• Feb 12th 2010 at 11:01AM
  • 55
2011 Mazda2 North American interior – click above for high-res gallery

The biggest event in the automotive world this week may be the Chicago Auto Show, but that isn't stopping Mazda from once again going north to reveal product at the Canadian International Auto Show. The Japanese automaker has a significantly larger portion of the Canadian market pie than it does in the U.S., so it makes sense that it would show off an upgraded Mazda2 interior in Toronto instead of in The Windy City.

The 2011 Mazda2, which is earmarked to go on sale in North America beginning in late Summer, will benefit from higher quality seat fabric (with piping) along with a better audio system and more robust HVAC controls, among other changes. It is not immediately clear if the changes for the NA car will matriculate back into European market models, but the alterations should help give the Mazda2 a fighting chance against competitors like its platform-mate, the Ford Fiesta, as well as the next-generation Chevrolet Aveo and models already on sale like the Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa and Honda Fit. Check out both the interior and exterior in our high-res galleries below.

[Source: Mazda]



TORONTO - Mazda's display at the 2010 Canadian International Auto Show is all about the 2011 MAZDA2, a stylish, fun-to-drive five-door hatchback. Zoom-Zoom in its most concentrated form - compact and efficient, yet packed with style and substance, the 2011 MAZDA2 will launch into the North American market late in the summer of 2010.

2011 MAZDA2

MAZDA2 is the latest in a line of stylish, insightful and fun-to-drive small cars from Mazda, and will bring an all-new level of refinement to the segment. MAZDA2 is a car that only the engineers at Mazda could have created. It was designed and engineered from scratch to be a pure Mazda, offering the sort of driving experience that could only come from the company that developed the timeless MX-5 two-seat roadster, and it brings a combination of athletic design and dynamic performance to the subcompact class.

Originally launched in 2007, the MAZDA2 was first introduced in Europe, Japan and Australia. Its launch created a unique offering in the subcompact segment, especially through its distinguished design and outstanding driving performance. Since then, it has been highly acclaimed throughout the world, winning 48 automotive awards, including "Car of the Year" accolades in many markets, including Japan, New Zealand, Chile, Bulgaria and Greece. Notably, the MAZDA2 was selected as the "2008 World Car of the Year" (WCOTY) at the 2008 New York International Auto Show and has established a distinguished position in the subcompact segment. To date, total global sales have reached over 400,000 units in the three years since its introduction, and MAZDA2 is now recognized as one of the global models which symbolizes the essence of the Mazda brand.

While developing the new MAZDA2, Mazda took a thorough look at global trends and carefully worked to identify the truly beneficial values that could be infused into a global subcompact car. As a result, the new MAZDA2 adds Mazda's unique brand values such as exhilarating driving performance and eye-catching design to the segment without sacrificing the basic requirements for subcompact cars: superior fuel efficiency, high crash safety performance and ample passenger space. In fact, while other carmakers have increased the size of their small cars, Mazda's first mission was to analyze and define the optimal size of a subcompact vehicle. This resulted in a very efficient body size for the new MAZDA2 without sacrificing attractive features that consumers desire.


With the MAZDA2, Mazda evolved the athleticism that is inherent to the Mazda design DNA in pursuit of bold and diverse expression of movement. The basic form of the new MAZDA2 is characterized by a combination of dynamic performance, sportiness and simplicity that leaves a strong visual impression. While competitors are producing subcompact cars with a focus on a boxy body form to prioritize functionality, Mazda shortened the body overhangs and trimmed the corners to the greatest extent possible as a way to provide a form that is compact and sporty, conveys a sense of stability and inspires confidence. By carefully creating a base form and then giving it energetic character lines befitting a subcompact car, Mazda created a design that is highly distinctive, but timeless.

Mazda pursued a concentrated, taut form for the body as a virtue in itself, not to simply reduce the car's body size. This creative background was advantageous in efforts to achieve maximum dynamic performance within the new MAZDA2's compact body. In other words, the MAZDA2 possesses the essence of Mazda's spirit of compact, sporty dynamic performance - "Zoom-Zoom Concentrated."

In pursuit of a solid form and a richly expressive exterior design, Mazda established an exterior design theme of "coordinated movement". In line with this theme, the design team combined the visual movements created by the car's silhouette, its body lines, and the way in which patterns of light played on the body to create dynamic, multifaceted expressions not typically seen on a subcompact car. These expressions exude a powerful energy that makes the new MAZDA2 look as though it is moving while standing still. Key exterior design elements include: a sporty wedge shape that conveys a strong sense of forward motion; a deeply sculpted form in which the body is drawn inward fore and aft of the A-pillars; and distinctive character lines that extend from the front fender arches to the body shoulders.


The interior design theme for the MAZDA2 is "a space that communicates movement". Whereas most subcompact cabins have monotonous design treatments with flat surfaces, the design team made the MAZDA2's cabin strikingly different through contoured forms that combine reassuring thickness with strong visual movement. Particular effort was devoted to optimizing the position and cross-sectional shape of the A-pillars, which, when combined with an extremely low belt line, enables excellent forward visibility. As a result the MAZDA2 feels surprisingly open and roomy.

The instrument panel helps to create a sense of space, style and substance. Its shape prevents it from looking heavy and making occupants feel constrained. The controls are concentrated in the central area, and those that are frequently used by the driver are as close as possible to the driver. The instrument panel's left- and right-hand portions, where there are no controls, curve forward and away from occupants, creating an impression of airiness that stops the cabin from feeling cramped.

At the same time, the instrument panel's middle area has a substantial form that communicates a unique character. The climate-control vents and various controls possess distinctive circular details that contribute to a fresh, emotionally appealing look and feel. It emphasizes the sportiness of the new MAZDA2's cabin and conveys a sense of friendliness. A simple centre-stack shape is complemented by a swath of piano black trim to express a distinctive personality and a sense of quality. Both audio controls and climate controls are laid out for easy legibility. Related control buttons are grouped according to function for intuitive ease of use.

Although the cabin has a stimulating, enjoyable look and feel befitting a subcompact car, Mazda's design team chose not to use bright colors for the trim, instead using black and silver for a strong contrast that gives a sharp, sporty impression. Silver was used sparingly, limited to the sides of the steering wheel, the automatic transmission's shift gate, and a few other key places in order to maximize its effect. The seats are structurally slim and are upholstered with textured fabric that has a black keynote color.

Driving dynamics

Mazda focused on realizing driver-oriented maneuverability and confidence-inspiring driving dynamics for a Zoom-Zoom driving experience that is unique in this segment.

The Zoom-Zoom driving experience that Mazda strives for has two key attributes: 1) a sense of linear acceleration and deceleration that responds crisply to how far the accelerator pedal is depressed, allowing the driver to control car speed as desired; and 2) a sense of liveliness through immediate response to the accelerator for quick off-the-line acceleration and overtaking. The development team targeted a performance feel reflecting enhancement of both of these key attributes without adversely impacting on the MAZDA2's superior fuel economy as a subcompact car.

The new MAZDA2 inherits a highly regarded suspension system, which has MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion-beam axle at the rear. With improved steering and braking systems, the resulting dynamic performance yields consistently responsive handling and a smooth, stable ride that draws much from the legendary MX-5.

In order to create more comfortable day-to-day driving, Mazda took various measures to achieve a quiet cabin environment. Mazda also improved the coefficient of drag values to achieve better aerodynamics, contributing not only to the MAZDA2's quietness, but also to a more sporty ride and fuel efficiency.

In order to form the best balance between lower fuel consumption, outstanding driving dynamics and top-level safety performance, the new MAZDA2 reflects the close attention paid to minimizing weight through its smaller body shell, optimization of the structure, extensive use of high-tensile steel and many other weight-saving measures implemented throughout the car. Under this approach, Mazda made the best use of weight-saving know-how, similar to the "gram" strategy employed during the development of the MX-5 sports car. As a result, the MAZDA2 has achieved world-leading crash safety ratings (five stars in the Euro New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), the highest possible result) without compromising driving performance and fuel economy. In line with the way subcompact cars are mainly used as day-to-day commuters, with a driver-oriented development philosophy, the MAZDA2 has achieved a level of drivability and nimbleness that enables easy manoeuvrability, even in small car-parking areas and other tight spaces.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love European Fiesta - but the American one lost a little bit in translation.

      Its the detailing of the front bumper - and where it meets the hood - and the shortened hood - all done, perhaps to meet the U.S. crash standards. I really liked the Euro model, and was somewhat disappointed by this aspect of the U.S. version. Also, don't care for the chrome around the fog lamps - and the steep price on the sweet (not the standard) Ford alloys - $1750 - vs. ~$1000 on the Fit.

      Have had an eye on the Mazda 2 - looks more pleasing to me - than the U.S. spec Fiesta, and less so than the Euro model. But the interior seems to be a little suspect.

      Also, as the Autocar review points out - "Next to the established supermini elite – Corsa, Clio and Fabia – the Mazda 2 weighs some 150kg less, and while this pursuit of lightness has brought sacrifices in overall refinement, especially noise suppression, the benefits afforded in economy, performance, verve and comfort are compelling" - this should prove more frugal than other competing cars.

      Just have to wait for a good comparison test between the Fiesta, Fit and the Mazda 2 - perhaps include the new Suzuki Swift, and its game on for the sub-compact segment.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The interior reminds me a lot of my Accent SE hatch, but honestly doesn't look as tightly fitted together. The black textured fabrics look similar, and other materials as well, but its hard to find a gap bigger than a hairline in my Accent. I see a few gaps in this Mazda that look big enough to easily collect crumbs. I actually like black plastic, as opposed to grey, tan or red. It looks conservative and almost elegant, which is pleasant in a low-end car. I really like this little car, and would seriously consider it if I were shopping, above the Fiesta actually, which seems over-priced in the nicer trim. The styling is interesting, but not garish, I just wonder about the long haul quality. I have 10,000 mile on my Accent, and it is still solid and rattle-free, which is really important to me. I don't care what a car looks like on the show room floor, it will irritate me to no end if rattles and vibrations appear on the doors, hatch or dash. So far, the Hyundai is golden in that regard. I think price is going to be the single most important factor that determines this car's success in America.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Rear view visibility is terrible. Those D pillars look about a foot wide and with the small rear window you can't see anything. I own a Mazda but don't like the dash on this(mainly around radio) on this one.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't think Mazda has to worry much about the Accent. Just got stuck with one as a rental (FYI: Alamo/National considers it a "compact") and it was a horrible experience.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "more robust HVAC controls" meaning cheaper, crappier controls! The European model gets electronic 2010 controls while North America gets stuck with 1960 controls. I would hardly call that an upgrade!
        • 5 Years Ago
        LOL @ houseGSX

        Maybe its just a Mitsubishi owners' thing. I have an Evo and an Eclipse and that is just been a staple of their design for the longest. I've had auto controls on other cars (Mitus and other brands) but I just prefer the basic system.
        • 5 Years Ago

        From the sound of your last post, it's too bad you're talking about your gf's Infiniti...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Tourian, haha, yes maybe it is a Mitsu thing. I prefer it. My experience with electronic hvac control has always been bad. My vette had it, and my gf's Infiniti has it. It'll just start blowing harder for no reason and the low fan feels like it's going to blow me into the back seat. But by far the worst hvac I've ever seen in a car was in my 05 Sentra specv I had for a few months. It didn't even have a slider or anything to close vents. It was awful, and also the worst car I've ever owned.

        I prefer easy to use systems that don't change unless I turn the knob.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Really? I have auto climate in my MINI, and I love it. It just works! I set the temp and it makes it happen, summer or winter, and it does it very well. Maybe the system in mine is just a very good one?

        I don't see how autos are subject to breaking easily. I mean, I rarely even touch mine to adjust it. It maintains a constant 20℃/68℉, just as I like it. It's so quiet, you can't even tell it's on, but it works. That, together with my heated seats, is just perfect. I'm a fan of auto climate control now. I'd absolutely seek it out again in my next car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think I like this better than the Fiesta, esp with the Mazdaspeed trim. I def like the Mazda interior better.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm with you on this.

        I sat in the Fiesta at NAIAS and wasn't too impressed with its interior. It wasn't bad, but it was a little too busy for me.

        The Mazda's fascia just looks cleaner to me. And I'm glad they're making some upgrades.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The interior isn't as nice as the Fiesta and I don't like how the rear door handles are below the line. Looks awkward.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "more robust HVAC controls" = manual A/C versus ROW's Auto Climate Control?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Methinks "robust" means 'utilitarian' in this case.
        Manual HVAC is less likely to break, and less costly to fix once it's broke.
        • 5 Years Ago
        What makes you say that?

        And how do you know that auto climate control won't be an option?

        The conclusions people jump to...sheesh
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not bad but the Fiesta has my money at the moment when I buy a new daily driver this year. I don't want to drive my 2010 GT500 everyday.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My opinion is just the opposite.

        The Mazda is lighter in weight and more tautly-styled. The Fiesta, to me, looks pudgy in comparison.

        I imagine they'll both be around the same price. Just like the Fiat 500 and Suzuki Swift, I'm watching this one closely as my next new car purchase.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Ligor, SE Fiesta with auto costs around 16K, and hatch is 18K, Honda Civic LX costs 18.5K

        I said they are priced too closely to Civic. People have been making the same argument about Honda Fit, why get Fit if you can add 1K-2K and get mid range Civic. Civic LX has almost everything one would want in most cars, they could add wheel audio controls and 40/60 split.

        We are talking about cars here, no need for anyone to hate anything.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't know how much this car will cost, but it seems like Fiesta will cost a little more than i would be comfortable to pay. It is almost in that mid range Honda Civic price territory.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ inline6 -

        I am with you on this one. The Mazda 2 is one of the few - if not the only - cars that is much lighter than the model it replaced. It is a full 100Kg - 220 lbs - lighter than the previous iteration.

        Going by the U.K. specs (standardized comparison) - the Mazda 2 1.5 Manual with the gas engine is 2266 lbs (1030 KG), 103 ps, and returns 49.6 MPG. The top gas engine on the Ford Fiesta is 1.6 L, 120 ps - returning 47.9 MPG, in Manual trim. But - the Ford is 2440 lbs (1109 KG) - i.e. almost 200 lbs more.

        That is like having an extra passenger with you always - can't do much for your performance or your fuel economy.

        And not that this buys you too much more safety - the Euroncap crash ratings are almost identical for both cars, except where the Ford is ahead is on pedestrian safety.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Sea Ulchin

        uh, the Focus is priced just below the Civic, and the Fiesta will cost less than the Focus

        maybe you just want to bad mouth Ford, but i''m gonna assume you're just being hatefull and have no cluse what you're saying
        • 5 Years Ago
        attn: Mazda

        I know you are the "soul" of "drivers cars", and I understand you would think your car buyers would have their hands on the wheel a larger percentage of the time they are in your automobile. However, when I grab a steering wheel, that's exactly what I want clutched in my paws. Not a remote control.

        Thank you.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's a shame Volvo's on the way out, because it would've been really interesting to see what they might have come up with on this platform.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What? the Mazda2 is not on sale in the US yet? I have seen it around here (Honduras) for at least a year now.

      BTW, I noticed that it has no center armrest.... I would hate to drive this car on a daily basis just for that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess Mazda has a reasonable amount of independence from Ford? Because I can't see otherwise why Mazda would bring this lackluster vehicle here. This just doesn't add that much to what other cars bring to the segment and as mentioned by the above posters it doesn't match up to the Fiesta.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The rear sets in the Fiesta and this are rather low-rent. They not only have the folding problem you speak of but are really cheap and ugly when viewed from the cargo side (or top when folded).

        These are true economy cars, there will have to be some compromises made. Making them in the back seat and cargo area at least impacts the driver (owner!) less than it would by making the driver's area or seats worse.
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