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2016 Mazda Mazda2 : Current Models

Like most Mazda cars and crossovers, the diminutive Mazda 2 was designed to deliver signature sporty handling and a fun-to-drive character. It's a standout among subcompacts for its reflexes and an ability to produce driver smiles, but not without flaws revealed by newer competitors. The 2016 Mazda 2 marks the model's second generation and looks to amend its deficiencies with a styling overhaul, a new chassis and engine, and new technology.

Complementing the Mazda 2's curvier lines and larger grille -- design elements incorporated from the Mazda 3, Mazda 6 and CX-5 models -- is a re-engineered chassis. The 2 will be the latest model to benefit from Mazda's "Skyactiv" engineering philosophy of lightweight construction and fuel-efficient technologies. The new Mazda 2 should sit atop a longer wheelbase, with overall body length increasing by perhaps 6 inches or more. It will also be slightly taller.

The current Mazda 2 may be the best-handling car in its class, but it's not particularly powerful, fast or fuel-efficient. The standard 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine generates just 100 horsepower and 98 pound-feet of torque, well short of competitors like the Ford Fiesta or Honda Fit. Meager power output can sometimes mean better mpg, but Mazda 2 models equipped with automatic transmissions trail competitors in combined fuel economy (manual transmission models more closely match rivals, but again with less power).

Mazda hasn't announced a U.S. engine lineup yet, but the Mazda 2 will offer some combination of the three engines offered in Europe and Japan: a 1.3-liter four-cylinder, a 1.5-liter four-cylinder and a 1.5-liter diesel four-cylinder.

The smaller engine isn't likely for American buyers, nor is the diesel, making a new Skyactiv 1.5-liter the obvious replacement for the current engine. Whether the new four-cylinder makes more power remains to be seen, but that power should at least be more accessible with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

These alone will be worthy upgrades over the current five-speed manual and four-speed automatic units. Factor in a slightly lighter chassis and the new Mazda 2 should improve on its current 0-60 times of 9.9 seconds (manual transmission) and 10.7 seconds (automatic).

The 2016 Mazda 2 should also make impressive leaps inside the cabin, starting with a new infotainment system controlled by a dial-button array in the center console and a dash-mounted color display. Smartphone integration and navigation will also be available through the Mazda Connect suite of apps and connected services.

A longer wheelbase and increased overall length may also give the Mazda 2 more luggage space. Its current 13.3 cubic feet is average for the segment.

The 2016 Mazda 2's promise of enhanced style, performance and technology make a compelling argument for waiting until it goes on sale in mid-2015, however. Check back for a full review of the new Mazda 2, including specs, driving impressions and buying advice as it becomes available.

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Sources : 2016 Mazda Mazda2 Photo | 2016 Mazda Mazda2 Article

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