Hatchback

New Mazda2: Subcompact Game Changer?

Mazda wants its upcoming new small hatchback to redefine the segment.

First things first: the all-new Mazda2 will be sold in the US. For a time there were rumors claiming that Mazda was no longer interested in the US subcompact market due to slow sales. The previous gen Mazda2 had a hard time competing with the likes of the Ford Fiesta and Toyota Yaris. But Mazda is confident things are different now with the second-gen Mazda2. In fact, the Japanese automaker believes it’ll redefine the segment.

The car’s chief designer, Ayumu Doi, recently stated that the combination of an improved drivetrain, sportier styling and more premium interior will set the bar quite high for competitors. "We are aiming for ‘upscale’ worldwide. Not in terms of higher price but in quality feel." The combination of Mazda’s fuel efficient SkyActiv engines and transmission technologies enable it to avoid a hybrid variant as well. And to further prove just how serious it is about building a premium subcompact, the new hatchback will receive Mazda Connect, a smartphone connectivity system, as well as a precrash auto-braking feature.

The head-up display shown on the Japanese-spec model will probably make its way stateside as well. So will the new Mazda2 accomplish its goals and force competitors to up their game in this fast-growing segment? We’ll find out next year when the Mazda2 arrives in the US.

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