No, you didn’t read wrongly. What we know as the stylish B-segment Mazda 2 with supreme cornering talent was first launched as a tall hatchback with minivan styling.
At least that was how Mazda described the car, but one look at the 2, or at that time known as the Demio, and you immediately see a minivan rather than a B-segment hatchback.
When the name Demio was introduced in 2002, it was actually the second generation of the model. A quick search on Google will only bring you back to 2002 but the Demio actually started life in 1996 under another name.
The first generation was actually known as the Autozam Revue. Enthusiasts know it as the Mazda 121 built on a newer DW platform that Mazda builds their B-segment small cars on.
This minivan (some argues that it has an SUV silhouette) form of the Mazda Demio was a big hit in Japan. It was a huge reason that made manufactures realise the demand for minivans in the Japanese market.
Elsewhere in the Americas, companies like Ford took the platform and marketed the car as the Ford Festiva Mini Wagon instead.
The Demio that we know now only started life in 2007. Instead of continuing on as a minivan Mazda decided to make the leap and transformed the Demio into a B-segment hatchback and sedan.
Mazda’s decision to change the car’s concept stems from modern concerns such as the environmental friendliness, good driving experience, and a greater emphasis on design.
So, they’ve not only reduced the dimensions of the car but also made full use of lightweight materials making the car 100 kg lighter than the outgoing minivan.
The current generation is the Mazda 2’s fourth generation cycle and heavily embodies Mazda’s latest Kodo design language, SkyActiv technology and adheres to the Jinba-ittai concept. That’s a lot of Mazda talk.
Worldwide, Mazda now knows the model as the Mazda 2 and the name Demio is reserved only for Japan. In 2020, the Mazda 2 will enter a new facelift cycle as we have seen in Thailand when we visited the Thailand Expo.