SAFETY

Driving the Mazda2 felt a bit like driving a tin can, which doesn't instill a sense of confidence on the safety front. There aren't any crash-test ratings available yet on this car. However, it does come standard with both stability control and traction control, which are features that other manufacturers make you pay extra for.

The Mazda2 also comes standard with antilock brakes with brake assist and six airbags, including side-impact airbags and side curtains for the front row only. Rear passengers don't have any airbag protection.

The second row's head restraints in the two outer seats are positioned to rest right in front of the seat itself. This makes it tough to install forward-facing car seats or high-back booster seats without the safety seats leaning too far forward. I was able to remove both head restraints for a better fit. The rear seat belt buckles are on flimsy bases, so little hands might need extra help when buckling in. The lower Latch anchors are wedged quite tightly into the space between the seat bottom and seatback, so installing a child-safety seat using Latch connectors would be quite a challenge.

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