Featuring a renewed more sophisticated exterior design, new technology, improved refinement and an upgraded interior, the 2020 model year version of this popular supermini will be offered with a simplified five-model range, exclusively powered by Mazda’s familiar 1.5-litre Skyactiv-G petrol engine – which for the first time is matched to Mazda’s M Hybrid mild-hybrid system.
Visually, the upgraded Mazda2 is marked out by the adoption of the latest evolution of Mazda’s Kodo design. The new grille features a mesh pattern, bringing it into line with the style seen on the all-new Mazda3 hatchback, while the wider signature wing and revised headlights heighten the Mazda2’s sporty appearance. At the rear, the redesigned bumper gives the impression of a lower stance on the road.
Inside, revisions to dashboard trims, air vent louvres, door inserts and the instrument hood are examples of how improvements to materials and design have enhanced the Mazda2’s already upmarket interior. Highlighting Mazda’s driver centred focus, the new front seats feature a more advanced design and structure that better supports the body and helps maintain a posture in which the pelvis is upright and the spine maintains a natural S-shaped curve. The comfort of all occupants has also been considered with a host of upgrades designed to improve refinement and interior quietness. New damping materials have been added in the cabin and a reduced gap around the base of the B-Pillar further upgrades sound insulation, as do revised sealing rubbers between the roof panel and the boot.
Already a supermini well-regarded for its handling, subtle updates have enhanced its driver appeal with changes that include use of a urethane top mount in the rear dampers and revisions to the power steering to improve response and feel. In addition, the 2020 Mazda2 features G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) – the evolved version of Mazda’s GVC system, which now uses the brakes to apply direct yaw movement control in addition to the previous system’s engine control.
Priced at £15,795, the 75ps SE-L entry point to the range features a standard equipment tally that includes rear parking sensors, 15-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, climate control and cruise control. SE-L Nav, Sport Nav and GT Sport Nav models are powered by the 90ps version of 1.5-litre Skyactiv-G engine and feature Mazda Connect navigation with a seven-inch colour touch-screen, plus Apple CarPlay® and Android AutoTM. In addition, the safety equipment tally is enhanced with Front Smart City Brake Support and Lane-keep Assist.
From Sport Nav onwards the 2020 Mazda2 is marked out by 16-inch alloy wheels, gloss black grille treatment, rear privacy glass, shark-fin antenna and a chrome exhaust trim, plus it benefits from the smart keyless entry. At the top of the range, the flagship GT Sport Nav trim features high-end features normally the preserve of more expensive sectors, including a reversing camera, leather seats and a colour head-up display, plus heated front seats and steering wheel.
Commenting on the arrival of the 2020 Mazda2, Jeremy Thomson, Managing Director Mazda UK said: “the Mazda2 may be the smallest car we produce, but it has at its heart the same values of style, driver involvement and quality that mark out all our vehicles. With the updated 2020 Mazda2 all of these attributes have been enhanced; the Mazda2 is now even better to drive, plus it’s more efficient. Add in the refreshed styling, upgraded interior and the generous equipment tally across all models and we have a distinctive and premium contender in what is still one of the most competitive segments in the UK car market.”
The 2020 Mazda2 continues to embody Mazda’s hugely successful award-winning Kodo: Soul of Motion design theme, to create a car with a playful, yet elegant spirit. Since its debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, the Mazda2 has defied convention by eschewing the traditional monobox shape that currently dominates supermini design, and features muscular cab-rearward proportions.
Striking a high degree of visual consistency with other members of the Mazda line-up, the Mazda2 features the latest evolution of Mazda’s innovative Kodo: Soul of Motion design philosophy. The new front grille features a mesh pattern, bringing it into line with the style seen on the all-new Mazda3, while the wider signature five-point ‘wing’ enhances the sporty appearance of the model. Its distinctive exterior signature lines continue to run through the lower lip of the grille and into the piercing headlamps. At the rear, the redesigned bumper gives the impression of a lower stance on the road to reinforce the Mazda2’s sporty design, while the improved rear lights complement the clean overall design.
The 2020 Mazda2 is available in the following paint options: Arctic White, Snowflake White Pearlescent, Sonic Silver, Ceramic Metallic, Eternal Blue Mica, Deep Crystal Blue Mica, Jet Black Mica, Deep Crimson Mica, Machine Grey Metallic and Polymetal Grey. In addition to this, the Mazda2 is also available in Mazda’s signature Soul Red Crystal Metallic, which uses a unique paint process to deliver glossy depth and nuanced shading.
The entry level SE-L and SE-L Nav trims are marked out by 15-inch alloy wheels, black front grille insert and LED headlights with halogen daytime running lights. Moving up to the Sport Nav and GT Sport Nav trim, these models are marked out further with redesigned 16-inch alloy wheels, gloss black front grille insert, privacy glass, shark-fin antenna, signature LED headlights and chrome exhaust trim.
With its reach-and-rake adjustable steering wheel, perfectly positioned pedals, supportive front seats and deep-set instrument panel, the spacious and generously appointed cabin of the 2020 Mazda2 reflects its athletic external lines with its driver-centric cabin design.
The height and shape of the door openings are optimised to ease entry and exit from the Mazda2, in even the tightest of parking spaces. Along with the centrally positioned steering wheel and pedal layout, the driver’s seat offers a generous 260mm of movement, while the steering wheel boasts 50mm of telescopic range and 50mm of rake adjustment.
The instrument and control layout sees the binnacle positioned ahead of the driver with a winged instrument panel that displays vital driving data. On all models except the SE-L, a dash-mounted 7-inch colour touch-screen display combined with a smooth rotary Multimedia Commander is standard, delivering an enhanced human-machine interface (HMI), which offers extremely safe, intuitive interactivity and infotainment control for drivers.
This driver-centric cabin design is further highlighted in the GT Sport Nav with the colour Active Driving Display, which uses a clear panel mounted on top of the dash to project essential driving information directly in to the driver’s line of sight. The intuitive system – which adjusts automatically to ambient light – projects the information around 1.5m ahead of the driver’s eye point, the distance optimised to minimise focal adjustment and eye movement to ensure they remain focused on the road ahead.
This head up display projects key driving information such as speed, turn-by-turn navigation and vehicle warnings into the driver’s line of sight. No more than three items – including road speed, turn-by turn navigation and safety warnings – are displayed at any given time and are prioritised with the most important piece of information at the top to enhance levels of driver information. For example, an urgent active safety warning will immediately displace whatever information is at the top, only reverting back once the danger has been satisfactorily addressed.
The comfort of all occupants has also been considered with a host of upgrades designed to improve the 2020 Mazda2’s refinement. Moving through the cabin, the new front seats feature an upgraded design structure that better supports the body and helps maintain a healthy posture in which the pelvis is upright and the spine maintains a natural S-shaped curve to prevent fatigue. In the range-topping GT Sport Nav trim, drivers will benefit from the stylish Blue/Grey leather seats with Black Granlux® inserts and heated front seats (optional Stone leather available as an option on GT Sport Nav grades in early 2020).
Revisions to the dashboard trims, air vents louvres, door inserts and instrument hood are all examples of how improvements to materials and design have enhanced the 2020 Mazda2’s already upmarket design along with smart keyless entry for Sport Nav and GT Sport Nav trims.
The boot space in the 2020 model remains at 280-litres, which in turn increases 950-litres with the 60:40 split rear seats folded down across all trim levels. The regular shape of the boot means it can now comfortably hold a large 72cm suitcase or a standard-sized baby buggy (with rear seats in place) or a pair of golf bags with the seats folded.
In addition host of upgrades designed to improve the Mazda2’s cabin design, refinement and interior quietness feature throughout the updated model. Thanks to the new damping materials added throughout the cabin, reduction in the gap around the base of the B-Pillar, upgrades to the sound insulation and revised rubber sealings, occupants will be able benefit from reduced cabin noise and external vibrations.
Engines and transmissions
The 2020 Mazda2 is available in the UK exclusively with a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated Skyactiv-G petrol engine that’s offered with a choice of two power outputs: 75ps and 90ps. The 75ps engine is available in SE-L trim, while the 90ps version makes up the bulk of the range and is offered in SE-L Nav, Sport Nav and GT Sport Nav trims.
For the first time in the Mazda2, the 1.5-litre naturally aspirated Skyactiv-G petrol engine is matched to Mazda’s M Hybrid mild-hybrid system to deliver lower running costs and strong environmental credentials. Standard on all Skyactiv petrol engines with a manual transmission, Mazda M Hybrid technology uses a small Belt-Integrated Start Generator (B-ISG) to capture and store kinetic energy from regenerative braking and repurposes it to improve efficiency. As a result, manual versions of the Mazda2 have emissions from as low as 94-95g/km and economy of 53.3mpg on the combined cycle.All models now feature a six-speed Skyactiv manual transmission as standard, while in Sport Nav trim you can also choose a six-speed Skyactiv-Drive automatic transmission.
When developing the 1.5-litre engine, Mazda’s engineers eschewed the current trend of exploiting tried and tested technology such as forced induction and downsizing engines, and opted instead for a fundamental rethink that would allow them to ‘right-size’. The result was the 1.5-litre all-alloy engine which uses advanced technologies – including intelligent direct fuel injection, low-friction design, and a compression ratio of 13:1 for both power output engines – to deliver high levels of economy, refinement and flexibility without compromising performance.
In the Skyactiv-G petrol engine, the top-dead-centre temperature remains lower than the last generation engine, halving the level of residual exhaust gas from eight to four per cent, while introducing an extended and looped four-into-two-into-one exhaust system prevents exhaust gas leaving one cylinder being forced into the combustion chamber of another.In addition, the piston heads are fitted with cavities to prevent the initial combustion flame from hitting the piston and interfering with the flame’s growth, and low-temperature oxidation – an exothermic reaction in which the bonds within the molecules of petrol break and produce energy – were exploited to further boost torque across the rev range.
The 90ps variants use an innovative four-two-one exhaust manifold, which lowers the in-cylinder compression temperature to help prevent knocking (unwanted premature ignition), improve the scavenging effect and with it combustion efficiency, and deliver extra torque – especially at low engine speeds. The ‘standard power’ 75ps version of the 1.5-litre Skyactiv-G petrol engine has a 13:1 compression ratio, variable valve timing on the intake manifold only and simpler four-into-one exhaust manifold. Despite its smaller exhaust, simpler valve timing, lighter engine cover and smaller oil pump, this version still produces more torque than Mazda’s previous-generation MZR 1.3-litre petrol engine.
Working in conjunction with the Mazda M Hybrid system, all versions of the 2020 Mazda2 are also equipped with the i-stop idle-stop technology as standard. Developed entirely in-house and tailored specifically for its application in Mazda’s Skyactiv engines, the i-stop idle-stop system uses combustion energy for restarting the engine, and only requires an electric-powered starter motor to provide a small degree of momentum during the initial restart phase.
The lightweight Skyactiv six-speed manual transmission – found on both the 75ps and 90ps models – delivers the same effortless, crisp and precise wrist-flick gear changes, as those enjoyed by MX-5 drivers. The key element to achieving this quick and decisive gearshift action is a larger gear lever ratio, but this in turn effectively reduces the internal stroke.To counter this, Mazda’s transmission engineers developed a small module spine that allows for exceptionally precise synchroniser and torque transmissions even with the desired 45mm short gear lever stroke. Shift effort gradually falls away during the gearshift action, resulting in a reassuring resistance during the initial movement of the gear lever, followed by a lighter touch to create the tangible feeling of the gears meshing cleanly in to place.
Combining competition-beating torque capacity with lower internal drag, the six-speed transmissions require 45 per cent less transmission oil than previous generations.The Skyactiv-Drive six-speed lock-up automatic transmission used in the Mazda2 is a new version that’s smaller and lighter than the Skyactiv-Drive variant used in the all-new Mazda3, Mazda6 and Mazda CX-5. As in these models, the key requirements were strong fuel economy, a direct and engaging feel, smooth and quick shifts and prompt responses.
Regarded as one of the best handling cars in the supermini segment, the updated 2020 Mazda2 has the same ‘Love of Driving’ ethos at its heart as the rest of the Mazda range. Mazda has always had a thing for low weight, and like the rest of the range, the updated Mazda2 benefits from the company’s radical Skyactiv technologies. Its steering, suspension, brakes and aerodynamics have been designed and developed under Mazda’s intensive ‘gram strategy’ to deliver an excellent combination of athletic agility, cosseting ride comfort, low weight, enhanced economy and improved refinement and safety levels.
At the centre of this skill set sits the Mazda2’s innovative, lightweight and ultra-stiff chassis. In securing the disparate goals of engineering a new chassis that was both lighter and stiffer, Mazda’s engineers developed an advanced straight and continuous body framework, in which each body section functions in a coordinated manner with those around it.
With kerb weights starting from just 1,134kg (including 75kg driver) for the petrol-powered 1.5-litre 75ps Skyactiv-G with Skyactiv-MT Manual transmission, it is one of the lightest members in the supermini segment.
Already a supermini well-regarded for its handling, subtle updates to the 2020 model have enhanced its driver appeal with changes that include use of a urethane top mount in the rear dampers to enhance ride quality and revisions to the power steering to improve response and feel.
The 2020 Mazda2’s dynamic enhancements also see the introduction of G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) – the evolved version of Mazda’s GVC system. Having made its debut in the all-new Mazda3, GVC Plus is the second generation of Mazda’s vehicle dynamics control technology and has evolved to now use the brakes to apply direct yaw movement control in addition to the previous system’s engine control. The advanced technology enables the car to handle better in emergency avoidance manoeuvres and offers more confidence-inspiring controllability in various situations, including high-speed lane changes and driving on slippery roads.
The Mazda2’s Skyactiv-Body ‘triple H’ body structure, which comprises 65 per cent high tensile steels, provides an incredibly strong and lightweight protective safety cell around driver and passengers. Standard-fit safety equipment includes – Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Emergency Stop Signalling (ESS), Hill Hold Assist (HHA) and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). The supermini is also equipped with six airbags – dual front, side airbags and full-length curtain airbags – ISOFIX anchorage to the two outer rear seats, and five three-point seatbelts, 4 with pre-tensioners (not available on the centre rear seatbelt).
The optimised side and curtain airbags are of a larger capacity to not only cover the pelvis but also offer higher levels of impact protection to the chest and abdomen. Naturally, the head areas for both front and rear occupants are fully covered.
In addition to the Colour Active Driving Display featured on the flagship GT Sport Nav, this range-topping model also benefits from a reversing camera as standard, giving drivers a clearer image to make parking easier than ever and highlighting any potential hazards when reversing.
Mazda’s i-Activsense suite of advanced safety technologies help the driver to be aware of potential hazards and avoid them. Standard on all 90ps models, the Advanced Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) is designed to automatically stop the car, or reduce the speed of the car, when there is a risk of collision with the vehicle or pedestrian in front while travelling at speeds up to approximately 50mph. This helps the driver avoid or reduce the severity of a crash. Using a near-infrared sensor mounted on the windscreen to constantly monitor preceding vehicles at a range of up to around six metres, SCBS primes the brakes to remove any play in the pedal if its detects a collision is imminent. If the driver does not respond to potential obstruction ahead, SCBS automatically applies the brakes, extensively reducing the possibility of impact at speeds of up to 10mph and significantly reducing the intensity of a collision.
Also now standard from 90ps SE-L Nav models upwards is Mazda’s Lane-keep Assist System (LAS). The intuitive system uses a front view camera mounted at the top of the windscreen to monitor the proximity of lane markings and determines whether or not the vehicle is about to unintentionally stray from its lane. It warns drivers via a vibration in the steering wheel and an audible sound from the corresponding side speaker along with a visual warning in the instrument panel.
Available to the GT Sport Nav trim only, Driver Attention Alert (DAA) is designed to reduce accidents caused by driver fatigue. Working a speeds over 40mph, the system begins to learn and interpret the driver’s habits, and if the system detects changes in the vehicle that suggests the driver may be losing concentration, it will play an audible sound and display a warning in the Multi-Information Display to suggest a break for the driver.