By on April 10, 2015


Alex Dykes, the hardest working man at TTAC, will be late with his review this week.  He will return to his regularly scheduled timeslot next week.


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17 Comments on “While You Were Sleeping: April 9th, 2015...”

  • avatar

    I’m intrigued by the Mazda2, but I fear it’s going to have the same problem as the Ford Fiesta: not enough cargo space. Apparently the hatch is pretty small, and the seats don’t fold flat. Boo. I don’t understand why more car companies don’t put in the extra effort to get the seats to fold flat on subcompacts. It can be the difference between being too small and just practical enough.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s entirely possible when working with such little space, they simply can’t make the seats fold flat without giving up something else more important.

      • 0 avatar

        Most likely seat comfort. If your primary goal is to create a flat cargo space, it’s going to be hard to make sure that the seats provide decent lumbar and thigh support.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Yeah, once you get to compacts or smaller, the back seat involves a number of trade-offs. If the seatback folds flat, then the seat bottom has to be really low and flat, or fold forward separately, or the load floor under the hatch has to be artificially high. Honda avoided this with the Fit by moving the gas tank under the front seats and spending the extra cash to develop the “magic” seats.

    • 0 avatar

      While I admit a Fiat 500 is not Mazda 2, if you’re a single or couple not having to drag a little one around, folding down the back seat gives you a remarkable amount of usable space; I’m sure the Mazda 2 is little different. 42mpg is not unheard of on really flat ground though I’ll bet that mileage is very sensitive to even the slightest grade.

      • 0 avatar

        My 97 Honda Civic with 250k miles averages 42 MPG in my hilly locale. It’s not difficult for a lightweight car with a small engine.

        • 0 avatar

          If you have the ability (either built in or through a third-party device) take a look at your instantaneous fuel mileage as you go up and down those hills. The variances can be astounding.

          In trying to correct me above, Mr. Holzman emphasizes my point. But the actual speeds traveled can still affect that mileage. At 70mph you might be able to achieve that 42mpg on the flat, but at 55 you could well push that beyond 45 and maybe even to 50. I demonstrated exactly that in a Jeep Wrangler JKU by achieving an indicated 25mpg (in an ’08 with the so-called ‘Caravan engine’) on a 700-mile trip on the interstate. EPA rated it at 15 City/19 highway. (I have a blurry but readable photo to prove it.)

          @Holzman: While I admit I didn’t cruise at 70mph, I just completed a 150-mile trip where my highway speed was 65mph and still achieved 41mpg. The final leg of the trip was 40 miles of ‘hilly’ country that sometimes forced me down to 3rd gear in order to climb the grade. Even so, on arriving at my destination the car’s computer calculated an overall average for the trip of 39.7mpg.

          This pretty well shoots down your argument of a mere 35mpg driving at 70mph. Are you sure you weren’t doing 70mph instead?

          P.S. By the way, my Fiat 500 is a former Avis rental car purchased with a mere 5300 miles on the odometer.

      • 0 avatar

        I doubt it. The engine is more efficient under high output than low. This is why hypermiling works by pushing and coasting and pushing and coasting. (Of course, if on a trip you have a net gain in altitude, your mileage will go down.)

        In my experience (a month with a ’12 Fiat 500) their gas mileage is terrible for such a small car. I got around 32 on the highway at ~70.

    • 0 avatar

      “I’m intrigued by the Mazda2, but I fear it’s going to have the same problem as the Ford Fiesta: not enough cargo space.”

      Well, the size thing is a decision you make by examining the car before you test drive. If the space isn’t enough, surely you get a bigger car. Not agonize why the smaller car isn’t bigger.

      The brain torture words “If only ..” have beset the human race since time immemorial. So I understand the possible dilemma, but wishing isn’t going to change the reality, unfortuntely.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s why appreciate the way the 2014/15 MINI handles this. It has a 3-level adjustable cargo floor, so if you want, you can raise it up and have a perfectly flat cargo area, or lower it and have more depth. It was a big factor in my choosing it. I keep it at the “flat floor” position.

  • avatar
    Dr. Doctor

    I’d be interested in seeing how well these subcompact vehicles sell.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the VW Polo come over here as a Fiesta/Mazda 2 competitor. The 190 HP GTI version might be a good Fiesta ST rival.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    The 2 hatch is at the top of my list for next “new-to-me” dd in a few years.

  • avatar

    I’m excited to see what comes of Mazda’s styling and tech resurgence as their design language seems to translate so well from top to bottom of the range. The 2 should be a success, and even more profitable with the volumes allowed by its Scion/Toyota twin being essentially the same car.

  • avatar

    I’d like to see a Mazda2 with the tuned 1.5L from the new MX-5 that makes ~130hp. As it is, 106hp is pretty lame for a new 1.5L engine. It may be slow enough that I’ll be convinced to drop the extra $3,000 or so to get into a Mazda3/Golf/2016 Civic.

  • avatar

    Ok Ford, here’s what I don’t get. If you’re going to need a new version of the Explorer platform at some point – and I assume you’re going to release a new MKS at some point, how much would it cost to do a Taurus for the American market?

    It isn’t like the current Taurus (or future one) is on some exclusive platform.

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