On Wednesday around noon I picked up my liquid silver Mazda 2 at the port in Tacoma, Washington. 10 miles is what the Mazda 2 had on it from the trip out of the factory, on to a ship, off the same ship, and around a really big parking lot. After an inspection of the 2 and peeling off a bunch of white protective stickers I was on my way to the gas station. Mazda doesn’t put much fuel in the cars at the factory.
The first things that jumped out at me: I love the clutch and the shifter. The clutch engagement is precise and you know when it is engaging. The shifter really reminds me of a Miata. It is precise in motion and the feedback from gear engagement is very clear.
After filling up with fuel I headed to I-5 and spent the next two hours driving south to CorkSport. With the light curb weight of the Mazda 2 the 100hp engine makes getting on the freeway was really effortless. I shifted at 4000 rpm going through the gears to get to 5th gear @ 60 MPH. The 1.5 liter engine has some pretty decent torque making freeway driving a breeze. I did not have to downshift at any point on the 136 mile drive back.
The Mazda 2 is really quiet in the cab on the freeway. Road noise is minimal and I have a feeling that most of the noise was from the tires. We will test out the noise down the road later when we upgrade the Mazda 2 with different wheels and tires.
The Mazda 2 really feels like a small Mazda 3. All of the interior, switch gear, gauges, everything feels really solid. The radio sounds good and is easy to use. The preset buttons are a little weird being on the right side of the face but it is easy enough to work around once your presets are in.
My verdict on the Mazda 2 is that this car is well worth the wait. When I arrived at CorkSport after the two hour drive I had a big smile on my face. This is a great car which has tons of potential.
Check out the Mazda 2 Project on our CorkSport webpage for updates on the car. We already have started development on parts and we will be updating the progress of the Mazda 2 as often as we can.