Highway Driving

On the highway is where you'll notice you're driving a small, light car, and that's not always a great thing. Right off, there was fair amount of road noise, and passengers noticed a lot of wind noise. That can be common for lighter cars, because they don't tend to have a lot of sound insulation. Neither noise was intrusive.  

The steering is lively on the highway. I never felt like the car got twitchy, but other editors who drove the Mazda2 said the steering was too light at speeds above 70 mph.  

If I liked the automatic for cruising around town, the highway was one place where I really preferred the manual transmission. The automatic Mazda2 runs out of steam at high speeds, and I think that's because it could use one more gear. When you want to pass, what you get is pretty much what you'd expect from a small, four-cylinder engine: a lot of noise but not a lot of surging forward. This was less of a problem with the manual.
The Mazda2 absolutely shines in one aspect of highway driving: its ride. You hear the car go over expansion joints, but you don't really feel it. Also, some small cars Ч notably the Honda Fit Ч seem to porpoise over lumps in the road, but the Mazda2 really soaks them up. I took the Mazda2 for a weekend of bike races and came out of it as fresh as I have from some other, larger cars Ч maybe fresher. Whoever tuned the Mazda2's suspension should be commended, especially because the Mazda2 takes curvy highway on-ramps pretty flat, too. It's tough to get both of those attributes in one car.

    See also:

    Rear Window Defroster
    The rear window defroster clears frost, fog, and thin ice from the rear window. The ignition must be switched ON. Press the switch to turn on the rear window defroster. The rear window defroster ...

    Uniform Tire Quality Grading System (UTQGS)
    This information relates to the tire grading system developed by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for grading tires by tread wear, traction, and temperature performance. ...

    Exterior
    How could Mazda not get attention with a sedan this good-looking? My Sangria Red test car didn't necessarily draw stares, but it stood out when parked in my driveway on a suburban street. It looke ...