The 2014 Mazda 2 manages to blend some "Zoom-Zoom" character into simple, smooth exterior lines. Even several years after launch, it looks contemporary and holds up well, though its modified "grinning" grille and front end are now out of sync with Mazda's newer and bolder trapezoidal grille shapes.
The sculpted front end sweeps into upward lines that anchor the large window area; compared to the Ford Fiesta with which it shares some understructure, the Mazda comes across as restrained but sporty. The Mazda2 appears visually both wider and lower than it actually is, giving it an impression of stability, sportiness, and solidity. The rising beltline and nicely curvaceous tail come across as more coherent and integrated than the abrupt rear of the Fiesta.
From inside the car, the interior lines and materials are very simple, but surprisingly tasteful considering their economy. The palette uses dark colors, but they're not drab--helped by expansive windows that let in a lot of light--and the design is clearly related to the driver-focused cabins of larger Mazda models like the all-new Mazda 3 and even the MX-5 Miata.
There's not a lot to separate the high-level Touring model from the base Sport. The most noticeable feature is alloy wheels, whereas the Sport makes do with painted metal wheels and plastic wheel covers--one of the few genuine "econobox" notes on the Mazda 2. The Touring adds sporty red piping on the seats, which are covered in a higher-quality woven cloth, and the color adds an unexpected note of class to this very basic interior. Other upgrades include leather steering-wheel trim and little touches like a chrome exhaust pipe tip--hardly items to wow passers-by, but that's not what the car is meant for.