Sunday, October 21, 2007
Test drove the NEW Mazda 2! I couldn't resist it. While M2 stood shivering with uncertainty over his fate in his parking lot at the showroom, June and I took out a new toxic green coloured 2 for a spin.
Unlike the boxy, functional old design, the new one is sleek and sporty on the outside. The sales reps emphasize how the new look is supposed to have been inspired by the Peugeot 207, but really it could stand by itself. M2 looks rather ungainly in comparison.
Because of the new look, the cockpit is more crammed than I'm used to. There isn't as much clearance between the head and the door frame, so there's a little more caution needed in entering and exiting. Much reduced trunk space from the old, and the seats don't fold up so don't expect to carry too much in the back.
The console is quite space-age, though the displays are still more analogue than digital. Controls give the impression that it's all fly-by-wire, especially with the tiny auto-shift lever mounted on the console panel rather than the floorboard. The stereo system looks like it's been moulded into a bubble; sound is adequate, though nothing to boast about. Standard, the upholstery comes in fabric, though there is an upgrade option to 1 or 2-tone (yuck) sports leather.
The ride is s-w-e-e-t. Quiet engine, highly responsive acceleration with a kick you can feel, and it corners well, without the sway that the old model with its higher CG can't help. If I ever get used to this kind of handling, it'll be a great temptation to just hit the highway to see what this baby can really do.
So am I getting a new car? The new M2 is a yummy treat to drive, but after doing the math (yes, we went that far), we decided we couldn't afford the switch. M2 is currently in excellent working condition, so there's no real reason to make the trade; and besides, there's big travel plans to be made next year which need some serious financing. I'm not about to give that up for a new car I don't need right now.
Pragmatism and a level-head won this day!
*video 'koped' from 4a.mazda.com