2022 Mazda 2 Pure SP review

2022-mazda-2-pure-sp-review
  • Doors and Seats

    CarGenericIcon

    5 doors, 5 seats

  • Engine

    EngineIcon

    1.5i, 4 cyl.

  • Engine Power

    EnginePowerIcon

    82kW, 144Nm

  • Fuel

    FuelIcon

    Petrol (91) 5.3L/100KM

  • Manufacturer

    DrivetrainIcon

    FWD

  • Transmission

    TransmissionIcon

    6 Spd Auto

  • Warranty

    WarrantyIcon

    5 Yr, Unltd KMs

  • Ancap Safety

    AncapSafetyIcon

    5/5 star (2015)

ExpandMoreIcon

Rob Margeit

It’s been a mainstay of the city car class for 20 years, but has a freshen-up kept the third-generation Mazda 2 competitive in a segment driven by price?





  • Still a sleek and funky looker
  • Light and agile road manners
  • Good equipment levels

  • Slim 10,000km service intervals
  • Infotainment feeling dated…
  • … and temperamental

While passenger cars continue their decline in Australia, the light car segment, aka city cars – where cars like the 2022 Mazda 2 reside, continues to be a popular launching pad for new car buyers.

While the segment is shrinking, its decline isn’t as pronounced as some passenger car categories, buyers still keen for city-sized hatchbacks that offer comfort and technology in equal measure.

The Mazda 2 has been a mainstay of the category since it first lobbed here in 2002, the Japanese carmaker selling over 200,000 of the pint-sized city car in the intervening 20 years through three generations.



Now, with an imminent fourth-generation Mazda 2 rumoured, although nothing concrete has emerged out of Mazda HQ in Hiroshima, the Japanese brand has given its humble city slicker a late-life refresh, designed to extend its showroom appeal.

Part of that refresh is an all-new variant, the 2022 Mazda 2 G15 Pure SP, and it’s the car we on test here.

Priced at $23,890 plus on-road costs the Pure SP gains black 16-inch alloys, black mirror caps and grille, chrome exhaust extensions and unique to the model black cloth trim with contrast red stitching, as well as red accents surrounding the air vents in the cabin.



That’s not a bad haul of extras for a $700 premium over the regular Mazda 2 Pure hatch with an automatic transmission, and comes on top of an already healthy list of standard equipment. Highlights include a 7.0-inch infotainment screen running Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED headlights, power-folding mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear selector, push-button start, cruise control and air conditioning.

There’s also DAB+ digital radio, a rear-view camera, rear parking sensors and a range of advanced safety technologies including forward and reverse autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Certainly, the black accents have added some spunk to the exterior of the Mazda 2 in Pure SP guise, the black alloy wheels especially contrasting nicely with our test car’s Platinum Quartz metallic paint. It’s a no-cost option and one of eight available colours, of which only three command a $695 premium (Soul Red, Machine Grey and Polymetal Grey).



Speaking of options, our tester carried just the one – carpeted floor mats – that add $172 to the bottom line for an as-tested price of $24,062 plus on-roads or around $27,500 drive away, give or take depending on your state or territory.

Popular rivals include the best-selling MG 3 priced from $18,490 drive-away. Even in top spec, the MG 3’s $19,990 drive-away pricing undercuts the Mazda 2 by a hefty amount. So too the Suzuki Baleno, possibly the most invisible car in Australia (seriously, when was the last time you saw one?) which gets underway at $20,990 (drive-away).

In reality, the Mazda 2 sits at the upper end of the segment, competing with the likes of a Volkswagen Polo from $25,250, a Toyota Yaris Sport from $23,740 (both before on-road costs), or even a Skoda Fabia, currently in run-out, starting at $24,990 drive-away.

Get a great deal today

Interested in this car? Provide your details and we’ll connect you to a member of the Drive team.

Key details2022 Mazda 2 G15 Pure SP hatch
Price (MSRP)$23,890 plus on-road costs
Colour of test carPlatinum Quartz
OptionsFloor mats – $172
Price as tested$24,062 plus on-road costs

$27,627 dive-away (Sydney)
RivalsMG 3 | Skoda Fabia | Toyota Yaris

There are some garnishes to make the Mazda 2 feel just a little bit special inside. A little.

Let’s start with the fabric seats that feature a nice, modern looking texture contrasted at the bolsters ever so slightly by red stitching. Sure, it’s not screaming luxury but nor does the humble Mazda 2 aspire to that lofty label.

The door cards, similarly, feature a textured look and feel, the cloth covering mirroring the pattern found on the seats. There are plenty of faux-carbon faux-weave accents too, giving the cabin a visual lift in a segment where such niceties are sometimes overlooked by the bean counters.

But, as comfy as those front seats are, there are some quibbles with the cabin. Firstly, there’s no centre armrest which, while not exactly vital, is a nice thing to have especially on longer trips.

In its place, a pair of cupholders that can prove clumsy to reach from the driving position, placed as they are slightly behind the bend of the elbow. It’s a small thing, yes, but it grates after a while.

The basic air conditioning – not temperature controlled – is adequate. We struggled to dial in on the blue-for-colder-red-for-warmer knob a comfortable temperature, the cabin either too warm or too cold. There’s a lot to be said for the more advanced temperature-specific climate control.



The second row is surprisingly spacious for such a small car. It’s not the last word in back seat roominess, but considering the Mazda 2’s diminutive dimensions, there’s enough space for average-sized adults to be comfortable.

Kids are fine. Speaking of little ones, there are two ISOFIX child seat anchors on the outboard seats and three to-tether anchors on the rear seat backs, altho0ugh you’d be doing well to get three kids’ seats across the back row.

The boot measures in at 250 litres, which isn’t a touch on the slim side. The best-selling MG3 as example, has 307 litres, the Toyota Yaris 270L. A space saver spare tyre and wheel live under the boot floor.

2022 Mazda 2 G15 Pure SP hatch
SeatsFive
Boot volume250L seats up
Length4065mm
Width1695mm
Height1495mm
Wheelbase2570mm

Infotainment and Connectivity

Mazda’s MZD Connect operating system serves as the nerve centre for the 2’s infotainment. It’s starting to feel a little dated. As has always been the case with Mazda, the menus and screen are accessed via a rotary dialler found in the centre stack, although the Japanese brand has made some concessions to modernity and intuition by projecting its software on to a 7.0-inch touchscreen, with a caveat.

Touchscreen functionality is only available while the Mazda 2 is stationary. To effect changes on the fly, you’ll need to scroll and click through the rotary dial. Boo.

Smartphone mirroring via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard, although Mazda has yet to integrate these technologies wirelessly, meaning you’ll need to plug in via one of two USB plugs located in the small cubby ahead of the gear lever.



The Mazda 2 on this specification misses out on native satellite navigation, mapping reserved for Evolve and GT grades. This isn’t an issue thanks to the standard-fit smartphone integration across the entire range. Digital radio joins AM/FM as standard, too.

While the inclusion of smartphone mirroring is welcome, we did find that Mazda’s iteration proved repeatedly slow to fire up, often taking several minutes before those familiar icons appeared on the 7.0-inch screen.

Otherwise, the system is serviceable enough if you can overcome the small frustration of having to use the dialler to scroll through screens, including those projected by CarPlay.

A six-speaker stereo is also serviceable enough, if not the last word in sound clarity. But that’s as you’d expect in a vehicle at this end of the new car market.

There’s not a lot going on with the Mazda 2’s driver display which comprises of a centrally mounted analogue speedo, flanked on either side by small digital screens that provide a mere hint of driving data. There’s no digital speedo either, so you’ll be relying on the needle on the dial to judge your rate of motivation.

This generation Mazda 2 wears a five-star ANCAP safety rating awarded way back in 2015 but under much less stringent criteria. It racked up an overall safety score of 36.35 out of a possible 37.



Mazda has, though, added safety technologies through successive model years and this iteration is well-equipped for the modern age. Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, as well as blind-spot monitoring are standard across the range.

A rear-view camera is standard, as well as rear parking sensors although in this spec the Mazda 2 misses out on front sensors with only the top spec Mazda 2 GT scoring this feature. It’s always bemused me why rear sensors only alongside a camera are the default.

With a camera in play, one would reckon it’d be more advantageous to pair that tech with front parking sensors, assuming carmakers only want to include one set of sensors. Mazda isn’t alone in taking this path.

Cruise control is of the standard variety, with only the highest grade Mazda 2 GT scoring radar-based adaptive cruise control.

Six air bags – front (driver and passenger), side (front) and curtain (front and rear) – cover both rows of occupants.

2022 Mazda 2 G15 Pure SP hatch
ANCAP ratingFive stars (tested 2015)
Safety reportLink to ANCAP report

At a smidge over $24k before on-road costs (or around $27,500 drive-away), the Mazda 2 Pure SP we have here sits at the upper end of a competitive set. It’s more affordable than a similarly-specified Toyota Yaris SX ($27,130 before on-road costs) or the updated Volkswagen Polo Style DSG auto ($28,250 plus on-roads).



Mazda cover its city car with its standard five-year/unlimited km warranty while service intervals are every 12 months or 10,000km. While 12 months is pretty standard in today’s market, Mazda’s mileage intervals are a bit sub-par in an era where 15,000km is the norm.

At a glance2022 Mazda 2 G15 Pure SP hatch
WarrantyFive years / unlimited km
Service intervals12 months or 10,000km
Servicing costs$1162 (3 years), $2022 (5 years)

Scheduled visits to the workshop will set you back $328, $359, $328, $359 and $328, a total of $1702 over the first five years’ or 50,000km, whichever comes first. Additional intervals for things like brake fluid and cabin and engine air filters also apply within this time, adding extra-cost items to the base price of some services (reflected in the tallies above).

Mazda claims the 2 Pure SP will use just 5.3L/100km per 100km of regular 91 RON unleaded. Our week with the little city slicker saw an indicated 7.0L/100km, a week spent crawling around inner city enclaves, its natural habitat.

Fuel UseageFuel Stats
Fuel cons. (claimed)5.3L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test)7.0L/100km
Fuel type91-octane regular unleaded
Fuel tank size44L

The Mazda 2 range is powered by the same 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, dubbed Skyactiv-G. Bucking today’s trend, it’s not turbocharged. It’s mated to a six-speed conventional automatic sending 82kW and 144Nm to the front wheels.

And it’s perfectly fine in most situations, spritely enough from standstill without being silly. There’s a confidence to the way the Mazda 2 handles the urban environment, moving away quickly and quietly, the six-speed automatic behaving – mostly – commendably.

Only sometimes, did the auto display signs of hesitation, mostly under harder rolling acceleration where the transmission was sometimes caught out on downshifts. Mostly, though, it’s well behaved, selecting the right gear for the majority of situations.



It’s a similar tale out on the highway, Mazda’s city car happy to chug along at 110km/h without too much trouble. It’s only when more is asked for it for say, an overtake, that the upper limits of its comfort zone are reached.

The ride remains composed around town, soaking up lumps and bumps with aplomb. Out on the highway too, the Mazda 2 is well-behaved, with an acceptable level of road and wind noise filtering through to the cabin.

Thanks to its small stature and light weight (the Mazda 2 tips the scales at 1070kg, kerb), feels nimble and agile in its urban habitat. Parking is a breeze while navigating tighter streets and laneways is similarly easy.

The electrically-assisted power steering makes light work of parking. We only wish front sensors were included as standard across the range.

Overall, the Mazda 2 proved enjoyable around town, that enjoyment dimming a little on the highway, But that’s to be expected with cars of this nature which are designed to spend the bulk of their life in the city.

Key details2022 Mazda 2 G15 Pure SP hatch
Engine1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol
Power82kW @ 6000rpm
Torque144Nm @ 4000rpm
Drive typeFront-wheel drive
TransmissionSix-speed torque converter automatic
Power to weight ratio77kW/t
Weight1070kg
Tow rating900kg braked, 500kg unbraked
Turning circle9.8m

While the city car market is shrinking, alongside a commensurate growth in compact SUVs, there’s still plenty on offer in what was once the mainstay segment of first car buyers and inner urban dwellers.



The Mazda 2 continues to prove popular, the third-best-selling car in the segment behind the bargain-basement MG 3 and Suzuki Baleno.

But, it’s also starting to feel a little dated, most evident in the cabin with its ageing infotainment setup, rudimentary driver information display, and old school analogue air-con that proved a bit hit and miss.

But, these are minor quibbles from a pretty decent package that does almost everything asked of it in an inoffensive and humble manner. Best served in its natural environment, the 2022 Mazda 2 Pure SP – with its shiny new black wheels and fresh coat of new-for-2022 Platinum Quartz paint – remains a decent option in the city car segment.

Ratings Breakdown

2022 Mazda 2 G15 Pure SP Hatchback

7.4/ 10

Interior Comfort & Packaging

Infotainment & Connectivity

Rob Margeit

Rob Margeit has been an automotive journalist for over 20 years, covering both motorsport and the car industry. Rob joined CarAdvice in 2016 after a long career at Australian Consolidated Press. Rob covers automotive news and car reviews while also writing in-depth feature articles on historically significant cars and auto manufacturers. He also loves discovering obscure models and researching their genesis and history.

Read more about Rob Margeit LinkIcon