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Test Drives
03 Oct 10 15:33
Zoom-Zoom with the New Mazda 2
Panod Srisinsuphya
Land Rover ... the classic name in cars for the extraordinary driver...

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Have you ever said to yourself, I just wish that I had a cool car to drive to school or to work? I guess we all do! But if one day you wake up, and see a new mint green metallic, red plate compact Mazda 2 Maxx Sports parked outside your house ready for you to try it out. Wouldn’t that be just awesome? CarSanook! Magazine provided this opportunity with a demo unit from Mazda Sales (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

This morning, I didn’t just got the car, but I also a chauffeur. As a passenger, I felt that this car has a pleasant and functional interior, soft fabric seats, nice texture, although the rear seats are a bit small, but still comfortable and the suspension felt firm and strong, European style.

Without having driven it yet, I started to have second thoughts. First of all, even though Mazda 2 is a light vehicle with a curb weight just about a metric ton (1,066 kg), and uses a 1.5-liter engine, but it consumes quite a lot of petrol. And if you have a low income you could easily go bankrupt with this car. The CarSanook! Magazine estimated it to consume about 7-10 km/L (when you drive in the city and accelerate a lot).

The passengers have grab handles - but not the driver. Maybe the driver should grab the steering wheel not grab handle! The radio has 'no station seek' or scan function which is a bit annoying, but when you’ve found your six favorite stations, you can just save them and use the multifunction steering wheel buttons (stations and volume) to listen to your desired channel. Or the 200,000 tracks on your MP3.

With those negatives in my head, especially the fuel consumption (CarSanook! never says fuel economy!) I started to feel that I do not like the new Mazda 2 anymore. Until this evening, when I had to drive back home by myself, my negative perception changed completely.

With this top of the line version, I no longer need to pull out the key to unlock, but the car just unlocks itself once I touch the black button on the door handle, thanks to the Smart Keyless Entry System. Starting the car was easy too, but it would be better if there was an engine start-stop button a la Jaguar and the Bentley and not some kind of black weird knob to twist. Once I hit the main road I realized why the Mazda2 consumed so much petrol (E20).

I always had a perception that this car was made for urban people, city dwellers, but I realized it is a car built for urbanites who do not accelerate – too much because this car is very sensitive to 'stepping on it', every time you step hard on the accelerator, the car could consume an average of 2 km/L which is normal for super cars but not for eco cars, but when you reach a cruising speed, it will give you around 13-15 km/L. At a speed of 100 kph, the rpm (revolutions per minute) is at 2,500 and at the speed of 110 kph the rpm reaches 3,000. So the rpm of this vehicle is a tad high compared to other compact car like the Honda Jazz (1.5-liter engine) where at the speed of 110 kmh the engine runs at only 2500 rpm.

If you want this Mazda 2 to be eco(nomy)-friendly, you got to be a person who does not drive fast, or who does not like to accelerate hard, and who drives with a constant speed (cruising speed) preferably on the expressway.

Yes, it’s designed to look cool and sporty, but it’s not for people who like to drive fast, and accelerate hard unless they have lots of money to burn.

Overall this car is very agreeable, both the exterior and the interior, the design just grabs everyone’s attention especially, the new in your face spirited metallic green paint job and the speedometer when turned on during the night gives this red, orange burning look, which contrast neatly with the dark interior of the car.

The Mazda 2 line up starts at THB 535,000 manual transmission, but the one we tested was the top model, the Mazda 2 Maxx Sports AT, priced at THB 690,000.

With this model you'll get a 6-CD changer, Smart Keyless Entry, with Keyless Start Engine, leather steering wheel, power wing mirror, and rear wiper and good looking 16-inch alloy wheels.

Besides all the form & function (standard or top equipment) every model of Mazda 2, especially the funky green color will create an image of contemporary urban cool and it is by far the most striking and stylish car among all the compact (eco)cars in the Kingdom of Thailand today. Trust me.



CarSanook! Magazine

MMX


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