The same careful tuning that’s evident in the pedal weights and shift quality shows itself in the way the car rides, handles and steers.
It’s apparent that better judgement and greater attention has gone into Mazda’s development effort on this car than goes into the average small car.
The frequency of the car’s gait is fairly low and its ride generally easy-going and well isolated. But Mazda’s achievement is in how perfectly matched that ride feels to the middling but constant weight and pace of its steering, its moderate but very well-balanced lateral grip levels and its gently controlled rate of body roll.
It’s rare to find a small car of such dynamic consistency, one that doesn’t jar your impression of it with at least one incongruent characteristic – a disproportionately pacy steering rack, for example. Developing cars that are so coherent to drive is expensive and not always considered important by supermini makers. But the 2 shows why it should be.
Like its bigger sibling, the Mazda 3, the 2 handles in a wonderfully transparent, uncontrived way simply by being easy to guide and going precisely where you point it. But unlike the 3, it has a forgiving softness and pliancy to its springs and dampers.