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2012 Mazda Mazda2 Review

Sharp handling sets the 2012 Mazda2 apart, reviewers said, but some rival subcompacts offer more cargo space and better fuel economy.

Pros & Cons

  • Supportive front seats
  • Nimble handling
  • Small cargo hold




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.8
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.6
Safety: 7.9
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Mazda Mazda2 Overview

The 2012 Mazda2 comes with a four-cylinder engine that reviewers said offers adequate power on city streets, but can feel strained when climbing hills or passing on the highway. The standard five-speed manual transmission makes the best use of the engine’s power, they noted, though most agreed that the available four-speed automatic shifts smoothly. Equipped with an automatic transmission, the 2012 Mazda2 gets an EPA-estimated 28/34 mpg city/highway, which is typical for a subcompact car. The Mazda2 impressed test drivers with its sharp steering, strong brakes and agile handling, which they saidmake it particularly fun to drive.

Critics wrote that the 2012 Mazda2’s cabin features a straightforward design and attractive plastic materials that are appropriate for the class. The front seats are very supportive and offer long-haul comfort, reviewers said, though like many subcompact cars, the rear seats could use more legroom. The Mazda2 has less cargo space than many rival hatchbacks, including the Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent. It comes standard with air conditioning, power door locks and windows, keyless entry, a tilt steering wheel and a four-speaker CD audio system with an auxiliary input. Available features include cruise control, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and a six-speaker audio system. Reviewers said the audio and climate controls are well-labeled and intuitive, though a few critics complained that the Mazda2 doesn’t offer as many tech features as some rivals.

Other Cars to Consider

The 2012 Ford Fiesta gets slightly better fuel economy than the Mazda2 and reviewers said its cabin is tastefully appointed and feels upscale for the class. They also noted that the Fiesta corners confidently and is a lot of fun to drive.

Test drivers said the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic offers sharp steering and handles nimbly. The Sonic is available as a sedan or a hatchback, which offers more cargo space than the Mazda2.

Compare the Mazda2, Fiesta and Sonic »


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