Mazda is set to unveil an all-new subcompact for the North American market at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show next month. Following the same naming convention as most other Mazdas, the new compact will be called the Mazda2.
The Mazda2, otherwise known as the Mazda Demio, has been on sale around the rest of the world for years now, and has even won multiple awards including the 2008 World Car of the Year award and Car of the Year award from more than 20 countries. A high sales volume and lots of praise around the rest of the world for the Mazda2 make it that much funnier that America has been completely oblivious to this car for over ten years. At last, Americans are ready for it.
The 2011 Mazda2 will compete with other subcompacts including the Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, Honda Fit, Chevy Aveo, and Kia Rio. The Mazda2 then completes Mazda’s lineup, filling in the subcompact gap left by the Mazda 323 when it was discontinued in the ’90s. That is until minicars become more popular in the States, I’m sure, which we’ll start seeing a Mazda1 buzzing around the streets.
While I personally wouldn’t drive anything smaller than a Mazda3, I’m excited to give the 2 spin. It will likely have slightly worse fuel economy than the comparible Toyota or Honda, but I guarantee it will be a blast to drive and have more exciting styling. Expect the Mazda2 to cost about the same as competitors – $10,000 to $15,000.