If you’re looking for a ‘not so little’ little car that packs a whole lot of punch, then the Mazda2 Hazumi Auto 1.5L DE is the car for you. By Tessa Buhrmann.
I was pleasantly surprised at how spacious and luxurious the interior is – I loved the high quality, crafted feel of the soft-touch leather/cloth combo with its red double-stitching and the ‘I’m in charge’ feel that the ‘cockpit zone’ gives, with its push-button keyless start and centre console side panels.
It’s actually not surprising that the Mazda2 Hazumi is so easy to love… it was designed with Mazda’s ‘KODO Soul of Motion Design Language’, which to quote global design head Ikuo Maedo is to “express movement with forceful vitality and speed”. It is said that he also believes that ‘an object that receives love and attention from its craftsmen will be given a soul, and that a car is not only a means to go from A to B, but also a reliable partner’. No wonder I had the compulsion to name the car ‘Haz’ and take him on a couple of excursions.
I soon got used to the fact that there was no gear lever or clutch in this fabulous subcompact Auto and realised all that I had been missing when it comes to driving in traffic. It’s easy to drive in the city and a breeze to park, and the i-stop technology (short for idling stop) works like a dream – you simply put your foot on the brake and your engine stops, release the break and you’re off again. Technically this speedy restart is due to the fact that the Mazda i-stop uses a combustion restart in preference to an electric motor restart. All great for helping with fuel efficiency – in my week of mostly town and suburban driving I averaged 6.5L /100km. Figures of 4.4L / 100km have been quoted, which would very likely be achievable on a long distance trip.
With economy and safety being paramount for most motorists, it was pleasing to know that Mazda’s SKYACTIV technologies have been adapted for the All-New Mazda2 – this includes the i-stop technology, the 6-speed automatic transmission, and ‘new generation’ design and materials for both the body and chassis. Despite the lightness of the body, the Madza2 scores high on its collision performance due to a ‘multi-load path structure that absorbs and disperses impact force’. Additionally, the Hazumi has dual front airbags, ‘smart’ seatbelts and Dynamic Stability Control. Other new developments include enhancing performance so as to deliver ease of driving and a good field of vision for the driver.
When the opportunity arose to visit Tala Collection Private Game Reserve I couldn’t refuse. It was great to get the feel of the open road, to test the responsiveness of the SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmission and to make use of the MZD Connect system – who wouldn’t want to be able to keep tabs on their burgeoning inbox and social networking safely while in the road? Connectivity aside, I was really impressed with the smooth gear changes of the 6-speed automatic transmission and the way the Mazda2 Hazumi handled up hills – especially the twists, turns and incline of Key Ridge on our homeward journey.
One would think that taking a compact ‘little’ vehicle like the Mazda2 ‘on safari’ would be unwise and perhaps even a little foolish… and I did have my doubts when presented with a map of the conservation reserve and directions to our picnic breakfast! I needn’t have worried. Sure I did stay clear of the roads that would have comfortably accommodated the Mazda2’s big brother (the Mazda CX-5 2.2 DE Akera FWD), but there were plenty of options for us to enjoy. I was pleasantly surprised by the road clearance and how easy game viewing was – the i-stop came in handy for this, and then there was the wonderfully efficient aircon on the way home.
Mazda certainly live up to their marketing blurb with this one. Their aim to “shatter all notions of the subcompact class” is thoroughly executed. I would agree with Mr David Hughes, Managing Director of Mazda Southern Africa when he says “The All-New Mazda2 condenses the essential DNA of Mazda’s new-generation vehicles into a compact car that delivers true motoring value not constrained by conventional notions. In pursuing the ultimate driving experience, we are confident that the Mazda2 delivers a highly responsive performance that South African customers of varying lifestyles can enjoy”.
To say that I enjoyed driving the Mazda2 Hazumi Auto 1.5L DE would be an understatement! I was sorry to part with my vibrant blue Haz.
But then the Mazda CX-5 2.2L DE Akera AWD MY15 is next up for a Tattler review. I’ll have to find another game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal to test drive the CX-5’s all-wheel drive capability.
About the author: Tourism Tattler correspondent Tessa Buhrmann is the editor of Responsible Traveller magazine. www.responsibletraveller.co.za