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Mazda2 Neo 5 door (2008)
This year, the ABC criteria reflected the tougher financial times with a list price ceiling of $18,000 in the Small Car class.But that doesn’t mean consumers have to skimp on quality or driving ability.
Our winner, Mazda2, is a well-built small car, with a big heart and excellent all-round packaging.
An advanced, lightweight body combines with an efficient 1.5-litre, four-cylinder engine to deliver both a spirited performance and economical fuel consumption.
A testimony to Mazda’s quality engineering, the 2’s lightweight construction has been achieved without compromising structural integrity.
With direct steering and a small turning circle, it’s a breeze to drive around town and just as capable on the open road.
The ride is on the firm side but well controlled and relatively comfortable, while the 2 is one of the quietest cars in the class.
Space is always at a premium in this category but Mazda2’s astute interior packaging makes the most of its dimensions.
Comfortable seats, well-laid-out controls and clear instrumentation create a welcoming driving environment.
Space is tighter in the rear but it is still relatively comfortable. The modest boot actually holds more than you'd expect, and the split-folding rear seat is handy but does not fold completely flat.
Rear vision is somewhat restricted.
The level of standard features in the base model Neo is average for the class, but it’s one of the best in security.
Safety is a strong point, and there's the extra protection of side and curtain airbags and stability control with the well-priced optional safety pack.
Mazda deserves praise for upgrading the base model Neo to 15-inch tyres this year after criticism of its wet weather performance, but it still carries a space-saver spare wheel.
2nd place: Honda Jazz GLi 5-door
3rd place: Hyundai Getz SX 5-door
Handling and performance, all-round ability
Restricted rear vision, spacesaver spare wheel
||2 Neo 5-door
||Light Under $20,000
|Price when new
|Current price range
$ - $
|ANCAP crash rating
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||76 kW @ 6000 rpm
||7 Nm @ 4000 rpm
|Acceleration to 100 km/h
|Braking from 80 km/h
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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.