Now in its third year on the market, the 2012 Mazda Mazda2 may just be the most enjoyable subcompact five-door hatchback on the market.
While its "zoom-zoom" isn't necessarily as evident in the styling as its flashier and bigger siblings, it competes with distinction on the sportiest end of the spectrum against cars like the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, or Chevy Sonic. In other words, it'll let you drive rings around a Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Accent, or Kia Rio--and leave you grinning while you do.
The Mazda2 shares quite a lot of basic engineering with the Ford Fiesta, but uses Mazda's 100-horsepower, 1.5-liter engine and either a five-speed manual gearbox or an archaic and sluggish four-speed automatic transmission. We drove only the manual, and that's clearly the one to order if you're a Mazda buyer to start with.
The engine likes to rev, and you'll need to do that to keep up with traffic. Like a number of Mazdas, the Mazda2 is borderline underpowered, so you need to wring it out to...
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