The facelifted Mazda 2 is slowly making its way across the globe, and one of the first countries to receive this Japanese mini is Great Britain. As the UK gets RHD (right-hand drive) version of cars similarly to us in Malaysia, it's hard not to think that we might get a relatively similar facelifted Mazda 2 here.
Featuring a new exterior and interior design, new technology and better refinement, the facelifted Mazda 2 gets upgrades in not only the aesthetics and comfort department but also some new tech under the bonnet.
The simple 1.5-litre Skyactiv-G engine is now kitted for the first time with Mazda's M Hybrid mild-hybrid system. The M hybrid which makes its debut in this so-called supermini is a new piece of kit which surrounds the use of the starter generator. From what we can understand the hybridisation of the Mazda 2 utilises a belt-integrated start generator (B-ISG) which prepares the B-ISG's power generation to make the most out of the energy stored in the capacitor to reduce load on the engine and enable a quick re-start to help lower emissions and improve fuel economy with extended auto engine stop time. This mild hybridisation is currently equipped on all the manual cars, but the implementation of this system on the automatic vehicles has yet to be mentioned.
The other pleasing upgrade to this car is the use of urethane top mounts in the rear dampers and revision to the power steering to improve response and feel. The new mounts coupled with the inclusion of Mazda's G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) system which is an evolved version of Mazda's GVC system will surely give this well-regarded good handling mini even better-driving excitement. The evolved version of Mazda's GVC now uses the brakes to apply direct yaw movement control in addition to previous system's engine control.
On the aesthetics front, the Mazda 2 now has the design cues from the latest evolution of the Kodo design, featuring that grille with those sophisticated looking mesh patterns, just like the handsome looking Mazda 3. With the revised headlights and signature wing as well as a redesigned rear bumper, the supermini now more than ever gives the impression that the car has a low stance.
On the inside, the new seats, revised dashboard trims, air vents, door inserts, and instrument cluster not only gives the driver-focused interior a more upmarket feel but also driver comfort and support. Occupants have also been considered with a plethora of upgrades, designed to improve refinements and interior quietness including new damping materials, better sound insulation and revised sealing rubbers between the roof panel and boot.
In South-East Asia, Thailand was the first country to launch the Mazda 2. It can either be had in a SkyActiv-G 1.3-litre 92hp/123Nm naturally aspirated engine or a SkyActiv-D turbodiesel which pushes out 104hp and 250Nm of torque. Both are equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission.
It remains to be seen whether the Malaysian version when it launches will get the 1.3-litre unit like Thailand or the 1.5-litre mill like the UK. But whatever it is the chances of a diesel Mazda 2 hitting the Malaysian roads are slim to none.