Test: Mazda 2 Hybrid – Courtesy of Toyota

Look for the differences

Mazda 2 Hybrid First driving testMazda 2 Hybrid First driving testMazda 2 Hybrid First driving testMazda 2 Hybrid First driving testMazda 2 Hybrid First driving testMazda 2 Hybrid First driving test

Mazda 2 Hybrid First driving test

The updated Mazda 2 Hybrid is again a clone of the Toyota Yaris. Which immediately brings up that one question: why would you choose this Mazda over the Toyota?

What are the main differences between the Mazda and Toyota?

The Mazda 2 Hybrid may be brand new, but it immediately starts the match with Toyota with a 1-0 deficit. This Mazda will not be available with the new 130 hp powertrain that the recently updated Toyota Yaris does have. On the other hand, you get a six-year warranty on the Mazda, while Toyota gives five, and both brands double that period under certain conditions. So that makes it 1-1. Why would you prefer this Mazda?

Would there be buyers for that?

Mazda Europe is aware of the challenge. That is why sales numbers are not expected to be nearly as large as Toyota uses in its objectives. But at the same time, Mazda is convinced that there are buyers for the new 2 Hybrid. The current, now facelifted generation has proven that. Of these, only 20,000 units were sold. Mazda simply has loyal fans. And there are many Mazda drivers who have a good relationship with their dealer. She finally gets over that.

Mazda2Hybrid

What about space?

Just like the Yaris, the Mazda 2 Hybrid shows how mature compact cars have become in recent years. Although – just like its Toyota counterpart – it is still no space wonder. As an adult, you only have enough seating space in the back seat and some flexibility is expected when getting in and out. At 286 liters, the luggage space is also not generous for a car in the B segment. And if you fold the bench backrest, you will be unpleasantly surprised by a significant height difference in the loading floor.

Has the Mazda still been given some character of its own in the design?

The current generation of the Mazda 2 Hybrid has been on the market since 2021 and with this innovation an attempt has been made to give it more of its own identity. This was only successful to a limited extent, because Mazda design director Jo Stenuit revealed to AutoWeek that the budget was limited: “The limited sales numbers of this Mazda did not justify taking a rigorous approach. In any case, every change had to be submitted to Toyota. Although we have done our best to give it more of a Mazda family face. That certainly worked. The Mazda takes more distance from Toyota than before, especially with its appearance. We had nice proposals to significantly change the interior, but they were rejected. Again because of the costs.”

The interior is exactly like that of the Yaris. Including separate control panel for climate control: very user-friendly! Also less convenient is the lever needed to open the fuel valve: why not simply integrate it into the central locking?

Does this new Mazda move smoothly, and how economical is it actually?

As mentioned, the Mazda is only available with the well-known 116 hp hybrid powertrain. That is not a world of difference with Toyota’s new 130 hp drivetrain. They have the same 1.5-liter three-cylinder petrol engine with 91 hp. The electrical system increases power from 80 to 83 hp and torque from 141 Nm to 185 Nm. An earlier test with the updated Yaris showed that we should not expect miracles from it. It saves half a count in the sprint from zero to one hundred and in practice the difference is hardly noticeable.

It is therefore not surprising that the Mazda has to make do with the lighter, but therefore cheaper drive. The petrol and electric motor work together in an exemplary manner and the transition from one power source to the other is seamless. The CVT automatic transmission also works well. Of course you hear that a lot of work is being done when you ask for great performance, but you can live with that. And gasoline consumption is expected to be pleasantly low. Mazda promises 1 in 26.3 (WLTP) for the cheapest version on paper. In city traffic you can drive up to 80 percent electrically, Mazda claims.

How is his driving behavior?

Once on the road with the updated Mazda 2, it turns out that it (of course) drives just as well as the Yaris. The chassis may be a little too firm, but it still offers sufficient comfort. The steering and handling are also very good.

Mazda 2 Hybrid First driving test

And what about the equipment?

The safety equipment is almost complete, just like with Toyota. It is nice that these systems do not warn too loudly, while in other cars this can be quite irritating. Also with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (standard) and wireless charging of your smartphone and a head-up display (both options), this Mazda confirms that it is completely up to date.

The updated Mazda 2 Hybrid is available from €26,790, while the Yaris (Hybrid 115) with the same drivetrain is available from €26,050. Basically, there are few differences in the standard equipment: the Mazda has two instead of four speakers and one instead of two USB-C connections. If you are considering purchasing one of these two cars, it is definitely worth looking at the temporary First Edition version of the Yaris. It offers a lot of extras for almost the same price as the cheapest Mazda: €26,795, but does not have a hybrid drivetrain.

Finally, what is the difference between the Mazda 2 and the Mazda 2 Hybrid?

That makes a world of difference. The Mazda 2 Hybrid, the adopted child of the family, stands in the showroom as usual, brotherly next to the ‘normal’ Mazda 2. It is still there: a completely different model with a mild-hybrid drivetrain, fully developed by Mazda.

– Thanks for information from Autoweek.nl

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