Mazda2 2009 review

The 2011 Mazda2 may very well be the cutest car I've driven to date. Despite its more than adorable look, the Mazda2 and I took a few days to get to know each other. Upon my first drive, I have to admit that I wasn't a fan of the all-new subcompact.

It was because the five-speed manual transmission and I didn't get along. On more than one occasion, I accidentally shifted into 5th gear, rather than 3rd, from 2nd. That wasn't my only complaint. Shifting felt jerky; the hollow sound the door made when it closed didn't instill a sense of confidence, and the loud road, wind and engine noise pouring into the cabin was exhausting to my senses.

With its 100-horsepower 1.5-liter engine and manual transmission, I can't really say that there's any zoom-zoom with the Mazda2. The other thing that is kind of puny with this car is its EPA-estimated fuel economy of 29/35 mpg city/highway. I expected more mileage out of such a small, lightweight car.

After the initial annoyances I reminded myself that with a starting price of $14,180 for the base Sport trim level and $15,635 for the Touring trim level, this car is one of the cheapest I've driven to date and reset my expectation level. My test car, a top-of-the-line Mazda2 Touring, cost $16,000; it packed in a few extra features that were surprising for this price point.

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