Mazda: on a roll with a model range
Driving the just upgraded Mazda 2 – a light car in a 14-model range in four hatchback grades Neo, Maxx, Genki and the new GT while the sedan comes in Neo, Genki and GT. The 1.5-litre engine carries over in the entry Neo but gains slightly more power in the higher grades with idle stop technology. No price rises – the entry Mazda2 Neo six-speed manual starting at $16,990 drive-away. When I compare the latest Mazda 2 to some of the small cars of old I’m amazed at the value and inclusions yet the price point has barely moved in the last 15 years. Take the second tier Mazda 2 Maxx – cruise control, rear parking sensors, six airbags, dynamic stability control, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio, keyless push button start, a 7-inch full colour touch screen, a reversing camera, 15-inch alloy wheels, digital radio, forward active brake control up to 30k’s forward and 8k’s in reverse – the list just goes on and on. And herein lies the success with light cars today – they are loaded with features for the money yet pricing has moved little over the last fifteen years. The Mazda 2 is our second best-selling light car behind the Hyundai Accent. The latest update sees minor styling changes in a consistent five-point grille that identifies every Mazda model. The hatch represents 75 per cent of sales, the sedan 25 percent. A short drive showed the latest model is quieter, has sharper handling and a better ride, and its better equipped across the range.
I’m David Berthon
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