Brian Joss –
The all-new Mazda2 1.5 DE Hazumi has the formula for success and it will, I predict, zoom zoom to the top of the charts. The diesel sips fuel, it’s at home in gridlocked traffic and on the open road. It’s fun to drive too.
Frugality is one of the Hazumi’s strong points and it gets 10/10 for economy. If you have a light foot you could probably drive from Cape Town to Mossel Bay and back – a distance of 776 km – and have some fuel left to do a bit of sight-seeing.
The flagship of the six-model range, the turbo-diesel hatch with automatic transmission which I had on test, also scores highly in the comfort and driveability stakes.
The all-new Mazda2 is the first subcompact to join the line-up of new-generation vehicles which have adopted Mazda’s ‘KODO—Soul of Motion’ design language and full range of Skyactiv technology.
I had the Hazumi straight after the 2 litre Mazda3 Astina (also with automatic transmission). Interestingly the Mazda2 takes some features from its “big brother” including the touchscreen, keyless entry, stop-start and the six-speed auto gearbox.
The Mazda2’s engine is pretty lively and willing to please: it delivers 77kW@4 000 and 250 N.m at 1 500 rpm. On the road the Hazumi performs well and it easily keeps up with traffic on the highway with a bit extra to overtake safely, when necessary. It is happy cruising at the legal limit and takes the hills in its stride, it also holds the road well and soaks up the road imperfections with ease.
Steering is responsive and the nose goes where you point it. The seats offer plenty of support. The six-speed automatic transmission shifted smoothly and it was a boon when I got caught in a traffic snarl-up on the N2. Headroom is good all round, although large passengers (read adults) may find leg space lacking at the rear. The luggage compartment , was I thought, a bit small, at 280 litres with a space-saver spare. But you can’t have everything.
Inside, there are touches of quality: soft leather on the dashboard, a chrome strip that runs beneath it, a 7 inch screen is standard and you can operate it through the control button sited next to the handbrake, which I thought was a neat touch. There is very little noise in the cabin and the sound system is good. Although at first glance the price tag of R259 900 does seem a bit high you get a lot of features which are usually found in more expensive cars: SatNav, a six-speaker audio system, Blueooth, keyless entry, push button start, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers, to name some. The Mazda2 1.5 Hazumi DE also uses an expensive combination of a turbo-diesel engine and an automatic gearbox which works brilliantly. The Hazumi can go from 0 to 100km/h in 10.1 seconds, says Mazda, which claims a fuel consumption of 4.4 litres/100km. I managed to achieve figures of 4.8 litres/100km in a town and country cycle.
I really did enjoy driving the Mazda2 which has a lot going for it. It’s miserly with fuel, it has features that you usually find in “executive cars, it’s comfortable and if you’re shopping around for a new car put the Mazda2 1.5 Hazumi DE near the top of your list. It has collected numerous accolades including the 2014 Car of the Year and the Good Design Gold Award in Japan as well as one of Germany’s most prestigious motoring awards – the 2014 Golden Steering Wheel in the small cars category.
The price includes a 3-year unlimited kilometre factory warranty; 3-year roadside assistance; a 3-year service plan and a 5-year corrosion warranty.