Earlier this year, Bermaz Auto launched the 2020 Mazda 2 1.5 Hatchback facelift in Malaysia. It is a fully-imported (CBU) model from Thailand and only a single variant is offered – the 1.5 SkyActiv-G which comes with i-Stop idling technology.
There is even a sedan version available for those who want extra boot space.
The naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine produces 114 PS @ 6,000 rpm and 149 Nm @ 4,000 rpm, which powers the front wheels via a 6-speed SkyActiv-Drive automatic transmission.
Fuel economy is rated at 5.3 l/100 km (Mazda’s test rating).
How much is the Mazda 2?
Due to the additional equipment and the poor currency exchange rate, the Mazda 2 costs RM 103,670 (with SST), RM 8,560 more expensive than the pre-facelift model. This makes the Mazda 2 as the most expensive B-segment hatchback in Malaysia.
As this is just a facelift, there are some very minor changes, most notably the omission of the front foglamps which are replaced by a pair of chrome trim strips.
The chrome trim that surrounds the front grille now goes under the headlamps, giving a sharper look. The grille is now given a new mesh design, similar to the Mazda 6.
The back also looks cleaner thanks to a slimmer bottom rear apron design. The hatchback sits on size 185/60 R16 tyres with a new wheel design. The side remains unchanged from the pre-facelift.
Inside, the Mazda 2 receives a brand-new colour trim combo of grey and blue which covers the dashboard and the mixed leather/suede seats. The seats are ergonomically designed to offer enough support, especially behind the wheel.
Meanwhile, for those who want seamless smartphone connectivity, the 7-inch Mazda Connect infotainment system with Commander Control has support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is also an in-built navigation system but to activate it, you’d need to fork out an additional RM 1,270.
The Mazda 2 also comes with keyless entry and stop/start, a coloured head-up display, paddle shifters, and Sport mode.
Safety & Drive
For a B-segment hatchback that costs a little over 100 grand, it disappointingly lacks in safety features. Just like the pre-facelift Mazda 2, it comes with only 2 airbags, ABS, DSC, EBD, Emergency Brake Assist, Traction Control System, Emergency Stop Signal, and Hill Launch Assist.
But what it lacks in safety equipment, the Mazda 2 gains in driving dynamics. It now comes with G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) which helps to bring out a more engaging drive.
The steering is absolutely precise where even a small turn of the wheel gives an instant response. Chuck it round the corner and you feel planted on the road, just like a go-kart. Driving the Mazda 2 is definitely lively, that's for sure.
When it was launched in 2015, the Mazda 2 was a far more superior hatchback compared to its rivals with its enticing specs and features.
The Mazda 2 is already one of the best-handling cars in its class and the addition of GVC Plus definitely enhances it more. Mazda’s ‘Jinba ittai’ philosophy, based on the unity of horse and rider, or in this case, man and machine definitely shines here. The level of quality and finishing of the interior is outstanding.
But compared to rivals like the Honda Jazz and Toyota Yaris, the Mazda 2 seems like it's been left behind in terms of features. This is especially seen in the number of airbags (6 in the Jazz, 7 in the Yaris), and at a more affordable price too.
Boot space and rear legroom are the smallest for this segment. If you’re thinking of getting a hatchback to haul as much stuff as possible, look elsewhere. The Mazda 2 is a very driver-centric hatchback, even being far from the most comfortable hatchback.
In the end, the Mazda 2 is very expensive, lacks quite a bit in terms of safety, and isn’t spacious. However, it is extremely fun to drive and no other B-segment hatchback in the market gives you as much satisfaction behind the wheel like it.
If you are looking to buy a B-segment hatchback but you prioritise more on an engaging and fun driving experience, then perhaps the Mazda 2 is the right one for you.