The facelifted Mazda2 has gone on sale in the UK with styling tweaks and new mild-hybrid tech included in the £15,795 price tag.

Visually, the newcomer is set apart by its new grille and updated headlights, but the biggest change is under the bonnet. There, the facelifted car gets Mazda’s latest mild-hybrid technology to help get the most from the 1.5-litre petrol engine. Fitted only to vehicles with manual gearboxes, the system uses a belt-integrated start generator and brake regeneration to reduce load on the engine and enable quick restart.

The idea is that the tech helps to lower emissions and improve fuel economy by extending auto engine stop time. As a result of its fitment, Mazda says the new car emits between 94 and 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, depending on the trim level. The power output of the engine also depends on trim levels, with lowlier versions getting a 74 bhp unit, while high-end models get 89 bhp.

2020 Mazda2 (JDM Spec)

Whichever model you opt for, though, you’ll get subtle updates to the suspension and steering designed to enhance feel and handling. As part of that, Mazda has fitted G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) which uses the brakes to help the car turn into corners with a little more verve.

More obvious changes have been made to the interior, where you’ll find new dashboard trims and air vents, as well as new front seats that Mazda claims are more supportive than their predecessors. The company has tweaked the soundproofing, too, in a bid to make the Fiesta rival more refined.

2020 Mazda2 (JDM Spec)

Otherwise, though, the features you’ll find in that cabin depend largely on which model you go for. The starting price buys you the SE-L trim with the basic 74 bhp engine, so climate control and cruise control are standard, along with 15-inch alloy wheels and rear parking sensors. Spending a little more on the SE-L Nav not only adds a seven-inch infotainment screen with satellite navigation, but it also pays for the more potent 89 bhp engine.

Further up the range, meanwhile, Sport Nav and GT Sport Nav models also come with the 89 bhp engine, not to mention larger 16-inch alloys and smart keyless entry. These high-end cars get a gloss black mesh grille, too, and privacy glass. The GT Sport Nav justifies its increased price tag, however, with the addition of a reversing camera, leather seats and a colour head-up display, plus heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

2020 Mazda2 (JDM Spec)

Commenting on the arrival of the 2020 Mazda2, Jeremy Thomson, the managing director of Mazda UK, said: “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. 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)