Mazda 2
(2007 - 2014)

  • Superb reliability and a great reputation mechanically.
  • Genuinely enjoyable to drive.
  • Good levels of practicality.
  • Efficient and cost effective to own and operate.
  • Can ask a premium on the used market.
  • Some examples have not been cared for.
  • Ummm…
Overview

The arrival of the second-generation Mazda 2, in September 2007, marked a big change for the Japanese carmaker’s smallest offering. Gone was frumpy, high-roof, mini-MPV formula of its predecessor, replaced by a sportier compact hatchback – and short-lived sedan – with a more upmarket spin pitched more widely at the young and young at heart.

Bucking almost unilateral motoring trends, the DE Mazda 2, or ‘Demio’ as it’s known in its homeland, was smaller than model it replaced.

The new 2 embodied a fresh change at Mazda, its ranges unifying the new ‘kodo’ look for stronger family identity and a mantra of big style for not a lot of dough, particularly in its smallest range that kicked off from just $15,750 for the entry Neo five-speed manual…as a three-door.

Wisely, Mazda also offered what would prove to be a vastly more popular five-door version at nominal upcharge in any of the three variant grades – Neo, mid-range Maxx, high-spec Genki – as well as an automatic version that makes do with just four speeds. For a city runabout, as intended, that’s all many owners would want for.

All versions were powered by a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre four, though at modest 82kW and 141Nm ‘power’ isn’t exactly the unit’s highlight. This generation of Mazda 2 is renowned for an engine that’s gruff at idle and strained – and fairly thirsty – when asked for anything more than casual driving.

The manuals did have the more frugal fuel claim (6.4L against the auto’s 6.8L), on a cheapo 91RON minimum, and on balance are perhaps a little fun to pedal hard, though unsurprisingly the compact hatch’s glove fit role as My First Car meant the vast majority sold were self-shifting autos.

On that, inexperienced prospective owner/drivers should really sniff out version of the Neo and Maxx fitted with the optional Safety Pack that ran at about a thousand bucks. Dual airbags and ABS were par for the 2 course across the board, though you needed to plonk for the later-build Genkis or pay for the Safety Pack to get access to features such side and curtain airbags, while stability and traction control. This gen-II model range has a four-star ANCAP rating.

The initial Series I had a number of running changes, notably the change from a frowning to ‘smiley face’ front bumper restyle arriving in mid-2010, which also brought some mild suspension enhancement and tweaks to specification, such as standard ESP. It’s right here that outputs for the 1.5 dropped to 76kW/135Nm (with no affect to advertised fuel economy) and the short-lived, unloved four-door sedan version was introduced, only to be sold in Oz for just nine months…

Series II arrived in October 2011 for MY12, the model now sourced from Japan rather than Thailand. The later versions are considered to be better built, but the blink-and-you-miss-them updates still didn’t include now basic niceties such as Bluetooth or USB connectivity. Still, the top-shelf Genki does bring 16-inch alloys and sweeteners such as climate and cruise control. Despite the fairly low-tech approach, the DE Mazda 2 remained a top-seller in segment until its all-new third generation replacement arrived in 2014.

On the plus side, the Mazda 2, particularly the five-door, brings effective and quite friendly packaging for city grocery-getter, topped with style and underpinned with an accomplished chassis. The downsides are the small 250-litre boot, the gruff and thirsty powertrains and a fair bit of noise on the move – they’re not the most refined options out there, even for the most coin they now command used.

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What goes wrong
  • Honestly, not much.
  • There are the odd sporadic complaints here and there regarding exterior and interior gremlins but to call them rare would be an understatement.
  • Mechanically again, very little goes wrong with the 2 if it has been cared for.
  • There are occasional reports of a water pump, wheel bearing or engine mount giving grief but even then, the costs of parts are generally inexpensive and being a simple little car, labour costs shouldn’t blow out.
  • Even the fact that the engine has a timing chain rather than a belt keeps maintenance costs low.
  • Like all used cars, if you’re looking at one, make sure it has a good well documented service history and have it checked by your local independent mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection.
Model range, pricing & features

Neo

  • Price when new: $15,750 - $18,595
  • Price used: $3,500 - $15,000

The base spec Neo came with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, front wheel drive and is available either with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. The Neo also came with a range of safety features and a 4-star ANCAP safety rating, which was upgraded with the MY10 update when electronic stability program and traction control were fitted as standard.

Body-style wise, the Neo was available either as a 3-door hatchback (which was discontinued from 2010), 5-door hatchback and a 4-door sedan (only available for MY10 model year).

From September 2013, the Neo was replaced by the Neo Sport.

Adds:

Body coloured bumpers and exterior mirrors
4-star ANCAP safety rating
2 airbags: front driver and passenger dual airbags
Front seatbelt adjustable height, load limiters and pretensioners
ABS (Antilock Brakes)
Brake Assist
EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution)
Central locking
Disc brakes – ventilated
Independent front suspension
Intermittent wipers
Air conditioning
Power steering
Adjustable steering column (tilt only)
Electric windows – front and rear
Electric mirrors
4 speaker stereo system
AUX input
CD player
Front cupholders
60:40 split

MY10 (DE.II) updates:
5-star ANCAP safety rating
Electronic stability control
Traction control
Body colour door handles
Piano black interior finishes
Updated seat trims

MY12 update:
6 airbags: dual front driver and passenger, side and curtain airbags
Cruise control
Steering wheel audio controls

MY13 update:
USB connectivity

Neo Sport

  • Price when new: $15,790 - $17,440
  • Price used: $7,000 - $16,000

The Neo Sport was introduced in September 2013, and replaced the Neo as the base model. All of the features from the Neo in the MY12 model carried over, with 15-inch alloy wheels also included as part of the package.

Adds:

15-inch alloy wheels

Maxx

  • Price when new: $17,690 - $20,740
  • Price used: $4,500 - $15,000

The Maxx is the mid-range spec model in the Mazda2 range which adds some additional creature comforts. From MY10, the Maxx also featured 6 airbags as standard.

The Maxx was discontinued in September 2013, and replaced by the Maxx Sport.

Adds:

15-inch alloy wheels
Body colour door handles
Multi-function steering wheel
6 disc CD stacker
Rear roof mounted spoiler

MY10 (DE.II) updates:
6 airbags: dual front driver and passenger, side and curtain airbags

Maxx Sport

  • Price when new: $16,930 - $18,580
  • Price used: $11,000 - $13,000

Introduced as part of the September 2013 update, the Maxx Sport replaced the Maxx model and became the new top-of-the range model. The model brought all the features of the Maxx plus additional features like climate control, front fog lamps and trip computer from the MY12 Genki model.

Adds:

Front fog lamps
Leather gear selector
Leather steering wheel
Chromed exhaust outlet
Climate control air conditioning
Trip computer

Genki

  • Price when new: $20,495 - $22,885
  • Price used: $4,500 - $15,000

As the top-of-the-range, the Genki included a variety of styling and comfort features over the
Maxx model including: 16-inch alloy wheels, side skirts, 6-airbags; as well as auto headlights, rain sensing wipers and climate control on model year updates.

From September 2013, the Genki was discontinued and the Maxx Sport effectively took over as the top-of-the-range model.

Adds:

16-inch alloy wheels
Front fog lamps
Side skirts
Front spoiler
6 airbags: dual front driver and passenger, side and curtain airbags
Leather gear selector
Leather steering wheel
Side Skirts

MY12 update:

Revised bumpers
Alloy wheel designs
Chromed exhaust outlet
Auto headlights
Rain sensing wipers
Climate control air conditoning
Trip computer

Should you buy it?

Absolutely. The Mazda 2 is an excellent used little car.

Our pick would be to find whatever the most recent, low kilometre example your budget allows, that also has a full and thorough service history.

Even then, make sure you have it checked out by a mechanic for a full pre-purchase inspection.

Yes these cars are superb but there are unfortunately some owners out there that fail to maintain them correctly and even more concerning, attempt to coverup any accident damage. You do not want to buy a damaged or abused Mazda 2, or any car that has suffered this fate.

Find the right well cared for Mazda 2 and you’ll have a cracking good car.

Warranty & servicing

Warranty:
3 years / 100,00km

Servicing:
Every 6 months or 10,000km

Tech specs

Engine:
1.5 litre 4-cylinder petrol

Power:
76kW (1.5 litre 4-cylinder petrol)

Torque:
137Nm (1.5 litre 4-cylinder petrol)

Transmission:
4-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
5-speed manual, front-wheel drive

Fuel Consumption:
6.4 – 6.8L/100km

Body Styles:
3-door hatchback (2007-10)
5-door hatchback
4-door sedan (2010)

Length:
3885mm (3-door hatchback)
3885 – 3900mm (5-door hatchback)
3903mm (4-door sedan)

Width:
1695mm

Height:
1475mm (3-door & 5-door hatchback)
1485mm (4-door sedan)

Kerb Weight:
1011 – 1062kg

Disclaimer

Information correct as of December 17, 2021.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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