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Mazda2 3-door Press Kit: Spunky New Baby Car Arrives - (Australia)

May 7th, 2008

1. At a Glance


  • Mazda2 3-door model broadens the appeal of the 2008 World Car of the Year
  • Two specification levels: Neo and Maxx
  • Mazda2 3-door prices start from just $15,750 for Neo manual
  • High-grade Maxx ($17,960) adds 15-inch alloys, 6-stack CD, sports spoiler
  • $1240 price advantage over nearest direct rival – Toyota Yaris YRS ($16,990)
  • Air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors, MP3-compatible CD player and remote central locking standard
  • Australia is one of the first countries to get Mazda's new baby car, unveiled at Geneva Motor Show in March 2008
  • First Mazda 3-door compact in 28 years (1980 Mazda 121)
  • Mazda2 3-door arrives in showrooms in May 2008
  • Mazda2 3-door expected to add 300 sales to Mazda2 volumes each month


  • Mazda2 is the only Japanese light car to offer DSC and six airbags on all models
  • Mazda2 5-door with safety pack rated 5-star safety by ANCAP
  • Dual front airbags and ABS, EBD, EBA standard


  • Mazda2 3-door shares external and internal dimensions with 5-door
  • All Mazda2 models powered by responsive 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine
  • 76kW @ 6,000rpm and 137Nm @ 4,000rpm
  • Five-speed manual is standard; four-speed automatic is optional
  • Highly economical, 6.4l/100km (manual) on combined cycle. 152g/km emissions

2. Overview

The Mazda2 3-door hatchback is priced for a fight, bursting with flair and designed to ignite desire.

  • 2008 World Car of the Year now available in sporty 3-door body
  • Prices range from $15,750 for Mazda2 Neo to $17,960 for Maxx
  • Zippy (76kW) and economical (6.4l/100km) 1.5-litre petrol engine on all models
  • Most affordable Japanese car in Australia available with six airbags and stability control

Proud parent Mazda Australia is pleased to announce the arrival of a new baby to its range of Stylish, Insightful and Spirited passenger cars. The spunky new Mazda2 3-door joins a family popular with Australian private buyers, and adds a welcome dose of excitement and passion to the 3-door light car class.

The Mazda2 3-door will attract buyers looking for the same great qualities of value, safety and elegance that have driven its 5-door sibling to exceed sales expectations by more than 50 per cent. With two less doors, the Mazda2 3-door will also draw in consumers attracted to its sportier lines and who don't need regular access to the back seats.

Doug Dickson, managing director of Mazda Australia, said: “There's really only one 3-door choice for Australian car buyers at the affordable end of the market. Only the Mazda2 3-door offers Japanese quality and style with an exhilarating mix of sportiness, safety and value.

"The Mazda2 3-door makes the rest look positively mundane."

The launch of the Mazda2 3-door comes just eight weeks after its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. This is the first time Mazda Australia has offered a 3-door Mazda2.

The Mazda2 3-door goes on sale this month priced from just $15,750, making it the most affordable car in Mazda's range.

The Mazda2 3-door will be available in two specification levels – Neo and Maxx – each mirroring the specification of their 5-door siblings. All Mazda2s are powered by the same spirited 76kW, 1.5-litre, MZR four-cylinder petrol engine. A five-speed manual transmission is standard; a four-speed automatic is optional.

Standard features include an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), remote locking, driver’s seat height adjustment, a centre rear headrest and an AUX jack that enables any MP3 player (including iPod®) to be played through the car’s audio system.

Air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors and an MP3 compatible CD player with four speakers are also part of the package.

New Mazda2 3-door is also available in Maxx grade which adds 15-inch alloy wheels, 6-disc CD player, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and a rear spoiler. The Mazda2 Maxx 3-door is priced from $17,960.

The new Mazda2 5-door was the first Mazda and the first Japanese model in the light-car class available with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) across all models, and its 3-door sibling continues this ground breaking trend. DSC is a state-of-the-art automated anti-skid system that helps prevent front or rear wheel slides.

The Mazda2 3-door shares the same external dimensions as the Mazda2 5-door model. It measures a compact 3,885mm in length and rides on a 2,490mm wheelbase, ensuring it's not only easy to manoeuvre and park, but also embodies the Zoom-Zoom driving enthusiasm that sets Mazda's cars apart.

Despite these compact dimensions, interior space for people and cargo is very competitive.

The Mazda2’s body is light - the lightest 1.5-litre B-car in Australia - and strong. The Mazda2 is the second Mazda after the Mazda MX-5 to use ultra-high-tensile steel. The proportion of high-tensile steel has jumped from just 6 percent in the first-generation Mazda2 to 31 percent.
Like the Mazda2 5-door, the Mazda2 3-door's body benefits from carefully targeted, localised stiffening which ensures maximum rigidity with minimal weight penalty. Benefits include benchmark handling, impressive NVH and a strong passenger safety cell.

All Mazda2 models comply with the strict Euro Stage IV emission regulations and are powered by a 1.5-litre MZR engine that features Sequential Valve Timing (S-VT) to boost cylinder charging efficiency and Tumble Swirl Control Valves in the intake manifold that optimise the air/fuel ratio to promote combustion stability.

The spirited engine develops 76kW at 6,000rpm (EEC) and 137Nm at 4,000rpm (EEC) and with minimal friction losses and the low body weight, combines to realise low fuel consumption and therefore low CO2 emissions.

The Mazda2 3-door and 5-door manual consume just 6.4L/100km on the ADR 81/01 cycle. Mazda2 models equipped with the smooth-shifting 4-speed automatic transmission sip just 6.8L/100km.

Mazda Australia expects to sell about 300 Mazda2 3-door models a month.

The new Mazda2, like the rest of the Mazda passenger and SUV range, comes with a 3-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. 

3. Sales and Marketing

The Mazda2 3-door, like its equally stylish 5-door sibling, is expected to appeal to young buyers.Style is the number one reason for purchase in the light car segment and Mazda Australia’s in-house research shows that the new Mazda2 is one of the most eye-catching in its class.

The Mazda2 3-door, first presented at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, builds on the company's successful new generation of Mazda vehicles. It not only continues the Zoom-Zoom idea, it bolsters the Mazda2's credentials in an increasingly competitive environment with clever and fresh technical solutions.

The main goal of the second-generation Mazda2 development team was a further sharpening of Mazda’s Stylish, Insightful and Spirited brand values – its distinctive design, exceptional functionality and agile handling.

At the same time, the team aimed at high levels of ride comfort and operating smoothness, but always bearing in mind the need for safety and environmental friendliness. With this special combination of virtues, the new Mazda2 will strengthen the brand’s DNA and Mazda’s presence in the global light car segment.

The Mazda2 3-door's desirable design, and its class-leading combination of safety, equipment and driving dynamics, will have strong appeal with younger buyers – about 30 percent of which will be under 30.

Females buy more light cars than males and are likely to make up about 80 percent of Mazda2 3-door sales. The split between manual and automatic versions is expected to remain unchanged at 40 percent manual, 60 percent automatic.

Neo sales are expected to make up 67 percent of Mazda2 3-door sales over the life of the car. The Mazda2 Maxx will account for the other 33 percent.

Both models in the Mazda2 3-door range are available with optional Dynamic Stability Control (DCS) and Traction Control System (TCS). The new Mazda2 5-door was the first Japanese model in the light-car class available with DSC and TCS across the entire range. DSC is a state-of-the-art automated anti-skid system that helps prevent front or rear wheel slides.

Together with front-side and head-protecting curtain airbags (taking the car’s total airbag count to six) about 20 percent of Neo and Maxx customers are likely to tick the safety option box. The safety pack is priced at $1100.

It is available in a range of 11 colours including several new hues introduced with the Mazda2 5-door. These are Spirited Green, Golden Yellow, Golden Red and Metropolitan Grey.

Mazda does not charge extra for mica or metallic paint, which can add $300-$500 to the real-world price of some Mazda2 rivals in this extremely price-sensitive market segment.

A range of dealer fit accessories are available, including a Bluetooth hands free phone kit and rear park assist sensors.

Mazda Australia expects to sell about 300 new Mazda2 3-door models a month.

4. Pricing

Mazda2 Neo 3-door
Mazda2 Neo 5-door
Mazda2 Maxx 3-door
Mazda2 Maxx 5-door
Mazda2 Genki 5-door
Automatic transmission
Safety Pack Option (Neo & Maxx) [Adds side (front) and curtain (front and rear) airbags, Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control System]

DSC Option (Genki) [Adds DSC and TCS]


5. Design: Stylish and Spirited

The Mazda2 3-door was designed and developed in concert with the 5-door model, ensuring it took full advantage of the slimmer and more stylish design language that makes Mazda2 a standout vehicle in the light-car class around the world.

It also means the Mazda2 3-door inherits the exemplary dynamic structure that has made the Mazda2 5-door a firm favourite with enthusiastic drivers, and propelled the Mazda2 to the 2008 World Car of the Year award.

Style is the number one reason for purchase in the Light or B-car segment. So it's no surprise the new Mazda2 3-door enjoys the same spirited, exciting and athletic design that made the Mazda2 5-door such a welcome departure from the practical boxy shapes that otherwise permeate the light-car class.

The car’s prominent front quarter panels have a lot of sports car in them. Perhaps that shouldn’t be a surprise given that the Mazda2 was penned by Ikuo Maeda – the man responsible for the iconic Mazda RX-8 sports car.

The quarter panels and steeply-sloping shoulder line are just two elements that ensure the Mazda2 has the coiled energy of an athlete in the starting blocks – it looks like its moving even when it’s standing still.

This athletic look also brings practical benefits. With the beltline descending towards the front of the car, and together with a low positioning of the side mirrors, the driver benefits from increased visibility diagonally to the front and down. This results in increased safety when driving on narrow roads and turning at junctions, where pedestrians could cross the road.

The new Mazda2 3-door hatchback builds on the 5-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 shares the highest levels of build quality yet seen on a Mazda light-car.

Both the three- and 5-door's eye-catching design is four percent more aerodynamic than the original Mazda2 with a coefficient of drag (Cd) of only 0.33 and a coefficient of lift (CLF) of just 0.03.

This aerodynamic 'slipperiness' reduces fuel consumption and operating costs, which is important to young, first-time buyers.

6. Exterior Dimensions

The new Mazda2 3-door and 5-door hatchback is up to 60kg lighter than the first-generation Mazda2 launched back in 2002. By reducing vehicle weight, the second-generation 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 – and also by reducing the car’s dimensions, making it agile and positively impacting fuel consumption and operating costs.

The Mazda2 Neo 3-door hatchback has the honourable distinction of being the lightest of its major entry-level rivals from Ford, Holden, Hyundai and Toyota.

The Mazda2's spirited and strong 76kW 1.5-litre engine also makes it the most powerful of this group, ensuring responsive straight-line performance and economical fuel consumption.

The Mazda2 3-door shares the same overall dimensions as its 5-door sibling, and rides on the same sporty 2,490mm wheelbase, which endows it with proven class-leading dynamics and driving enthusiasm.

The Mazda2 3-door shares the same generous internal dimensions as the 5-door, ensuring occupants and luggage are accommodated in the same comfort.

The front doors are 163mm longer than those on the Mazda2 5-door to provide excellent access to the second row of seats. The back seat split folds in a 60/40 configuration to free up luggage space as required.

7. Interior Comfort and Equipment

The new Mazda2 3-door hatchback has a roomy interior which belies its compact and dynamic exterior design. One of the longest wheelbases in its class (2,490mm), 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 cabin has been designed to communicate movement. Unlike interiors with flat surfaces, the chosen architecture combines confidence-inspiring solidity with strong visual movement.

By emphasising the horizontal plane, a subjectively large spatial feel is achieved. The contrast between silver accents and an otherwise dark background, along with many round elements, add sportiness and individuality to the cockpit.

A dark keynote colour contrasts nicely with white instruments, silver accents, a three-spoke steering wheel similar to the Mazda MX-5 roadster, a silver-ringed driver cluster and centre-console mounted shift lever for an ambiance that is both sporty and high quality.

It's also practical; the Mazda2 3-door includes a handy walk-in functional which tips the seatback and slides it and the base forward for one of the segment’s widest access widths for easy entry.

For easy forward entry into parking spaces and narrow roads, good visibility in the forward-diagonal directions is realised by a low beltline; at the base of the A-pillar, the beltline height from the driver’s hip point is one of the lowest in the class at 354mm.

When moving forward into a space in a car park, the driver can easily see adjacent vehicles and the painted lines indicating the space. Also, optimally-positioned outside mirrors mean the driver can easily look past them and spot pedestrians crossing the road at junctions.

A sporty windscreen shape that positions the front header further rearward than that of the previous generation Mazda2 makes the front-upward vision angle one of the best in the class at 18.9 degrees, meaning that the driver can easily see road signs while stationary.

Rearward visibility is promoted by saddle-shape rear headrests, which give a clear view of vehicles on the road behind when the driver looks over his or her shoulder.

The driver’s seat can be slide-adjusted 250mm and height-adjusted 55mm. The steering wheel has a 50mm is height-adjustable range, which combines with a centre console-mounted shift lever for a sporty, wrap-around cockpit to achieve the optimal driving position.

The high shift lever placement adopted from the Mazda2 5-door 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.

There's also an AUX jack for plugging in an MP3 player to use with the car’s audio system and a 12-volt power socket that can be used to power or charge electrical accessories.


Both Mazda2 3-door models carry the same high levels of equipment and safety as their Mazda2 5-door siblings. Standard features include air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors and an MP3-compatible audio system with CD player and four speakers.

The Mazda2 Maxx 3-door is the sporting extrovert of the Mazda2 range. It gets sexy 15-inch alloy wheels and a rear roof spoiler to enhance its visual presence, and adds a six-disc CD player with steering wheel-mounted audio controls inside. The Mazda2 Maxx is priced from $17,960.

For more on safety, please see the dedicated safety section of this guide.

Comfortable Seats

The Mazda2 has ergonomically designed seats that minimise fatigue for comfortable day-to-day driving and riding.

The front seats have ample surface area that effectively distributes pressure, and provide plenty of side support during cornering manoeuvres. The seat cushions are amply wide, and the angle of each seat cushion below the hip point is optimally shaped to prevent fatigue on long journeys.

To promote rearward visibility, the rear seatback has the aforementioned saddle-shape rear headrests.

Luggage and Storage

Handy storage compartments include a unique magazine rack in the glove compartment which is specially designed not to impede the operation of the passenger front airbag. The front door pockets have space for a half-litre bottle and an A4 street directory, and there are three compartments in the dashboard for smaller items.

Luggage capacities are unchanged compared to the 5-door hatchback version. Behind the rear seats is a 250 litre luggage space that can hold two suitcases or even a baby buggy, and can be extended to 787 litres (to the roof, VDA) when the 60/40 split-fold rear seats are fully folded.

8. Safety

All Mazda2 models come with ABS anti-lock brakes with EBD Electronic Brake-force Distribution and EBA Emergency Brake Assist fitted standard. A driver and passenger front airbag are also fitted to every Mazda2 model.

The Mazda2 is the only Japanese light car to offer side and curtain airbags, and Dynamic Stability Control with Traction Control System on all models.

High-tensile steel also delivers some of the B-segment’s best crash safety, as was shown when the Mazda2 5-door hatchback scored the highest possible ranking of five stars on Euro-NCAP testing for adult protection.

The Mazda2 5-door hatchback also received an outstanding 4-star ranking for child occupant protection, making it one of the few sub-compacts to achieve this level of child protection. And for pedestrian safety, it achieved an admirable 2-star ranking.

The Mazda2 3-door hatchback’s structure is reinforced around the B-pillar and in the doors, including specific side impact protection bars.

Passive Safety Starts with a Secure Body

Mazda2’s passive safety package is based on a body shell developed using the highly-capable Mazda Advanced Impact Distribution and Absorption System (MAIDAS), which disperses impact energy through the body shell along exactly defined load paths.

In order to better absorb the energy from a frontal crash, the front side chassis members are straighter and have a larger cross-section. An ultra-high strength structure in the front bumper and a straight main underbody load path provide effective occupant protection.

During an offset crash, a three-way load path deflects impact energy away from the feet and lower legs of the front occupants. The brake pedal is designed to collapse down and away from the driver’s feet.

Impact Beams in the Front Doors Provide Side Protection

During a side impact, B-pillars made of 980 MPa-grade steel, specially strengthened side sills and floor-pan cross-members provide effective occupant protection. In the front doors there are two side-impact beams which help protect occupants from injury.

Additional protection from injury is provided by shock-absorbing pads in the door trims, pillars and roof side rails. In case of a rear impact, the back-seat passengers and the fuel tank (located below the cabin floor and directly in front of the rear axle) are given increased protection by a large rear bumper beam and side members.


This crash-resistant survival cell of the Mazda2 is enhanced by two front airbags and seatbelts with pretensioners and load-limiters, and anti-whiplash front seats.

Side (front) airbags and curtain (front and rear) airbags, for additional occupant protection in the outer seats, are optional on Neo and Maxx.

Pedestrian safety is also optimised by the special design of the bonnet, quarter panels and windscreen wipers.

9. Engine: Refined, Responsive and Economical

Mazda2 3-door hatchback comes with the same economical and zippy, 1.5-litre MZR petrol engine as the 5-door hatchback. This engine is lively and responsive, yet uses little fuel and produces markedly less CO2 than some of its rivals.

It also makes the Mazda2 Neo 3-door the most powerful entry-level light-car on sale in Australia.

The MZR 1.5-litre operates with sequential valve timing (S-VT) which provides variable valve timing for the intake valves and optimised timing of the exhaust valves. It produces 76kW at 6,000rpm and 137Nm at 4,000rpm.

In manual form the new Mazda2 accelerates from 0-100km/h in 10.0 seconds and has a top speed of about 181km/h.

Mazda's attention to detail and pursuit of weight-saving measures means the Mazda2 3-door uses just 6.4L/100km of regular unleaded fuel when paired with a five-speed manual transmission.

This engine is EURO IV-compliant and produces just 152g/km of CO2.

All Mazda2 models come standard with an easy-shifting and precise five-speed manual transmission that has been specifically designed to complement the engine's spirited nature and achieve the most economical return.

The manual gearbox has double-cone synchronisation on first and second gears ensuring easy slow gear shifting and shifting during cold weather.

A smooth and refined four-speed automatic transmission is available across the range.

10. Chassis and Suspension

The chassis for the second-generation Mazda2 is based on a 21st-century architecture that underscores the company’s extensive experience in engineering small vehicles.

With a new state-of-the-art chassis as a foundation, Mazda engineers sought to provide outstanding handling for a car of this class, combined with high levels of stability and a harmonious ride quality.

The low weight and high rigidity of the body-shell played an important role in optimising handling and comfort. For handling, Mazda focused on manoeuvrability and agility on city streets, on steering that is spontaneous and linear, on achieving high grip on curving country roads and
well-tempered reactions during fast lane-changing on the motorway.

The Mazda2 3-door employs the same lightweight and rigid body structure as the 5-door. Extensive use of ultra-high-tensile steel throughout brings high levels of torsional rigidity and crash protection while ensuring a lightweight overall structure.

Acclaimed Suspension Concept adopted from 5-door

The Mazda2 3-door inherits the same class-leading suspension system as the 5-door, tuned for agility and comfort.

Some of the improvements made for the second-generation Mazda2 range include new bushes on the front MacPherson strut suspension A-arms to reduce road surface influences on the toe angle, which has a positive effect on ride comfort and improves handling stability and the integrity of steering feel.

The trailing-arm bushes of the Torsion Beam rear suspension are now less sensitive to side forces. The rear monotube dampers have the same diameter as the 1st generation Mazda2, but because of the lower vehicle weight are now as effective as larger-diameter dampers.

Electric Power Assist Steering Supports Driving Fun

Mazda2’s electric power-assist steering system is appealing for its linear and direct response and supports the Mazda goal of oneness between driver and car – the philosophy of Jinba Ittai so completely embodied by the Mazda MX-5 Roadster sports car.

This steering system provides high levels of power assistance when the vehicle is being driven at low speed, which is especially handy when manoeuvring in tight spots and parking. With only 2.7 turns lock-to-lock, the steering system is very direct. Together with a tight 9.8-metre
turning-circle, this makes the Mazda2 an ideal urban vehicle.

Optimised Brakes up to the Task

The braking system of the Mazda2 features the latest in brake performance optimisation technology, namely Antilock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA).

The Mazda2's low kerb weight ensures ventilated front discs and drum rear brakes pull the car up quickly and confidently every time. A low pedal ratio of 2.85:1 means less play in the pedal stroke and a more defined response. At the same time, a 20.6mm master cylinder provides optimised brake booster characteristics.

11. Environmentally Friendly Production Methods

Mazda2’s environmentally friendly character is evident by its high recyclability. The new Japanese sub-compact meets the ISO 22628 norm and is more than 95 per cent recyclable. The bumpers, for instance, are made of a material that can be recycled into foot rests and splash shields, or can be recycled into new car bumpers.

Besides making the interior surfaces nice to touch and providing the best ergonomics, the creators of the new Mazda2 also were keen to make sure the cabin does not release unhealthy substances into the air.

The design team’s special focus concerned volatile organic substances (VOCs). An example of their efforts to cut VOCs was the reduction of toluene. For the first time, Mazda used a new substance for waterproof sealing the joints between interior panels, which gives off only one tenth of the emissions previously emitted by conventional sealers.

By adopting this new substance, the total concentration of toluene has been reduced by around 60 percent compared to the outgoing model. Not only that; the amount of xylene, formaldehyde, acetoaldehyde and polyvinyl chloride has been significantly lowered.

Lead, cadmium, mercury and chromium were banned completely from the Mazda2.

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