By Ulysses Ang
COMING as a big surprise to wrap up the year, Bermaz Auto Philippines, the official distributor of Mazda vehicles in the country, has finally brought in the refreshed subcompact Mazda2. It features the Evolved KODO styling along with a slew of enhancements for improved comfort and handling.
Despite its positioning as Mazda’s most affordable offering, the 2020 Mazda2 doesn’t scrimp on design or craftsmanship. In fact, just as the Mazda3 and Mazda6 has done in the compact and executive car segments respectively, the refreshed Mazda2 brings a heightened sense of premium, typically absent in the subcompact car category.
Outside, the refreshed Mazda2 gains a front clip reminiscent of its larger Mazda6 sibling. This Evolved KODO design brings the new trademark elements — the simplified LED lighting elements, large wing grille with mesh inserts, and resculpted bumpers to the smallest member of the Mazda family. A new design for its standard 16-inch wheel complete the changes.
Inside, the 2020 Mazda2 brings more premium features such as new, more supportive seats derived from the brand’s Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture technology. With that, it promotes an S-shaped spine that helps resist unnecessary head movement enhancing a driver’s sense of stability. Improved interior materials including the use of satin chrome on the air vents and inner door handles complement the standard 7-inch Mazda Connect infotainment system which now has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
Under the Mazda2’s hood remains the 1.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine. However, it gains the improvements found in the Mazda3 for enhanced fuel efficiency and performance. It has a bit more power — 110 horsepower (up 2 horsepower) at 6,000rpm and 141Nm of torque (up 2Nm) at 4,000rpm from before. The sole transmission for 2020 is a 6-speed automatic with Sports Mode and steering wheel paddle shifters.
But while its powertrain is relatively unchanged, the Mazda2 features a re-tuned suspension for a smoother, more comfortable riding feel. It also adds several noise-fighting measures to realize a quieter cabin. It also gains G-Vectoring Control Plus. Part of Mazda’s Skyactiv-Vehicle Dynamics package, it builds on the original merits of GVC which uses engine torque to control a car’s swaying and pitching by lightly applying a brake force to the outer wheels for greater stability. This enables the car to better handle emergency avoidance maneuvers and offers more confidence-inspiring controllability in various situations, including high-speed lane changes and driving on slippery roads.
Fans of Mazda’s subcompact offering will be surprised to know that for 2020, Bermaz Auto Philippines is bringing in a lone variant dubbed the Mazda2 1.5 Elite. According to Steven Tan, president of Bermaz Auto Philippines, the reasoning behind this is to reduce showroom complexity. For readers with sharp memories, this naming convention echoes the Mazda3’s. Available still in both sedan and hatchback flavors, both carry a P995,000 price tag. Sales of the 2020 Mazda2 1.5 Elite start next week.