There appears to be a pattern developing. We’ve got no evidence to back this up other than our own opinion, but there seems to be a bit of a trend towards smaller cars that run on electricity. Nothing specific, just an overall shift towards smaller and more economical options. Options like the brand-new Mazda2 Hybrid that will soon be joining the recently updated model range.
The current Mazda2 range only went on sale in October so clearly no time has been wasted in announcing a hybrid version. The petrol version has already been praised for its exceptional fuel economy. Adding a hybrid option to the mix is only going to make it even better.
The new Mazda2 Hybrid goes on sale early next year and is the first self-charging hybrid powertrain to enter the Mazda range.
It features a frugal 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine with a 59kW electric motor to generate 116bhp. More than enough in a small car that’s perfectly suited to city traffic. The hybrid Mazda2 will accelerate from 0-62mph in 9.7 seconds and return somewhere between 70 - 75mpg depending on whether you’ve specified the 16 inch or 15 inch wheels. Obviously the size and weight of your right foot will also affect that number, but that’s beyond Mazda’s control.
At start-up the Mazda2 Hybrid automatically runs in EV mode, so it’s smooth and quiet, and emission-free.
During normal driving, power is adjusted between the petrol engine and electric motor to maintain performance and the best possible fuel efficiency. During deceleration and under braking, kinetic energy is recovered as electrical energy for storage in the high-performance battery. Battery level is constantly managed via an engine-driven generator to remove any need to recharge the system from an external source.
Although it is definitely a small car, the new Mazda2 Hybrid’s long wheelbase offers enough interior space for up to four adults, as well as a decent sized boot. It will be available in three trim levels - Pure, Agile and Select – so it’s safe to assume that it will be an entry-level model with enough specification to give you everything you need, a slightly sporty-looking version, and a range-topping version focusing on technology and comfort.
The brand-new Mazda2 Hybrid is a brilliant little car. Even though it hasn’t been released yet we can still say that with a great deal of confidence, and if you promise to keep it quiet we’ll let you in on how we know.
Take a close look at the Mazda2 Hybrid and you may start to notice it doesn’t actually look like the rest of the Mazda2 range. And that brilliant hybrid system might sound a little familiar to anyone paying attention too.
The reason for this is very simple: the Mazda2 Hybrid isn’t a Mazda.
This small car is the latest outcome of a long-standing collaboration between Mazda Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation. According to the official Mazda information, the new car will be an “OEM model supplied by Toyota Motor Europe and will be added to the Mazda2 European line-up as Mazda’s own brand vehicle.”
In plain English, the Mazda2 Hybrid is a Toyota Yaris . It’s designed by Toyota designers, built in a Toyota factory by Toyota engineers, and the only difference is that it rolls off the production line with a Mazda badge on the front instead.
The only thing we can’t say with any confidence is which one you should choose to lease . Theoretically at least, a Mazda costs a little bit less than a Toyota. There might be some kind of pricing structure built into the deal that means both cars are sold for the same price, but if you’re clever, and a little bit lucky, you could be driving a Toyota Yaris for Mazda2 Hybrid money.
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