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Cheap Cars With Big Value: 2011 Mazda Mazda2

What’s a family to do without additional vehicles to handle the needs of various household members? Sometimes that extra car needs to be fuel-efficient and nimble enough to zip in and out of tight parking spaces, with room for friends and cargo – and affordably priced. Today’s segment on cheap cars with big value fits right in there with all those criteria. Besides that, it’s fun to drive.

2011 Mazda Mazda2

The subcompact 2011 Mazda Mazd2 is a five-passenger, five-door hatchback that’s all-new for this model year. The traditional “Zoom-zoom” excitement is amply evident in this small car, as is the more than expected we at Family Car Guide want to see in any car considered appropriate for the family garage or driveway.

There are only two trims availablefor the 2011 Mazda Mazda2: Sport and Touring. Sport carries a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $13,980 (manual) and $14,780 (automatic), while Touring MSRPs begin at $15,435 (manual) and $16,235 (automatic).

All-New Model – Originally introduced in 2007 in Europe, Japan, and Australia, the 2011 Mazda Mazda2 is all-new to the United States. For a subcompact, the Mazda2 feels very open and roomy inside, thanks to Mazda’s optimizing the position and cross-sectional shape of the A-pillars and designing an extremely low belt line. Actually related to the 2011 Ford Fiesta, the Mazda2 is completely different with design, powertrain, and interiors.

Performance and Fuel Economy – The Mazda Mazda2 only has one engine, a 100-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder. Available transmissions include a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic.

EPA-estimated fuel economy for the front-wheel drive Mazda2 is excellent with manual-transmission-equipped models achieving 28 mpg city/35 mpg highway and 28 mpg city/34 mpg highway for those with automatic transmission.

Safety – Mazda equipped the Mazda2 with loads of safety features including anti-lock brakes; dynamic stability control with traction control’ electronic power assist steering; side-impact door beams; crushable brake and accelerator pedal assembly; advanced dual front airbags, front seat side airbags, and side air curtain airbags; engine immobilizer anti-theft system; second-row LATCH child safety seat, and tire pressure monitoring system.

The 2011 Mazda Mazda2 has not been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Gadgets & High-Tech – Standard features in Sport model include power mirrors/windows/door locks, air conditioning, AM/RM/CD/MP3 four-speaker stereo, audio auxiliary jack, tilt steering wheel, remote keyless entry, rear window wiper/washer. Touring adds leather-wrapped steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, trip computer and six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo system.

An auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and HOMELINK are optional.

Bottom Line

With seating for five adults, plenty of storage – including 60/40-split fold-down rear seatback and up to 27.8 cubic feet of cargo space – the 2011 Mazda Mazda2 is a zippy, fun-to-drive and fuel-efficient subcompact hatchback that’s sure to be a hit with family members. The fact that it’s so affordable is just icing on the cake. Good enough to include the 2011 Mazda Mazda2 in Family Car Guide’s list of cheap cars with big value.

Also check out The Car Connection review of the 2011 Mazda Mazda2.

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