By on November 20, 2007

071119b.jpgThose of us who lust after automotive products from afar are already pining for the Ford Mondeo and S-Max, Buick Park Avenue (China), Alfa Romeo 159 and Fiat 500. Mazda joins America's automotive unrequited love list with the new Mazda2. Mazda's subcompact car (B-segment, if that's your language) sells below the grand slam home run Mazda3. The Zoom-Zoomers are introducing an America-friendly variant to the Chinese market. Where most subcompact sedans look stubby, waving their metaphorical ass in the air, this is one sharp-looking wee beastie. It's also, purportedly, fun to drive. Fantastic mileage is a given. Subcompacts (which are actually compact size but who's counting) are making a comeback stateside: Nissan Versa, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Chevy Aveo, Suzuki SX4. Mazda's entry would be a perfect fit for the U.S., and it snaps into Mazda's brand portfolio very well. But the daunting prospects of U.S. crash tests and limited profitability assures American pistonheads more long distance love.

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15 Comments on “Mazda2: Even Pray to Heaven Above…...”


  • avatar
    starlightmica

    Consolation: isn’t this coming over as a Chinese-built Ford (Verve? Fiesta?) in a couple of years?

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    Are the U.S. crash tests really more stringent than Euro-NCAP?

  • avatar
    jpc0067

    First, Mazda needs to improve the side-impact resistance of their current 3 before I will buy one (and open up the center stack so I have some GD knee room, too). Then we can talk about the 2. Nice looking car, though. Too bad I will never, never buy a Chinese made car. They and other automaker will have to spend hundreds of millions to change the perception of Chinese made cars.

  • avatar

    Bringing that over would spell doom for the upcoming B-segment Ford coming to the US circa 2009.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    Guys, this IS (the basis) of Ford’s new B-class car coming in 2009. Have you been sleeping in class?

  • avatar
    franz

    jpc0067: Too bad I will never, never buy a Chinese made car. They and other automaker will have to spend hundreds of millions to change the perception of Chinese made cars.

    Think back thirty years to when the exact same words were often spoken of the Japanese automakers’ products. I would not rule out ever buying one in my lifetime, but they do have a long road to travel before I consider buying one.

  • avatar

    jpc0067

    Weren’t those side impact tests done without side airbags?

  • avatar

    i saw this machine (demio) on the streets & carlots of japan. it’s a very sharp looking beastie. given how the protege5 became the bloated mazda3, i’d really like a smaller mazda. like the mazda2. but it’s not to be & my next car probably will be the new honda cr-zed (should honda deem to actually build the thing) …

  • avatar
    Terry

    Aint a-happenin’, at least from Mazda. Word from my low friends in high places within Mazda is that the car wouldnt be that much cheaper than the Mazda3, and would pull sales from the 3 as well.
    When Mazda had the ’86-89 323, they didnt bring over the 121, which Ford did as the Festiva.

  • avatar
    kreytec

    When I saw the byline it took me just a second to connect it to Little Feat’s “Long Distance Love.” Thanks.

  • avatar

    the lowly Festiva was a Mazda???! For a good look at a Festiva, for anyone who doesn’t remember the thing, go to Motorlegends.com, and click on CarToons.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    It’s interesting. Today I thought about the fact that the Corollas, Civics and Jettas of today are rapidly becoming the equivalent of midsized cars to the under 40 crowd. This is due in part to gas prices (obviously), but perhaps it’s also due to the fact that these models provide similar quality with far less bulk in particular. I sincerely believe that the Corolla and Civic will be eating a lot of marketshare from their bigger brethern. Especially since the Accord and Camry are becoming nearly as big as the Cadillacs and Oldmobiles of recent times past.

    The sportier compacts and subcompacts are more or less eating the lunches of what used to be the sports coupe segment. There is no longer a sane reason to buy a classically proportioned GT model like the Mitsubishi Eclipse. You can get plenty of speed, far better driving ergonomics, more room, better material quality and better mileage with a Mazdaspeed or GTI.

    If the dealers and unions didn’t make it so hard, Ford would have probably just dumped the Focus a couple years ago and sold the 3 and 6 series wherever there was a mass of pavement and a blue oval on top of it. Cars like the 3, 5, MX-5 and 6, combined with Ford’s Fusion and 500/Taurus would make a helluva line-up for a dealer to market.

    Unfortunately, we have an automotive world that’s designed to screw the consumer. So nevermind.

  • avatar
    dkulmacz

    US crash regs aren’t tougher than Europe’s, they’re just different. A car designed to meet one won’t necessarily meet the other without major structural changes.

  • avatar
    AuricTech

    US crash regs aren’t tougher than Europe’s, they’re just different. A car designed to meet one won’t necessarily meet the other without major structural changes.

    For example, NHTSA frontal crash tests are less stringent than Euro NCAP frontal crash tests (NHTSA tests are full-front at 35 mph, compared to the Euro NCAP offset tests at 40 mph). OTOH, NHTSA side-impact tests are at a higher speed than Euro NCAP tests (38.5 mph versus 30 mph). Finally, while NHTSA claims to be the only agency that tests for rollover resistance, Euro NCAP provides results for pedestrian protection.

    All of these differences add up to problems in certifying vehicles for different markets.

    NHTSA FAQ

    Euro NCAP test procedures

  • avatar
    Emro

    Kurt B :
    November 20th, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    jpc0067

    Weren’t those side impact tests done without side airbags?

    correct Kurt…

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