2011 Mazda 2 Touring: The Way Forward
February 02, 2011
I was looking at sales figures for January today. Mazda sold 479 last month, which isn't a terrible number for within the brand (only 202 Tributes were sold in the same period, for example) but it's well off the pace of other subcompacts like the Honda Fit (4,314 sold), Ford Fiesta (4,270), Nissan Cube (1,661) or even the Suzuki SX4 (978).
Obviously, the 2 is just now building up consumer awareness. But as much as I like our long-termer, I think the 2 is going to be a tough sell. For what people are shopping for in a subcompact, I think other cars are simply more appealing, whether it's the Fit for versatility or the Fiesta for features and an upscale vibe. The Mazda 2 does hold advantages in terms of handling and price. But handling is only a minor consideration for this class of car, and I'm just not sure being $1,000 cheaper is enough of a draw.
Am I wrong here? And if not, do you think Mazda has a hope for increased Mazda 2 success?
Here's my suggestion: Add more features to make the Mazda 2 more competitive from this standpoint, even if that increases the price. These could be simple things like standard Bluetooth and USB. Also, offer a sport package that enhances the car's handling to really make it stand out and be, well, more Mazda. The 2 won't ever be able to compete in terms of versatility, but with a couple changes it could be much more of a viable alternative.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor