First launched in Malaysia in January 2015, the Mazda 2 is due for a mid-life update - a second one for Malaysia. The first was done in 2016, which saw the previous car’s halogen headlamps being replaced with the current LED ones.
The most obvious difference with the facelifted Mazda 2 are the new front grille and LED headlamps and tail lamps. The wheels are new too.
The grille is now similar to what’s already fitted in the new Mazda 6 facelift, and all-new Mazda 3, while the headlights now feature a very finely crafted jewel-like finished, just like the one used in the all-new Mazda 3.
The same goes for the tail lights.
It’s has to be the most expensive headlights and tail lights fitted on any hatchback of this size, more expensive than those fitted on any German marque.
The driving experience is also said to be better, with a new and improved suspension, along with an upgraded GVC Plus, which compared to the outgoing model’s GVC, now enlists the brakes to stablise the car’s weight shift mid-corner for a smoother drive.
Where the outgoing model’s GVC retards the ignition to ever so slightly alter vehicles weight shift, GVC Plus improves it further by also employing individually controlled braking on the outer wheels to straighten the car better.
Not to be confused with torque vectoring, which applies brakes in the inner wheels to make the vehicle corner faster, GVC Plus’ braking works on the outer wheels, and is a comfort-biased feature, aimed at reducing unnecessary movements to the occupants’ upper body – the main cause of fatigue when driving.
GVC Plus doesn’t make the car go any faster (or slower).
Inside, the MZD Connect infotainment – the only one of its kind in this segment - now supports Apple CarPlay. There’s also a 360-degree camera, and the seats are also new.
It still maintains a colour head-up display, also the only one in its class to have such feature.
In some other markets, the new Mazda 2 get adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist, but the Thailand specifications model seen here gets none of those, so we don’t think the forthcoming Malaysian specifications new Mazda 2 will get it either.
The model seen here is powered by a 1.5-litre SkyActiv-D turbodiesel, which is the range topping variant in Thailand, so don’t get too alarmed by the low redline on the tachometer.
In Thailand, the sole petrol-powered variant uses a 1.3-litre naturally aspirated engine.
As before, Malaysia will get neither, opting instead for a 1.5-litre SkyActiv-G petrol.