2017 Mazda 2 1.5 115 GT Nav First Drive: Quiet Confidence

The 2 is a stalwart in the Mazda line-up, having been introduced to critical acclaim in 2014. It has never set the sales charts on fire, though, which is a shame

Three years into the third-generation model’s life and all the cars in the range have been subtly refreshed with blink-and-you’ll-miss-them touches such as new seat fabrics, a new steering wheel and new door mirrors with wraparound indicators.

There’s also been extensive deployment of sound-deadening material under the bonnet and in the cabin, as well as noise-insulating windscreen glass. New GT and GT Sport trim levels are also on the menu, throwing the kitchen sink at the specification list.

2017 Mazda2 GT Sport

First impressions

The new range consists of eight models – Mazda says it’s a simplified range, but bear with us – the cars all come with the single 1.5-litre petrol engine in three states of tune: 74bhp, 89bhp and 113bhp. The 74bhp car comes with pauper trims SE or SE-L, the 89bhp car comes with SE-L Nav, Sport Nav and GT trims, while the 113bhp model exclusively gets GT Nav and a six-speed gearbox. Phew.

We've driven the new top-spec GT Nav here, and the kit list is most welcome – the heated seats are great, the reversing camera makes parking a cinch and the head-up display quickly makes itself indispensable. You needn't look at the instrument dials again.

Otherwise it's business as usual inside the 2; The cabin is quietly stylish and mostly solid quality, but overall rather nondescript. The Japanese manufacturers seem to str...