The Mazda 2 is classified as a supermini and is produced by Japanese carmaker Mazda. Production of this vehicle began in 1996 and is currently in its third generation. This car was marketed on an international level as the Mazda 2 as well as other nameplates, including the Mazda Metro, Mazda 121, and Ford Festiva Mini Wagon, in various markets throughout the world. The third generation of this vehicle was awarded the World Car of the Year title in 2008. The Mazda 2 is based on the Mazda D-platform and another version of the first generation DA 121 is used by Ford and known as the Ford Fiesta.
The first generation of the Mazda 2 came in the form of a tall hatchback with a minivan-like package. This car was launched amidst all kinds of negative reviews for other vehicles from the automaker, but it proved to a complete success for Mazda in Japan, foreshadowing some of the company’s future B-segment minivans, including the Fiat Idea, Renault Modus, and Opel Meriva. When this vehicle was introduced in 1997, it won the Automotive Researchers’ and Journalists’ Conference Car of the Year award in Japan. Production of the new Demio started up in July of 1996, sold as the 121 in markets outside of Japan, and used the DW platform.
The 1996-1998 Mazda 2 models use a 1.3 liter B3-ME14 engine, the 1996-1998 models use a 1.5 liter B5-ME 14 engine, the 1999-2001 models use a 1.3 liter B3E 14 engine, and the 2000-2001 models use a 1.5 liter B5E 14 engine. There has been a steady increase with regards to engine sizes for these vehicles, though the changes were more significant towards the end of its production. The second generation Mazda 2 or Demio came in 2002 and was designed using the DY platform. Although the Demio name was still used in Japan, all of the other markets around the world used the Mazda 2 nameplate.
All of these second generation vehicles comes equipped with ABS as well as EBD and stability control as an optional feature. One of the most innovative features with this vehicle, the e-4WD, was offered in Japan for a hybrid car-like model that uses an electric motor to provide power to the rear wheels. This vehicle has a front wheel drive design and there are three different trim levels available, each of which are targeted for different demographics.
The third generation Mazda 2 is built on the new DE platform, which was used for the Ford Fiesta in 2008. This vehicle uses light weight materials that were responsible for reducing its overall dimensions. It was initially displayed to the public at the Geneva Motor Show in 2007 and production vehicles went on sale in July of that year. There is also the three-door hatchback version of this car which was introduced only to the European market. Some of the different engine choices include the MZR 1.3 liter, the 1.5 liter gasoline, and the MZ-CD 1.4 liter common-rail turbo diesel.
The fourth generation Mazda 2 was first reported in 2013 with some graphical renderings that were published by a number of different websites on the internet. The Mazda Hazumi Concept vehicle was finally displayed to the public at the Geneva Motor Show in 2014. This concept car is designed to preview the future Mazda 2 models. Mazda took the opportunity to also introduce the brand new SkyActiv-D 1.5 diesel engine. Photos of the new Mazda were released in July of 2014 and production of the new Demio started in August. The Mazda 2 was an incredibly popular vehicle and an important one for Mazda.