2011 Mazda 2 Touring: From LFA to...
April 18, 2011
So was it a big let down to go from sharing driving duties of a Lexus LFA for three days last week with Senior Editor Josh Jacquot to...a Mazda 2?
Talk about polar opposites: one is a near-gutless econo car while the other is an exotic, 552 horsepower road burner that gives its driver (s) instant rock-star status.
While I'll never forget what an awesome experience it was to drive Lexus' supercar, our plain-white long-term Mazda 2 actually served as a reprieve. It was nice to fade into oblivion; settling into the normalness that is the Mazda 2; enjoying a true manual transmission that works quite well, vague clutch on take off notwithstanding; not worrying constantly about any little scratch or ding or scrape the car might get, either at my hands or someone else's. Or that dump truck I got stuck behind.
Plus, I had an experience this morning that you could never have with a car like the LFA: racing a Nissan Frontier pickup to and through the two-lane on-ramp onto the 405. In the LFA, you'd give it half throttle and be gone in a cacophony of V10 rage. In the Mazda 2, it was full wood all the way, hoping the skinny tires offer some grip through the turn. And just barely edging ahead. Nowhere near as exciting, for sure. But somehow more satisfying. As odd as that sounds.
Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 8,568 miles.