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4 pros and cons of buying this subcompact car


The Mazda2 debuted in the United States in 2011 and survived until 2014. It was a subcompact small car that rivaled other fuel-guzzling commuters like the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta, however, she was eclipsed by the two during her run. In fact, Mazda only sold around 42,000 Mazda2s at the time. By contrast, Honda sold 53,000 Fits and Ford sold over 70,000 Fiestas in 2013 alone.

So, we can see that the Mazda2 was not the most popular car in its time. However, the good news is that you can now pick one up for really cheap on the used market if you just need a little one to get around town. In case you were thinking about it, here are four pros and cons of buying a used Mazda2.

Pros: The Mazda2 is slow and fun to drive

Mazda 2 Sports | Getty Images

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Have you heard the phrase “It’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than to drive a fast car slowly?” Well, the Mazda2 is the epitome of that saying. Under its hood is a tiny 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that cranks out 100 hp and 98 lb-ft of torque, but its saving grace is its curb weight of 2,359. Those stats, combined with a small wheelbase and tight suspension, make it fun and easy to launch, even if you’re only going 30 mph.

Pros: It’s a great first car

Are you new to driving a manual transmission or driving in general? If yes, then the Mazda2 is an excellent choice for you. It comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission that has a light clutch pedal and an easy learning curve. Plus, its relatively large front windows and small size make it easy to get around town and park in the tightest of spaces.

Pros: You can still buy a cheap Mazda2 on the used market

The Mazda 2 is presented at the 2010 New York International Auto Show.

The Mazda 2 is introduced at the 2010 New York International Auto Show. | Brian Ach/WireImage

A national CarGurus search reveals that you can currently buy a Mazda2 for between $5,000 and $14,000 depending on the car’s condition, location and mileage. If you’re aiming for the lower end of this price range, expect to get a car with around 150,000 miles or more. However, we’ve seen a 2012 model with 27,000 miles sell for $12,900.

For: The Mazda2 can be modified

If you are an enthusiast who loves modifying cars, then you might like the Mazda2. According to Torque Cars, suspension and wheel/tire modifications are the most common for all years of the Mazda2. However, if you want to modify the performance of the car, you may only find support for aftermarket intakes and exhausts in addition to ECU tuning.

Cons: it’s slow

2009 Mazda 2 driving on a snowy road.

2009 Mazda 2 driving on a snowy road. | National Automobile Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

As stated earlier, the Mazda2 is slow, but fun to drive. But again, it’s slow, so if you normally go up big hills or steep inclines, you’ve been warned.

Disadvantage: the Mazda2 is not very tech-savvy

If you search for Apple Carplay or Bluetooth, you won’t find either in a Mazda2. What you’ll find though are power windows and door locks, cruise control, six airbags and a CD player. There’s also an auxiliary jack for your portable MP3 player or outdated smartphone. That’s right, welcome to the early 2010s.

Disadvantage: very limited interior space

Interior of the 2011 Mazda2

Interior of the 2011 Mazda2 | Mazda

Take a look at the tiny Mazda2 and you can guess there’s hardly any space. To be clear, it’s not too bad if you’re under six feet tall as there’s a decent amount of head and legroom in both the front and rear seats for short people. But for taller people, we suggest the larger Mazda3.

Cons: There is a four-speed automatic transmission (yes, four)

If you find a Mazda2 with an automatic transmission, just know that it only has four gears, not five. That means it’ll sound a little louder on the highway and you’ll definitely wish it had one more gear.

The Mazda2 is a fun little used car

        Mazda2 badge shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Mazda2 badge shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show. | David McNew/Getty Images

Although the Mazda2 was never as popular or as well-equipped as its rivals from Honda and Ford, it was still a fun little car in its own right. And if all you need is a little commuter to get around town and run errands, then the Mazda2 might be for you. Especially if your budget for a car is under $10,000.

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