Exterior & Interior

As is the case with many new Mazda models, the Mazda2 has a big, grinning grille opening. I like it on other Mazdas and I like it even more on the Mazda2, because the car is smaller. It looks like a little baby, grinning away. There are also some subtle, fenderlike bumps on the side that remind me of the Mazda3. Taken as a whole, you can really tell it's a member of the Mazda family.


The inside is very nice, though spare. There are plenty of cupholders, the gauges are easy to read and the radio is easy to operate, but there's no "wow" gadget. Heck, the only way to hook your iPod to the stereo is through a headphone auxiliary jack.
In a way, I think that's good: There's too much going on in modern interiors that distracts from driving. But I also know I'm in the minority in liking a simple interior. Either way, I think Mazda deserves a star for not wrapping the dashboard/center stack area in some cheap, metal-finish plastic. The Mazda2's design is simple and clean.

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