One of the keys to Mazda’s continuing growth in Europe and around the world has been a strategy of expanding the line-up with exciting new vehicles that appeal to an ever-wider group of consumers. In less than two years, Mazda has introduced vehicles that were never in its portfolio before, like the high-performance Mazda3 MPS, the unique power retractable hardtop MX-5 Roadster Coupe and the sports crossover SUV, Mazda CX-7. This strategy continues at Geneva 2008 with the global premiere of the first-ever Mazda2 three-door hatchback.

Launched in October 2007 as Mazda’s first new-generation vehicle to be evolved to a new level, the all-new Mazda2 was an immediate hit with European customers, attracting more than 18,000 owners by the end of January 2008. In December last year, Mazda2 five-door hatchback was awarded five stars for adult occupant protection in the EuroNCAP crash tests. It won a host of automotive awards as well, including Car of the Year in Austria, Belgium, Croatia and Denmark. Now, Mazda2 is about to get more popular with a new three-door hatchback model that has all the award-winning attributes of the five-door hatchback, and is even sportier and more affordable.

Mazda2 at a glance

  • Three-door version with new rear side window design for a sportier character
  • Drag coefficient of only 0.31 and coefficient of lift (CLF) of just 0.02 contribute to low fuel consumption
  • Sports appearance package available (depending on market) with special front bumper, side sills and rear roof spoiler
  • MZR 1.5-litre petrol engine with maximum power of 103ps at 6000 rpm, maximum torque of 137Nm at 4000 rpm
  • MZR 1.5-litre uses only 5.9 litres of fuel per 100 km (combined), produces just 140 g/km of CO2
  • MZR 1.3-litre Standard Power version with maximum power of 75ps at 6000 rpm, maximum torque of 121Nm at 3500 rpm
  • MZR 1.3-litre High Power version with maximum output of 86ps at 6000 rpm, maximum torque of 122Nm at 3500 rpm
  • Both derivatives of the MZR 1.3-litre petrol use just 5.4 litres of fuel per 100 km (combined) and produce just 129 g/km of CO2
  • MZ-CD 1.4-litre common-rail turbo diesel engine with maximum power of 68ps at 4000 rpm and 160Nm of torque at a low 2000 rpm for lively driving fun
  • MZ-CD 1.4-litre uses just 4.3 litres fuel per 100 km (combined) and produces a very low 114 g/km of CO2
  • Five-speed manual transmission standard for all engines

Design – Sportiness enhanced

The new Mazda2 three-door builds on the five-door hatchback’s exterior design – that evokes movement and athleticism using unique body panel articulation and compact dimensions – for even more sporty appeal. Its rear side window has a unique shape that, when combined with Mazda2’s rising belt line and wedge shape, communicates an even more fun-to-drive character. Fresh and dynamic-looking, its overall design communicates a calm strength achieved through formal beauty and the highest levels of build quality ever seen on a small Mazda. Its eye-catching design is also 4 percent more aerodynamic than the old Mazda2 with a drag coefficient of Cd 0.31 and a coefficient of lift (CLF) of just 0.02, which helps reduce fuel consumption and operating costs, which are so important to young, first-time buyers.

For more sporty-minded customers, a sports appearance package is available with a special front bumper design and side sills that visually lower the car’s centre of gravity, and a rear roof spoiler. On the inside, a dark keynote colour contrasts with white instruments, silver accents, a three-spoke steering wheel similar to the Mazda MX-5 roadster, a silver ringed instrument cluster and a centre-console mounted shift lever, for an ambiance that is both sporty and high quality.

Mazda2 Three-door Show Car

Under the spotlights of the Mazda stand is a Mazda2 three-door created especially for the Geneva Show that emphasises the car’s sporty nature. Its exterior is painted in the same special ‘red mica’ colour as the Mazda Ryuga concept shown at the Detroit Show in 2007. The show car has the optional exterior Sports Appearance Package enhanced by lowered suspension, projector-type headlamps and special 16-inch wheels.

On the inside, the sporty theme continues with Recaro® seats in racy red and black two-tone, and matching red stitching on the leather steering wheel with a painted bezel. The door trims have leather inserts and panels in special paint.

Comfort, Functionality and Equipment

As with the five-door hatchback version, the new Mazda2 three-door has a roomy interior, despite its compact and dynamic exterior design. The three-door includes handy walk-in functionally, thanks to a mechanism that tips the front seatback and slides the passenger seat forward for one of the segment’s widest access widths. It then returns to its original position. Once inside, passengers find themselves in a roomy and comfortable interior. A relatively long wheelbase (2490 mm), an innovative roof header shape, reduced roof-lining thickness and a lower rear hip point height, combine to deliver plenty of head, shoulder and leg room both front and back. The driver’s seat can be slid through 250 mm and height adjusted up to 55 mm. This is combined with a height-adjustable steering wheel and a centre console-mounted manual gear shift lever for a sporty, wrap-around cockpit with room for people of almost every shape and size.

Positioning the shift lever higher makes room between the front seats for a floor console with a drink holder in the front and a storage tray in the rear large enough for a woman’s handbag, along with an AUX jack for plugging in an MP3 player to use with the car’s audio system (depending on grade) and a 12-volt socket that can be used to power or charge electrical accessories. Other handy storage compartments include a unique magazine rack in the glove compartment, front door pockets with space for a half-litre bottle and an A4-size atlas, and three compartments in the dashboard for smaller items. The luggage capacities are unchanged compared to the hatchback version. Behind the rear seats is a 250-litre luggage compartment that can hold two suitcases or a baby buggy, and can be extended to 787-litres when the rear seats are folded (60/40 functionality for all grades except base) to take larger items.

Like the five-door, Mazda2 three-door will be offered in three grades with a full complement of equipment for young, fun-minded drivers. The base grade includes remote central locking, electric adjustable side mirrors, electric power assist steering and ABS. The higher two grades include six airbags, heated and retractable door mirrors, 15 or 16-inch aluminium alloy wheels, manual or automatic air-conditioning, power front windows, rain and light sensor system, adjustable speed warning system, cruise control (1.5-litre petrol with board computer only), dynamic stability control (DSC), and keyless entry and start system, among other features.

Powertrains – low consumption and low CO2 emissions

Mazda2 three-door comes with the same petrol and diesel powertrain line-up as the five-door hatchback with engines that are lively and responsive, yet use less fuel and produce markedly reduced CO2 compared to the engines of the outgoing model. The base MZR 1.3-litre has variable valve timing and comes in two power derivatives: a Standard Power version producing 75ps and an 86ps High Power version. Both achieve more than 50mpg on the combined cycle and produce a low 129g/km of CO2 emissions.

The largest petrol engine is an MZR 1.5-litre that generates 103ps, while recording 47.9mpg (combined cycle) and producing 140g/km of CO2.

For the ultimate economy, customers can order a MZ-CD 1.4-litre common-rail turbo diesel. This engine produces 68ps at 4000rpm and 160Nm of torque at a low 2000 rpm for lively acceleration and driving fun. At the same time, it achieves a remarkable 65.7mpg (combined cycle) and produces a very low 114 g/km of CO2 for low operating costs.

All four engines come with Mazda’s five-speed manual transmission with gear ratios that are between 3 to 10 percent higher than the outgoing five-speed, which contributes to lower fuel consumption.

Lightweight chassis, with safety features equivalent to the five-door hatchback

The new Mazda2 three-door and five-door hatchback have a body shell that is nearly 100kg lighter compared to the previous Mazda2. By keeping vehicle weight under the 1000kg threshold, the new Mazda2 reverses a general trend in the automotive industry of making each new model heavier. This outstanding result was achieved mostly by engineering solutions – like employing large amounts of strong yet light high-tensile steels and reducing weight wherever possible – but also by reducing the car’s dimensions.

High tensile steel also delivers some of the B-segment’s best crash safety, as was shown when the Mazda2 five-door hatchback scored the highest 5-Star ranking in Euro NCAP testing with 34 points for adult protection. Mazda2 five-door hatchback also received an outstanding 4-Stars for child occupant protection with 37 points, making it one of the few sub-compacts to achieve this level of child protection. And for pedestrian safety, it achieved an admirable 18 points and 2-Star rating.

Mazda2 three-door’s superior passive safety package includes six airbags (depending on grade), ABS, electronic brake force distribution (EBD), emergency brake assist, DSC and a 40mm lower beltline and lower side mirror placement for better visibility.