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A small package with a big heart

YOU got to have style, as the song says, and Mazda has that in big doses with its Mazda 2 GLX hatch. But it is even better when you have a lot else to back that up, which the GLX does have.

Inside and outside the Mazda 2 is all about sharp lines and bright colours. Zipping through the city streets or out on the open road, it holds its own for looks.

It also more than holds its own for performance because this is an enjoyable car to drive — agile and assured, with enough of that zoom zoom power to match its rivals for pace and keep up with the big boys on the road once the sign says 100kmh.

The GLX has a more than useful 1.5-litre petrol engine, putting out maximum power of 81kW at 6000rpm and 141Nm of torque at 4000rpm

Thanks to the high-tech SyyAcctiv six-speed automatic transmission and helped not a little by the modern materials that give it a lightweight body, the Mazda2 has a really low fuel consumption of just 4.9 litres/100km.

A well-designed interior has comfort features like an adjustable seat, cruise control and a four-speaker audio system that connects with CD, USB, bluetooth, aux and MP3, and also includes handsfree phone calling.

In fact, sitting in this comfortable cabin you get the impression that nobody told the GLX it was supposed to be a small car. In every respect from head and leg room, to entry and exit, it feels much bigger.

Good handling and ride quality is expected of any Mazda and the GLX does not fail, cornering brilliantly while the suspension can eat up all the potholes and bumps.

The vehicle has a full safety package, with ABS brakes and traction control.

While this would be the perfect commuter car, fully in its element in town, it is also no slug on the open road. Long trips are part of its DNA.

This is supposed to be the basic car in the range, on the market for $23,495, but it lacks for nothing.

Rounding things off is the Mazdacare programme of five years unlimited warranty, five years roadside assistance and three years free servicing. Obviously Mazda’s bean counters do not expect to have to spend much on that.

Overall this is a handsome little runner offering much more than just a basic package. A real find, you might say.