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Mazda’s fifth-generation light car trims up, drops kilos and builds muscle

6 Sep 2007

WITH the light-car class currently the fastest growing in Australia, only the deluded would dismiss the importance of the latest Mazda2. Especially when an in-form Mazda describes its newest baby as a second-generation ‘zoom-zoom’ vehicle. So out goes the protractor styling for a curvy, eye-catching design that recalls the boldness of the long-gone – but not forgotten – 121 ‘Bubble’ of the 1990s. But are good looks and savvy marketing enough in a segment that – these days – includes superstar superminis such as the Suzuki Swift, Ford Fiesta, Honda Jazz and Toyota Yaris?
Model release date: 1 September 2007 to 1 May 2010

Previous model

DY-series Mazda2

Released: Dec 2002
Ended: Aug 2007
Family Tree: Mazda2

Fans of the famous Mazda 121 ‘Bubble’ (1990—1997) had to endure another boxy baby Mazda after the demise of the unloved 121 Metro (1996—2002). But the DY-series Mazda2 – only the second mono-numerical Mazda after the midsized ‘6’ sedan – certainly impressed the doubters, with its keen cornering, eager yet frugal 82kW/141Nm 1.5-litre SVT twin-cam four-cylinder engine, slick five-speed manual gearshift (or optional four-speed automatic gearbox – with a Tiptronic-style shift pattern on latter Series II cars from mid-2005) and nicely laid-out cabin. Only the constant din of road roar ruined an otherwise likeable and practical little urban runabout. Three models were available: the base Neo, mid-range Maxx and be-kitted Genki. Only the single five-door bodystyle was ever offered. Ford’s WP/Q Fiesta range from 2004 shared some componentry with the Mazda.

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