Updated Fiesta rival gets mild-hybrid power and new front end.

The updated version of the Ford Fiesta-rivalling Mazda2 will arrive in dealerships in November with prices starting at less than £16,000.

Refreshed for 2020, the supermini will come with a revamped exterior and the option of mild-hybrid power, while Mazda says the car is also more refined. At the same time, the hatchback is getting a “simplified” four-tier model range.

At a glance, the 2020 car is set apart by its new front end, with a fresh grille and headlights that bring the car into line with the larger Mazda3 family hatchback. At the back, there’s a new rear bumper that Mazda claims is designed to give the “impression” of a lower stance.

2020 Mazda2 (JDM Spec)

The interior has been tweaked too, with changes to the dashboard trims, air vent louvres, door inserts and the instrument hood. The seats have also been changed, becoming more supportive, while the cabin has received new soundproofing measures to make the car quieter and more refined.

Under the skin, there are small changes to the suspension and power steering, designed to improve feel and responsiveness, and there’s some new tech on the menu. G-Vectoring Control Plus uses the brakes to slow the outer wheels as the steering wheel is returned to the centre position. This, the company claims, provides a “recovery moment” that improves stability.

2020 Mazda2 (JDM Spec)

The biggest mechanical change, though, is found in the engine bay. All Mazda2s will be powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine, but manual versions will get a mild-hybrid system as standard. This uses a belt-integrated starter generator and brake regeneration to reduce the load on the engine and enable quicker restarts. That helps improve fuel economy and thus lower emissions to 94-94 g/km, depending on the trim level.

Speaking of which, the cheapest of those trims will be the £15,795 SE-L model. That comes with a 74 bhp version of the 1.5-litre engine and offers rear parking sensors, 15-inch alloy wheels and LED headlights, plus climate control and cruise control.

2020 Mazda2 (JDM Spec)

Further up the range, the £16,795 SE-L Nav will get an 89 bhp engine and a seven-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, while the £17,495 Sport Nav will get larger 16-inch alloy wheels, a gloss black grille and rear privacy glass, as well as chrome exhaust trim and keyless entry. That model will also be the only version available with an automatic gearbox, which commands a £2,100 premium.

Topping the range, though, is the £18,295 GT Sport Nav, which gets more luxurious touches, including leather upholstery and heated front seats. The steering wheel is heated, too, and customers also get a colour head-up display and a reversing camera.

2020 Mazda2 (JDM Spec)

“The Mazda2 may be the smallest car we produce, but it has at its heart the same values of style, driver involvement and quality that mark out all our vehicles,” said Jeremy Thomson, the managing director of Mazda UK. “With the updated 2020 Mazda2 all of these attributes have been enhanced. The Mazda2 is now even better to drive, plus it’s more efficient. Add in the refreshed styling, upgraded interior and the generous equipment tally across all models and we have a distinctive and premium contender in what is still one of the most competitive segments in the UK car market.”

Gallery: 2020 Mazda2 (JDM Spec)