simple and straight forward which I find appealing over the overly done subcompact cars, though I did install a 8" navi/Bluetooth/DVD screen for around $350 which just makes the car look a little more upmarket, the seats are supportive and comfy but a little to soft for me, and with just enough cargo space. Overall I highly recommend the Mazda 2 for anyone looking for affordable, reliable, and a fun all around car, as long as you get the manual. ZOOM ZOOM



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

So far so great!

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Vehicle: 2012 Mazda Mazda2 Sport 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

I just got this car used, with 39000 miles on it and the engine fires right up and doesn't miss a beat. I'm loving the gas mileage. I had a small SUV before I bought this car, and this little Mazda has cut my gas bill in half! It's surprisingly zippy and fun to drive. I agree with the other drivers here, that it's not sluggish at all. Even with the a/c or heater running, when I step on the gas, it responds, and I have no trouble getting on the highway. Park it anywhere. Comfy interior. Plenty of room for a tall person up front, not as much leg room in back, but that's not something I'm concerned about.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great little car

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Vehicle: 2012 Mazda Mazda2 Touring 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

I traded in a 2008 chevy equinox rthis car is an engineering masterpiece the chevy was crap had a chinese engione used a qt of oil between changes this car uses no oil is quiet solid when you have fooor on brake shift in to D or R no clunk like an american cars engine is quiet everything works perfect thee onloy complaint i thin k it need s a bigger engine 1.8 more power if yiou step on hgas too hard it downshifts easily mikleage is good overall 28 have gotten 42 on highway going 65. The mazdas are 96 percdnt made in japan nthey are well made like toyotas in the early 90's .



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2012 sport manual

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Vehicle: 2012 Mazda Mazda2 Sport 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)

Bought this car new and have put on 2000 miles so far. Got the Sport because I couldn't find any Touring models with manuals in my area. Excellent handling, I really feel like I can toss this car around. The shifter is very smooth and quick. At first I was worried about the 100hp but while it won't knock you back in your seat during acceleration it is more than adequate(previous car was a 9-3 Saab). Personally I like the simpleness of the car, the dash is basic and for an economy car it's what it should be. I've been averaging 33 mpg with most of my driving at 70 mph on the highway. Basically it is what most of the reviews say, a fun to drive economy car.



7 of 7 people found this review helpful

As fun as a go-cart!

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Vehicle: 2012 Mazda Mazda2 Touring 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)

The small car segment in America is finally getting competitive, and Mazda does a great job of building a car that is comfortable, efficient, good looking, and (true to the Mazda heritage) fun to drive. I test drove the automatic, and while it is very good as far as four-speeds go, it is still a four speed, so I can only recommend the manual. While on paper the car may seem to weak, get behind the wheel (of the manual) and you'll experience a go-cart like driving sensation that can only be defined as pure bliss. The car is very efficient, and the engaging drive keeps giving me reasons to head out to the store or just to hit the road. Do yourself a favor, buy this car. You won't regret it.



20 of 20 people found this review helpful

Good solid little car

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Mazda Mazda2 Sport 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

I got to drive one of these recently and it made me think about this car over the one I actually bought. Being on a tight budget I bought a 2012 Ford Focus, but I never thought about looking at the Mazda 2. I have driven Toyota's Yaris 4-door and it had a noisy ride and a hard feel on the road. The Mazda 2 had a quiet, solid feel inside with lots of space for a six-foot tall driver. The doors closed with a solid thunk. The Mazda 2 was smooth and fast. The Edmunds review here says that the automatic transmission was not adequate. I thought it was. I hit the pedal hard to get it into passing gear and this car was fast. 100hp was very adequate in my opinion. Smooth and fast acceleration.



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 28
  • cty
/
  • 34
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Reliability

Identifix Reliability Ratings

Rating unavailable for this vehicle

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