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Car reviews - Mazda - Mazda2 - Genki 5-dr hatch


Mazda replaces the 121 with a funky, dynamic new Mazda2 hatch

24 Jun 2003

IT sounds like a pretty good combination. Bigger, safer and more dynamic than its predecessor, yet less expensive at entry-level, Mazda's new "2" series looks the part as a significant light-car contender. It offers tangible improvements in tactile quality over the outgoing 121, as well as a new, high-tech engine that adds an extra touch of dynamism. And the new car is bigger in all directions, particularly the inside, where it virtually matches early-model Mazda 323s. Three models are available, with the entry-level Neo actually priced lower than the previous 121 Shades hatch. The mid-level Maxx and top of the line Genki (tested here) creep past $20,000, but not outrageously so.

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Model release date: 1 December 2002 to 1 June 2005

Previous model

Mazda 121 Metro hatch

Released: October 96
Ended: December 02
Family Tree: Mazda2

The famous 121 "jellybean" sedan of 1990 proved hugely popular for Mazda, but its demise in the shape of the boxier five-door 121 Metro hatch that superseded it in 1996 came all too quickly. The 121 Metro, and the Shades models that replaced it in September 1999, didn't prove as successful as the original jellybean, but Mazda hopes the 2 that replaced them in December 2002 will.

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