2011 Mazda 2 vs 2012 Fiat 500: In the City and for the Dogs
September 21, 2011
It feels like forever since I last got behind the wheel of our 2011 Mazda 2 Touring. I forgot how much I liked it! All this time our long-term Fiat 500 was my favorite little car in our fleet but after driving our 2 I almost prefer the Mazda.
And yes, car buyers normally wouldn't cross-shop these two: the Fiat's Euro cuteness puts it up against the Mini while the 2 competes with the equally practical Honda Fit. But those interested in the Fiat would be doing themselves a disservice by not test-driving the Mazda 2 first. It, like the Fiat, is a great urban runabout, small enough for parking in the city, fun to drive and I think it looks pretty cute, especially in that Spirited Green Metallic.
Plus after driving the Fiat all this time I can really feel the difference between it and the 2. The 2's shifter feels much more solid and sure and its engine sounds smoother and not as truckish compared to the 500.
And if I had to pick between the 2 and the 500 for a weekend car, I'd go with the Mazda. Not only is it more practical with more cargo room to facilitate errand running but my dog Mya fits comfortably in the backseat. Again, I realize that the 2 and the 500 wouldn't normally be cross-shopped especially talking 4-door versus coupe but just in terms of having to pick between our two current long-termers, I'm making the comparison.
It was really easy for Mya to jump in and out of the back. And I like how the rear seatbelt fasteners protrude from the bottom seat cushion, making it easier to belt her in via her harness even with her doggy blanket spread out.
Since the 2 is pretty basic, it doesn't have any schmancy rear climate controls or vents but I just direct the vents in the center dash toward the back so that Mya can get some air.
Just as a reminder, here's Mya with the Fiat. There, she can spread out in the backseat, too, and the seatbelt fasteners also protrude for easy fastening. She doesn't get as much of a view out the backseat in the coupe as she does in the 2, though, and thanks to the gray cloth, I fear that it would be harder to clean off than the 2's dark cloth.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 13,511 miles