SNAZZY MAZDA2 FOR 2015: Mazda has a tough road ahead as it continues to rebuild itself solo. Looks like the new Mazda2 will help a lot. Coming early 2015. Image: Mazda UK
Mazda in the UK has released details and (UK) prices for the brand-new and rather radical Mazda2 that South Africa can expect to arrive early in 2015.
It’s said to combine Mazda's SkyActiv technology with its Kodo/Soul of Motion design and to bring “new levels of technological sophistication, driving pleasure and active safety to the highly competitive B segment”.
The car comes with a whole slew of new or upgraded tech and new names with – again, in the UK - a choice of 12 petrol and four diesel models priced from £12 000 to £17 500 on the road – that translates, as a guide only, to R222 000 to R323 750 (Dec 2014 exchange rates).
SIGNATURE GRILLE, LOTS OF TECH
Mazda says the range “sets new standards for infotainment, in-car connectivity and equipment levels” in its segment with the 68kW SE-L Nav models including an 18cm colour touch-screen, a rotary Multimedia Commander infotainment control, MZD Connect, DAB radio and satnav while the Sport Nav models also get 16” alloy rims, smart keyless entry and auto aircon.
The UK will also get a Sports Launch Edition powered by a 1.5 68kW SkyActiv-G petrol engine with satnav, 16” alloy rims, privacy glass, auto headlights and screen wipers, rear parking radar and metallic/mica/pearlescent paint.
Mazda UK adds: “Featuring the signature 'wing' front grille and predatory headlights which instantly identify it as the latest addition to the Mazda family, the company's all-new supermini shuns B segment monobox styling in favour of a dynamic, muscular, cab-rearward design which incorporates a longer wheelbase with smaller overhangs to maximise interior space.
“Extra shoulder and knee room is complemented by improved seat comfort, clear instrumentation and switches and superior ergonomics. Within a five-level grade structure (SE, SE-L, SE-L Nav, Sport and Sport Nav) is a wide range of premium interior finishes that raise the bar for quality and craftsmanship in the B segment.”
The satnav in the UK comes with three years of free updates.
Heady claims indeed – we’ll see when we get to drive them on the South African launch.
AND THE ENGINES...
The MZD Connect system works with iPhone and Android smartphones to access a variety of free mobile content via a cloud-based service with thousands of radio stations and Twitter and Facebook audio feeds.
MZD Connect also supports iPod, MP3 and CD playback, terrestrial radio, SMS and readout functions.
But what about the engines in this car that, Mazda says, is seven percent lighter than its predecessor? Oh yeah… they are, as are all others, “ultra-efficient”. The choice amounts to a bunch of 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines, the petrol units promising 56, 68 and 86kW and the single diesel 79kW.
Mazda UK’s media release cheerfully says they “offer the ideal balance of lively, agile performance and highly-competitive fuel economy” but doesn’t go into detail
Passenger protection is big with the cars and includes across the range anti-lock brakes with emergency pressure reserve, stability and traction control, gradient-start help and tyre-pressure monitors.
As the model grades ascend, so arrive lane-departure warning, city-traffic speed self-braking and a ‘safety pack’ which adds higher levels of driver assistance and security with auto high-beam, blind-spot and cross-traffic monitors and a head-up display (claimed to be for the first time in the B segment) with current driving data displayed.