3-Door Mazda2 Revealed
Yeah, this isn't exactly as earth-shattering as the introduction of a new Corvette, or even a new Mazda6. But this little car is significant to the auto industry in so many ways. First, it signals that Mazda is finally ready to start really competing with the Euro-zone's mainstream manufacturers, who nearly all offer three-door versions of their small cars (Mazda still doesn't sell a three-door Mazda3, for example). Second, this is, potentially, a great little car [sic]. Compared to the past generation, Mazda has reduced the vehicle's weight by more than just the two missing doors. That's right: debloat. Finally, the Mazda2 is likely coming to America in a year or two, although it'll probably be the sedan version because apparently we Americans really like sedans. The new 2– especially with the automatic– may not be a revelation to drive, but it's another strong contender in the increasingly vital cheap and cheerful category.
[Pixamo gallery of the Mazda2 here.]
The only body style my wife would consider for the Mazda3 is the hatch. If you're making an affordable, intelligent small car, a hatchback really makes sense, plus they look much better than sedans as well when it's a small car. I can't wait to check one of these out, as a hatchback with a manual transmission. The pictures I saw of the 5-door hatch actually look pretty good. I just can't see it as a sedan at all given it's short length. I see that it will likely be offered with a 100 hp, 100 ft-lb torque engine in the US. If stories of weight reduction (I'll wait and see) and sporty handling (likely, since it's a Mazda) are true, this could be one fun, economical car. P.S. Maybe Mazda gets it as a car manufacturer. They are doing the same thing here that they did with the Miata-hunting for and finding ways to reduce the weight of the car. It would be nice if some of their engineering rubbed off on Ford.
I'm ready to love this car. Just bring it over here, Mazda.
I agree that a hatchback is not less safe than a sedan. I do recall that back in the day, some of us had very expensive stereo equipment living back there! Remember the Ford Escort sport/GT hatchback was very popular too compared to the sedan/wagon. A friend of mine had a stereo that thumped my inner organs while I sat up in the passenger seat!
CarShark: "What, people don’t break into sedans where you live?" Of course they do. There is nothing else to do -- other than cow tipping that is.