Preview: 2011 Mazda2

November 18, 2009

• What is it?: The 2011 Ford Fiesta’s Mazda sibling
• The basics: Funky styling, and “zoom zoom” philosophy
• On sale: Fall 2010, with a public showing at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show
• Price: Less than $16,000 (est.)

Compact hatchbacks have for a long time performed poorly in the U.S. but with fuel prices inevitably set to rise and customers shifting to smaller cars a number of major automakers have revealed their desires to bring the economical runabouts Stateside. Mazda is one such company, and today it has confirmed that it will start selling its funky Mazda2 in North American showrooms in the fall of 2010, with a debut at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show next month.

Last month Mazda unveiled the facelifted version of the car (pictured below), which has just entered production overseas, and this is likely to be the version that will be sold locally. Some of its key competitors will be the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit and Chevrolet Aveo, as well as its Fiesta sibling.

2011 Mazda2 facelift

2011 Mazda2 facelift

Enlarge Photo

The Mazda2 is available in both three- and five-door hatchback bodystyles overseas (there’s a sedan, too, in some markets) and shares its platform with the 2011 Ford Fiesta, which is also due in local showrooms next year. However, only the five-door hatchback is expected to be offered here.

Furthermore, local versions are expected to only feature a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with around 103 horsepower and 101 pound-feet of torque on tap. Overseas models equipped with this engine can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 10.4 seconds while delivering 41 mpg in Europe's “combined” driving cycle test--not surprising given the fact that the car weighs less than 2,200 pounds.

More details should be forthcoming following the car's debut at the upcoming Los Angeles event.

[Mazda]

2011 Mazda2 facelift

2011 Mazda2 facelift

Enlarge Photo
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