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Mazda2 sedan returns in style

Reboot: Mazda will bring back the Mazda2 sedan in August after a supply switch from Thailand to Japan effectively stopped supply of the previous-generation coming to Australia.

Next-gen Mazda2 sedan to broaden appeal with better looks and more variants

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Mazda logo12 Jun 2015

By TUNG NGUYEN

MAZDA Australia is returning to the light-sedan segment with a booted version of its Mazda2 hatch, which is expected to perform much better than its previous iteration thanks to less-divisive exterior styling and a wider range of specification levels.

As previously reported, the third-generation Mazda2 sedan will arrive on Australian shores in August with the same 1.5-litre SkyActiv four-cylinder petrol engine that powers its hatchback siblings.

The powerplant will be available with two separate power outputs, 79kW/139Nm in the entry level variant and 81kW/141Nm in the range-topping booted version.

Along with at least two variants, the new Mazda2 sedan – which was revealed at last year's Thailand motor show – features updated, more conventional styling after the lukewarm reception to the last iteration.

Mazda Australia managing director Martin Benders told GoAuto that the key changes are enough for Mazda's newest entry level sedan to attract more sales than its predecessor.

“The design was a little bit polarising on the previous one,” he said.

“The other thing we did with the previous one was we only brought it out in mid-grade spec, so we will launch this one with more options and spec to broaden its appeal.” Although detailed specification is yet to be revealed, the Mazda2 hatchback is available in three different flavours, base Neo, mid-spec Maxx and top-tier Genki.

Standard features on the Neo include 15-inch wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, USB integration and push-button start, Maxx adds cruise control and a more refined interior, while Genki includes 16-inch wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, and a 7.0-inch colour touchscreen on top of that.

Sales of the previous-gen Mazda2 sedan were steady, averaging 80 units a month from April 2010, which accounted for less than 10 per cent of overall sales, before production switched from Thailand to Japan, cutting off supply of the light sedan to Australia.

Year-to-date sales of the Mazda2 are up 7.9 per cent to 6045 units, placing it third in the segment behind the Toyota Yaris (6057) and Hyundai i20 (6100), both of which are available in hatch shape only.

The Mazda2 sedan, when released, will compete against Honda City, which has sold 1037 units year-to-date, while the Mitsubishi Mirage Sedan, shifting 679 vehicles.

Other light cars sold in sedan guise include the Holden Barina, Toyota Yaris and Hyundai Accent.

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