Mazda 2 to hit showrooms this autumn, as sales of hot-hatch superminis soar
Hot-hatch supermini sales have been soaring in the fine weather. And the forthcoming new version of the Mazda 2 aims to cash in on the trend.
Mazda, based in Hiroshima, Japan, likes to portray itself as ‘unconventional’ and its recent models have style in spades.
As a rival to the Ford Fiesta, the Mazda 2 is the fourth member of a line-up that includes the CX-5 sports utility vehicle, the svelte Mazda 6 saloon and estate and the Mazda3 hatchback and fastback.
Style and substance: Mazda says the new ‘2’ promises performance, economy, safety and fun
It combines ultra-efficient technology with smart, flowing and energetic styling.
Mazda says the new ‘2’ promises performance, economy, safety and fun, when it goes on sale this autumn in Japan before reaching Britain early next year. Priced from around £13,000.
It will feature a frugal clean diesel engine and different versions of the petrol 1.5 litre motor linked to manual and automatic transmissions. More than 2.4 million Mazda2s have been sold globally since it was launched in 1996.
The new Mini has been named car of the year in the motor industry Oscars.
As well as winning the top Auto Express award , this all-new, thirdgeneration version of the small, but sporty, runaround was named Best Premium Small Car at the event at the Grand Connaught Rooms in the West End.
Auto Express editor-in-chief Steve Fowler said: ‘The Mini is the perfect Car of the Year for 2014. It’s a small car that’s big on talent. We love the way it drives, the quality, the efficiency and the big-car technology on board. It’s a car the UK can be proud of.’ Minis are built in Oxford with engines from Hams Hall, Birmingham and body panels from Swindon, Wilts.
In the fast lane: The new Mini is built in Oxford with engines made in Hams Hall near Birmingham and body panels coming from Swindon
Production of a new five-door version has started and it will go on sale in the autumn, priced from £15,900 to £20,050.
Other British car makers also scored highly. The new Jaguar Ftype sports car won Best Coupe, the McLaren 650S supercar was named Best Performance Car and Nissan’s popular new Qashqai, built in Sunderland, received the Best Crossover award.
BMW’s i3 was named Green Car of the Year, while U.S. electric car manufacturer Tesla took a special award for its Model S sports saloon.
Breakdowns on the Continent can add a whopping £612 to the cost of a family holiday if the driver doesn’t have proper cover, the AA warns.
More than half of all breakdowns in Europe happen during June, July and August, with August the busiest, says the AA.
It comes as more than one in ten of British motorists say they will be driving abroad this summer. France, Ireland, Germany, Spain and Belgium are the top five places for a breakdown abroad, the poll by AA/ Populus reveals.
Problems with the engine and a failure to start are the most common reasons, followed by flat or damaged tyres, faulty batteries or an accident.
More than half of people who have bought a second-hand car in the past two years have found it more expensive to run than they expected, according to a Government-backed body.
Almost six out of ten motorists said total cost, including maintenance, repairs, insurance and fuel had turned out higher than anticipated, while one in five drivers has resorted to going into debt just to keep their vehicle on the road, says the Money Advice Service.
Smart has launched two city runarounds to go on sale in November.
The new models, priced from around £11,000 for the two-door, two-seater ForTwo or £17,000 for the four-door, four-seater ForFour model.
New model: The Smart two-seater ForTwo is priced from around £11,000
The micro-cars have frugal, three-cylinder rear-mounted engines rated from 60bhp to 90 bhp linked to a five-speed manual gearbox or the six-speed automatic dual clutch.
Even entry-level versions offer a range of standard safety and comfort features including LED daytime driving lights, cruise control, exterior temperature indicator with frost warning and electric windows in the front.
There are three trim levels: Passion, Prime and Proxy. Features include a leather multi-function steering wheel, an instrument cluster with 3.5 in colour display and heated seats.
The original Smart was launched in 1998 as a city coupe — now the fortwo — and 1.5 million have been sold.