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Current Mazda2 gets final refresh

Still strong: The current Mazda2 is a relative elder in the light-car segment, but it keeps selling in greater numbers than rival whippersnappers.

Mazda2 gets a late-life update to keep light-car rivals at bay

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2 Sep 2013

MAZDA has simplified and added extra value to its top-selling Mazda2 light-car range as part of a late-life upgrade to keep it fresh until an all-new replacement appears next year.

The starting price of $15,790 plus on-road costs stays the same, but you now get more for your money. Entry versions are no longer called Neo, but rather Neo Sport, and get new 15-inch alloy wheels in place of the old version’s steel rims with hubcaps.

Standard equipment is otherwise unchanged, extending to six airbags, air conditioning, cruise control, steering wheel mounted audio controls, USB input and power windows all standard features. However, there’s still not Bluetooth phone or audio connectivity, unlike many rivals.

Meantime, the old Maxx and Genki specification grades make way for a single version called the Maxx Sport that is in fact cheaper than both, priced at $16,930 with a five-speed manual and $18,580 with a four-speed auto.

Despite undercutting the old Maxx by $760, Mazda claims to have added $1200 worth of extra value. Additions include a ‘Genki’ style makeover with front fog lights, chrome exhaust tip, trip computer, a leather shifter for manual version and a leather steering wheel with red stitching.

Standard fare also extends to red-stitched front seats, climate control air conditioning and a temperature display on the instrument cluster.

Two new colours lifted from the larger Mazda6 – Jet Black and Blue Reflex – are now available. As usual, Mazda doesn’t charge extra for metallic and mica paint.

The mechanical package is unchanged, with the same 76kW/135Nm 1.5-litre engine under the bonnet. Fuel economy with the manual is 6.4 litres per 100km (combined-cycle) and 6.8L/100km for the auto.

Despite its relative age – the car has been around for about six years – Australian buyers continue to flock to the Mazda2. Sales may be down slightly this year to the tune of 6.6 per cent, but it still outsells every other light-car on the market.

Its 9632 sales year-to-date equate to 12.3 per cent segment share, more than the newer Toyota Yaris (8760), Hyundai i20 (7578), Suzuki Swift (6659), Mitsubishi Mirage (6449) and Kia Rio (5751).

“Mazda2 is already Australia’s favourite city car and this latest upgrade makes it even more appealing than ever,” says Mazda Australia director of marketing Alastair Doak.

“Style and safety have always been two hallmarks of the Mazda2 range but with buyers also benefitting from improved value there is more reason than ever before for new car buyers to consider this impressive light car stalwart.”

As reported an all-new Mazda2 will appear next year, packing evolutionary styling but entirely new SkyActiv underpinnings, meaning it should be lighter, faster and more frugal than before.

2013 Mazda2 pricing*
Neo Sport$15,790
Neo Sport (a)$17,440
Maxx Sport$16,930
Maxx Sport (a)$18,580
*Excludes on-road costs.

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