The Mazda2 has been, to my thinking, the best light car in its class. That doesn't mean it's the cheapest – it isn't – but its mix of styling, engineering and safety mean you know where your money has gone. The plucky 2 continues to duke it out with the all-conquering Toyota Yaris, the VW Polo and all manner of Euro and Asian competition.
Things sure have changed in this segment in the last decade or so, with not one single model cracking 10,000 sales (although the Hyundai Accent came close).
Despite its higher cost against the Accent and various contenders, the Mazda2 still came third in its class in 2019, with just under 8200 sales. Just as the year was winding down, Mazda announced a customary, detail-focused rejig of the Mazda2 line-up.
The Mazda2 sure ain't cheap to buy, but neither is its spec list stingy. While the GT is taking the Mick a little bit at $26,000, it does have a lot of stuff, yet none of it is really a must-have. With an alright engine bolted into a really good chassis, the 2 is the kind of fun small cars haven't been for a while.
The bottom line is, any Mazda2 is a good choice – the depth of engineering is part of the reason it costs so much, and the ownership proposition is good with a long warranty. It's also very well-built, feels substantial despite being light and is packed with safety gear.