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
I'm averaging 33-34 mpg (mostly highway) and costing around $28-$30 to fill up at 3.47 gal, that my friend is a win, win.
Handling is always top priority with Mazda products that's why I own 2 Mazda at this time (2008 Mazda 6 highly modified and the Mazda 2 I'm reviewing now.
Sway bars are a must which helps so much with handling of this little car.
Possibly 20 extra ponies we can squeeze out from somewhere to make it a little more competitive in this segment though the Mazda 2 is now slouch, it would be greatly appreciated.
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.
The driving feel the car delivers; easily the best in segment.
American models don't come with automatic headlights as an option. Though not a huge deal, I'd like them.