It offers Mini-like customization.
It may no longer be sold in the United States, but the 2023 Mazda2 just received a facelift over in Japan. As a reminder, the Mazda2 was formally Mazda's smallest vehicle positioned below the Mazda3, but it was discontinued after the 2014 model year. This current third-generation model was never officially sold in the US as a Mazda, though it was brought over as a Scion, which was later rebadged as a Toyota Yaris.
The Mazda2 is quite old now, having been on the market (globally) for more than a decade. In order to keep the car relevant, a facelift offers new customization options that are reminiscent of the Mini brand. Customers can pick from several two-tone wheel caps, instrument panels that match the exterior paint, mirror colors, stripes, and roof films. Mazda says there are 198 possible combinations.
The trim levels are very different from what Mazda offers stateside. Customers can select from the 15 BD (Blank Deck), XD BD (Crossed Beady), 15 Sport, XD Sport+, and 15 Sunlit Citrus. That Sunlit Citrus trim comes pretty well-equipped with smart brake support), radar cruise control), and lane-keep assist.
The "15" numbering refers to the 1.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine, which sends power to the front wheels or all-wheel-drive optionally. Most trim levels come with a six-speed automatic transmission but the 15 Sport is available with a six-speed manual when equipped with FWD.
Though it's getting on in age, the Mazda2 is still a pretty attractive hatchback that we'd love to see offered in the US. But if Toyota's Yaris sales were any indication, this car wouldn't sell well in our crossover-obsessed market. Even still, the Mazda2 looks like great affordable transportation starting at just 1,529,000 yen (roughly $11,770 USD). The top model is only 2,541,000 yen (around $19,600).
As Mazda prepares to introduce the new CX-90 with its most powerful engine ever, we fear the Japanese automaker is moving far away from the simple, fun-to-drive cars that cemented the brand in the US.
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