Mazda 2 Hybrid

If you saw the previous 2 Hybrid on a Mazda forecourt, it immediately stood out from its stable-mates. “I wouldn’t call it a black sheep, but it didn’t fit the line-up,” says Stenuit. So the goal for this revamp was to make the regular Mazda 2’s “adopted sibling” look more like part of the family.

Key to that is effort to differentiate the grille and give it more of the feel of Mazda’s traditional five-pointed design. There’s also a new-look front bumper that’s more in keeping with the Hiroshima firm’s traditional designs, while at the rear there’s extra bodywork elements on the boot.

Still, there is undoubtedly still a lot of Toyota DNA in the 2 Hybrid, a result of the limitations of budget, manufacturing feasibility and the need to avoid having to conduct costly separate crash tests. The front headlights are still clearly Toyota in design rather than Mazda’s round signature, while the badge sits above the grille rather than at the centre of it on other Mazda models.

Given the Yaris is a smart-looking hatch, that’s not really a bad thing, and Mazda’s stylists deserve credit for injecting a bit of individual character into the design without making it look too much of a mash-up between different design philosophies.

The Mazda 2 Hybrid also shares identical key dimensions to the Yaris: it is 3940mm long and 1531mm wide, with a wheelbase of 2560mm. For comparison, that makes it marginally shorter and narrower than its ‘adopted sibling’. It also has a bigger boot: the 2 Hybrid has 286 litres of boot space, compared with 255 litres for the regular 2.

Underneath the bodywork, the Mazda 2 Hybrid is essentially identical to the Yaris. That makes it one of just a handful of hybrid-powered superminis, along with the Honda Jazz and Renault Clio.

Power is sent to the front wheels and comes from Toyota’s proven three-cylinder 1.5-litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, connected to two electric motor generators powered by a 178V lithium ion drive battery.

While the Yaris is now offered with a choice of 114bhp and 129bhp versions, only the lower-powered option is available for the Mazda 2 Hybrid.

Notably, the 2 Hybrid trim levels don’t match up to those offered on the Yaris, so entry-level Mazda models come on 15in wheels, which aren’t an option on the Toyota. On medium- and higher-level trims, 16in and 17in wheels are available.


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