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2022 Mazda2 G15 GT (car review)

82kW and $30,000 should almost never be used in the same sentence. At least that’s what we thought before we jumped in the 2022 Mazda2 G15 GT. By the end of our week long test, this rev-happy little hatchback left us grinning like morons.

As its looks would suggest, the Mazda2 is about as narrow as it gets for a new car. It cruises comfortably in its lane and it’s short enough to park in the shallowest of garage spaces. In the right colour and weather, it’s a decent looking pocket rocket too.

Chrome has been tastefully allocated around the exterior, the 16-inch alloy wheels sharpen the look, and the front end is tidy. And while ours was finished in Polymetal Grey Metallic, we’d also opt for Deep Crystal Blue Mica or Mazda’s signature Soul Red Crystal Metallic.

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Although it’s a cohesive design, some rivals, such as the Suzuki Swift Sport, are a bit better proportioned. That said, we do hold the egg-shaped Mazda to a high standard given its ties to the fruity MX-5.

Upon entering the cabin, you are greeted by plush, blue leather seats and synthetic suede inserts, making you question reality. Hell, even the door panels are elegantly trimmed in the same materials. It all feels premium and robust, and mighty impressive.

2022 Mazda2 G15 GT
2022 Mazda2 G15 GT

That’s apart from the air conditioning dials at least (yes, we are really nit-picking here). The gauge cluster is nothing short of perfect; there are no complex screens with a million menus, and everything is legible.

The 7.0-inch MZD Connect screen is so close you can practically kiss it. Yet, annoyingly, it’s only touchscreen when you are parked and secured. While driving, you need to use a tart-sized swivel wheel next to the parking brake.

There is a learning curve to the system, but thankfully Mazda have thrown in wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Being the range-topping GT trim, our vehicle was also fitted with a sharp heads-up display, radar cruise control, keyless entry, and power mirrors.

Our little Mazda2 also had a 360-degree parking camera, but frankly, it’s unnecessary for such a small car. It also took up space on an already-small screen, so the reversing camera is all you really need.

The rear seats are spacious for most adults, but are probably best for local trips around the shire if you’re going to throw some big people back there. Young children will be comfortable though, thanks to ISOFIX anchor points and top tethers.

dash
Inside the 2022 Mazda2 G15 GT

The 250-litre boot is deep enough for a pre-party splurge at Woolies, but we found it too shallow for golf clubs. Thankfully, our first-world problem was addressed once we collapsed the rear seats.

Once we hit the tarmac, the Mazda2 was right at home in the heart of Sydney’s narrow-laned inner suburbs. If a go-kart went to university and got a degree, this would be it. It’s grown up, but it hasn’t put on a suit and tie like the Germans yet.

The driving position is bang on, the steering is responsive, and the ride quality is fair. The peppy little 1.5-litre inline-four uses no turbocharged trickery and shares some mechanical roots with the much-praised Mazda MX-5.

Although 82kW and 144Nm sound borderline pathetic on paper, it is a blast in a car that weighs a smidge over a tonne. While the gear changes are perfect for everyday driving, the car comes to life in ‘manual’ mode.

We know the automatic is the sensible choice, but the 6-speed manual in the Mazda2 is something we are eager to try. The dilemma is that you can only get the manual in the entry-grade Mazda2 G15 Pure.

interior
Inside the 2022 Mazda2 G15 GT

It’s nowhere near as well equipped as the GT we tested, but it will save you around $5,000. Besides, the engine is identical across the range, so you only need to step up to a higher trim level if you want more equipment.

While the combined fuel economy figure of 5.3-litres/100km is certainly achievable, we found ourselves north of 5000rpm and averaging 6.2-litres/100km. If we had to complain about something, the exhaust note is a little raspy.

Also, while the passenger wing mirror is convex, the driver mirror is flat. This meant that the field-of-view in the driver mirror was a little narrower, but objects appeared at an accurate distance. This may take some getting used to.

The Mazda2 range kicks off at $24,874 (plus on-roads) with the G15 Pure, and it gradually climbs with the Pure SP and Evolve. However, the range-topping GT will set you back a cool $30,127 plus on-roads before adding the only available option of premium paint.

While it’s no longer the ‘cheap and cheerful’ family car that it once was, the walnut-sized Mazda2 still boasts an impressive 5-star ANCAP safety rating.

boot
Inside the 2022 Mazda2 G15 GT

There are a range of alternatives, like the Kia Rio GT-Line (which has less power but a 7-year warranty, compared to Mazda’s 5-year unlimited kilometre offering) and MG3 (which is significantly cheaper), but the Mazda2 hits the sweet spot.

That’s because the nerds from Fuchū, Hiroshima have managed to give the 2022 Mazda2 G15 GT something most cars at this price point lack; a soul.

You can find out more on the Mazda Australia website, and as always, we recommend shopping around to get a good price. Alternatively, you can visit PriceMyCar for the best deal. If you’re keen to own a Mazda2 G15 GT, and need finance, visit CreditOne.

Our test vehicle was provided by Mazda Australia. To find out more about the 2022 Mazda2 G15 GT, contact your local Mazda dealer.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Driving experience
8.5
Exterior styling
6.5
Interior look and feel
9
Technology and connectivity
9
Family friendliness
7.5
Value for money
7

SUMMARY

Pros - spirited driving dynamics; posh cabin at price point; almost-perfect ANCAP score.
Cons - design not as exciting as rivals; limited boot space; pricey for a small hatchback.
Mustafa Arifeen
Mustafa Arifeen
Mustafa is an avid car enthusiast who has a soft spot for American and Italian classics. Naturally, he adores the 1984 De Tomaso Pantera GT5.

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2022 Mazda2 G15 GT (car review)<strong>Pros -</strong> spirited driving dynamics; posh cabin at price point; almost-perfect ANCAP score.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> design not as exciting as rivals; limited boot space; pricey for a small hatchback.