Bet you didn’t know that the Mazda 2 started life as a minivan!

Jerrica · Dec 17, 2019 03:58 PM

Mazda 2 first started life as a minivan

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.

Mazda 2 started as a minivan

Mazda 2 / Demio second generation

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.

Bet you didn’t know that the Mazda 2 started life as a minivan! 01

Autozam Revue aka Mazda Demio first generation

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.

Mazda 2 / Demio in Ford Festiva form

By Kuha455405

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.

Mazda 2 third generation

Mazda Demio/ 2 third generation

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.

Mazda 2 fourth generation

Mazda 2 fourth generation

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.



There isn’t a time in memory that doesn’t involve staring at cars. After discovering the excitement of watching Schumacher vs Hakkinen, Formula 1 became a major part of life. The love for cars and F1 ultimately led to a job with CAR Magazine. The untimely death of the magazine meant a hiatus from cars at lifestyle women’s magazine Marie Claire before another opportunity came knocking again.


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