Mazda2: Even Pray to Heaven Above…

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
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mazda2 even pray to heaven above

Those 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.

Justin Berkowitz
Justin Berkowitz

Immensely bored law student. I've also got 3 dogs.

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4 of 15 comments
  • Steven Lang Steven Lang on Nov 20, 2007

    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.

  • Dkulmacz Dkulmacz on Nov 20, 2007

    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.

  • AuricTech AuricTech on Nov 21, 2007
    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
  • Emro Emro on Nov 22, 2007
    Kurt B : November 20th, 2007 at 2:23 pm jpc0067 Weren’t those side impact tests done without side airbags? correct Kurt...