The Geneva debut of Mazda’s B-segment fighter has everyone asking: Will Mazda bring this compact hatch to the U.S.?
Mazda recently announced that its Mazda 2 five-door hatchback will debut at the Geneva motor show in March. Measuring two feet shorter than the Mazda 3 hatchback, the 2 is even slightly shorter than a Honda Fit. Like most B-segment cars, the 2 sits tall on a long wheelbase to provide maximum room for people and gear in minimal space. The wheels are stretched so far to the corners that the rear overhang is barely more than the thickness of the bumper.
Although the 2’s face retains strong Mazda family proportions, with large headlamps flanking a pentagonal grille, the shape is less angular and more organic than that of the 3 and far more graceful than the 2’s awkward predecessor. Mazda’s signature raised hood sweeps up cleanly into the A-pillars, and the aggressive fender bulges plunge down into rakish body lines that shoot up the sides of the car to the taillamps, perched just below a high and tight rear window.
In Japan and Europe, power for the 2 will come from a selection of gas engines, with a diesel set to join the party later. Two 1.3-liter inline-fours offer 74 or 82 horsepower. The big-daddy 1.5-liter spews out 101 horsepower and gently tugs on the asphalt with a cool 100 pound-feet of torque. The five-speed manual did not have to be internally reinforced to handle this power output.
So, will the Mazda 2 make it to the U.S.? Not with either of those 1.3-liter engines, it won’t. But the bigger four’s power figures are competitive with the Fit’s. Mazda is resisting saying it will bring the car over here, saying instead that it is waiting to see how the 2’s competitors—mainly the Fit and the Toyota Yaris—fare here.