2024 Mazda 2 G15 GT Sedan review


It’s 2014 – Hawthorn are the reigning AFL premiers, and the DJ-series Mazda 2 has just gone on sale in Australia.

You can pick one up for as little as $14,990 before on-road costs, and even top of the range examples fetch just over $20,000.

Fast forward 10 years to 2024, and plenty has changed in the world of cars. But one constant remains: you can still buy a brand new DJ Mazda 2 at your local Mazda dealership, even though it’s picked up a few choice upgrades over its life.

Just don’t expect to pay $15,000 anymore. Here we have the flagship 2024 Mazda 2 G15 GT Sedan, a near-$30k compact car battling to be the best bang-for-buck buy in the country.

WATCH: Paul’s video review of the MY20 G15 Pure Hatch

Should you opt for the most expensive version of this affordable car, or is it worth stretching to a base model further up the automotive ladder?

How does the Mazda 2 compare?

View a detailed breakdown of the Mazda 2 against similarly sized vehicles.

Mazda 2 cutout image

Mazda

Mazda 2

How much does the Mazda 2 cost?

The 2024 Mazda 2 range opens with the manual G15 Pure priced at $22,720 before on-road costs, and maxes out with the G15 GT at $27,920 plus on-roads in both hatch and sedan form.

Featured here is the G15 GT Sedan wearing Aero Grey Metallic paint (no-cost option) with a list price of $27,920 plus on-road costs, or $32,143 drive-away for Victorian buyers.

Model Variant $RRP
2024 Mazda 2 G15 Pure Hatch 6MT $22,720
2024 Mazda 2 G15 Pure Hatch 6AT $24,720
2024 Mazda 2 G15 Pure Sedan 6AT $24,720
2024 Mazda 2 G15 Pure SP Hatch 6AT $25,520
2024 Mazda 2 G15 Evolve Hatch 6AT $26,220
2024 Mazda 2 G15 GT Hatch 6AT $27,920
2024 Mazda 2 G15 GT Sedan 6AT $27,920

Prices exclude on-road costs

To see how the Mazda 2 compares with its rivals, use our comparison tool.

What is the Mazda 2 like on the inside?

Mazda has certainly gone down the sporty route with the interior of the 2 GT, which has been tarted up with materials that wouldn’t look out of place in the MX-5 sports car.

Carbon-fibre and Alcantara are often used liberally in high-end performance cars. Although they’re both absent here, Mazda has attempted to provide a cut-price version of that feel inside the GT.

Suede is smattered across the upper door cards, dash, and seats, while carbon-style plastic trim pieces elevate the interior further. There’s always a risk upgrades like this can look and feel tacky, but I thought they were fun touches for a cheap city car.

You also get red stitching on the suede surfaces, making the interior additions stand out just that little bit more.

Some people attempt the same modifications on their cars at home and cheapen them in the process. That’s not the case here; each alteration has been seamlessly integrated into the cabin.

The manually adjustable seats epitomise this. Trimmed in leather and suede, they look the part and feel sporty to sit in.

Firm and supportive are the words that come to mind, and comfort wasn’t a problem on shorter daily drives – longer trips might have you yearning for a Mazda 3, or even a CX-5.

Aside from the seats, the steering wheel is your most common touchpoint, and I’m pleased to report it also feels fantastic.

All versions of the Mazda 2 receive the same leather-trimmed steering wheel, which has a thin rim and sits comfortably in the hands.

The gear lever is wrapped in the same material, although it doesn’t see much action in the automatic-only GT.

At the end of the day, this is still an economy car. As such, lower traffic areas like the door cards and centre console are constructed of hard textured plastics, in line with other cars in this price bracket.

There’s also one glaring omission from the cabin – an armrest. You have to pay $520 for the privilege of a place to rest your elbow in the centre of the car, which is disappointing.

But on the whole, Mazda has done just enough to make the GT feel more expensive than it is, without going overboard.

In terms of build quality, we didn’t experience any creaks, rattles, or wobbles; which is another tick.

Storage space is respectable, considering the small stature of the car. The front door bins can each swallow a 600ml drink bottle plus some tissues or small snacks, while the two centre cup holders will hold 1L bottles.

There’s a small cubby near each of the window switches to stuff some chewing gum, and coins fit perfectly in a small rectangular container in the centre console.

Shorter drivers may struggle to reach their loose change while passing through the McDonalds drive-through, however, as the container is located behind the front seat.

Issues also arise when you instinctively attempt to store your smartphone under the dash, as the area under the climate controls is not large enough for a modern iPhone – Nokia flip phone owners rejoice!

If you forget that this generation of Mazda 2 is a decade old, quirks like this are a stark reminder. There’s even the covered over remnants of a CD player. The glovebox is also tight, but no smaller than other cars in this class.

The technology on offer in the Mazda 2 GT also nods to its senior status.

Behind the steering wheel you’ll find a set of old-school gauges, headlined by a large centre analogue tachometer with a small embedded digital speedometer.

Small, monochrome readouts are located on either side, displaying information such as gear selection, average fuel economy, and your odometer.

It’s a very basic layout, and certainly not comparable to the more modern colour trip computers you see in similarly priced cars such as the Toyota Yaris, Suzuki Swift, and Kia Picanto.

At least there’s a head-up display, although it’s the flip-up type and shows limited information. The position of the polariser can be adjusted to cater for different driving positions, which helps.

To the left sits Mazda’s 8.0-inch MZD Connect infotainment system, which also fails to disguise its age. The screen itself is low resolution by modern standards, and often lacks the computing power to keep up with your inputs.

Mazda markets the system as a touchscreen, but that level of functionality can only be accessed when you’re stationary or using smartphone mirroring. Apple CarPlay is wireless, but a cable is required for Android devices.

There are two USB-A ports for this purpose, as well as a 12-volt outlet and SD card slot. Wireless charging is not available.

Most of the time drivers are forced to control the system using a small rotary dial located in the centre console. It will be a familiar system for Mazda loyalists, and it’s one that works well most of the time.

Just be ready to spend an excessive amount of time scrolling if you want to move from a long list (e.g. Spotify songs) to a different application.

The same applies when using the dial to type out a destination in the native navigation system, which takes an age and is almost impossible to do on the move. That’s probably not such a bad thing, given that you’re better off using a more modern maps application via smartphone mirroring.

Shortcut buttons for popular functions are positioned around the dial, which is also less substantial than versions found in other Mazda models.

The steering wheel also houses buttons to adjust speaker audio, skip tracks, and activate cruise control. The plastic buttons feel a bit cheap but are well laid out.

Climate controls come in the form of three round dials for mode, temperature, and fan speed, situated in the centre of the dash. They’re simple, yet functional – I had no complaints.

This is a prime example of a feature that doesn’t necessarily benefit from technological advancement.

The same could be said for the manual handbrake fitted to the Mazda 2, even though it takes up more space than a switch or button.

Speaking of space, if you’re looking to carry passengers back there regularly you’d be better served looking at a bigger member of the Mazda family.

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a spacious sedan, because rear legroom is at a premium. I’m 6’2, and you could get average-height adults behind me – or kids, of course – but they wouldn’t necessarily want to be there for long.

Headroom is similarly limited for adults. My hair would graze the headliner when sitting upright, and the headrest don’t have the adjustment required to accomodate taller passengers. The middle seat is a kids-only zone.

Cars like the Mazda 2 aren’t necessarily targeted at buyers who use the rear seats often, but at $28,000 before on-roads the GT does compete with entry-level SUVs like the Kia Stonic which offer more space in the second row.

Friends and family who spend time in the back of the Mazda 2 GT will quickly find storage space is also negligible.

There’s a map pocket behind the front passenger seat, but no door bins or armrest to speak of – pack light. As is common in the segment, air vents and USB ports don’t feature.

It’s a small cabin, but decent-sized windows and a light coloured headliner make the interior feel more spacious than it is, at least until you cram three people in the back.

A lack of storage in the second row is made up for by the boot in the Mazda 2 GT Sedan, which is huge for the class.

Measuring in at 440L, the cargo room available here rivals larger sedans and SUVs, although the aperture is on the small side which isn’t unexpected.

The boot also has 190L more space than the equivalent Mazda 2 Hatch, which is a selling point for this body style, despite its awkward exterior appearance.

One issue we flagged with the boot is that it’s not lit, which could cause issues when loading and unloading items at night. The bootlid opens manually, and closes with a soft thud.

If you want to access more storage space, the rear backrest folds in 60/40 fashion, unlocking some extra room. There’s a big hump up separating the two areas, however – so it’s easiest to place items on the back seats via the side doors.

What’s under the bonnet?

All Mazda 2 models are powered by a ‘G15’ 1.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine in Australia.

Model Mazda 2 G15 Sedan
Engine 1.5-litre 4cyl
Power 81kW
Torque 142Nm
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Driven wheels Front-wheel drive
Kerb weight 1109kg
Fuel economy (claimed) 5.0L/100km
Fuel economy (as tested) 8.1L/100km (urban driving)
Fuel tank capacity 44L
Fuel requirement 91 RON
Emissions (C02) 117g/km

To see how the Mazda 2 compares with its rivals, use our comparison tool.

How does the Mazda 2 drive?

The Mazda 2 is a model that typically appeals to two specific types of car buyer – the first car buyer, and the last car buyer.

Younger, first car buyers are after something that’s safe and easy to drive, but also interesting enough to be desirable.

At the other end of the spectrum, last car buyers tend to value familiarity and safety, but don’t care so much for creative aesthetics and driving dynamics.

Does the GT satisfy those criteria? It’s a flawless report card for the drivers on P-plates. The driving characteristics of the top-spec GT complement its sporty interior, making it a fun car to steer around town.

The little 1.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine isn’t going to catapult you into the distance, but the way it hops off the line and runs up to city speed limits is rewarding.

The automatic start/stop system operates in the background, kicking in when you press firmly on the brake and restarting the engine when you lift off. It’s not as smooth as a Toyota hybrid around town, but it’s far from bad.

At highway speeds it starts to run out of puff, which means overtakes require a long run-up. Sport mode sharpens up the throttle response further if that’s what you’re after.

It’s also a buzzy engine at higher revs, which can become tiresome. Sometimes it’s hard to avoid; the automatic transmission sometimes gets confused in stop-start traffic and holds revs too high, transmitting unnecessary noise into the cabin.

Thanks in part to the light weight of the vehicle, the Mazda 2 GT benefits from steering that’s very direct and provides ample feedback, which ups the engagement factor.

However, these things are unlikely to matter to mature buyers. Good thing this bubbly little machine has a more grown-up alter ego.

The GT rides well for a small city car, brushing off most lumps, bumps, and potholes without too much fuss. Out on the open road, the GT is happy to cruise at 100km/h even with a few passengers.

It also feels bigger on the road than it really is, in a good way. You feel safe behind the wheel, and confident co-existing with hulking SUVs in city traffic.

That sense of safety is backed up by a strong suite of technology. Adaptive cruise control is mostly smooth and intuitive, while the lane-keep assist function ensures you don’t drift across the lines in a moment of distraction.

Blind-spot monitors are constantly providing feedback about the position of other cars on the road, so younger and older drivers alike are unlikely to be overwhelmed by the volume of traffic at any point.

Parking is a breeze. The car is small and easy to position in tight parking lots, with plenty of tech on hand to support.

A surround-view camera, which makes parallel and reverse parking significantly easier, is fitted as standard. That’s rare in this segment, and a huge help to young drivers learning the ropes.

All variants come with rear parking sensors, and the GT also gains front parking sensors which act as a great foil to the camera systems available.

While some of the features may be a bit foreign to older buyers, the GT remains an approachable car that balances retaining the familiar with progress.

What do you get?

The 2024 Mazda 2 is available in four trim levels, with either hatch or sedan body styles offered depending on variant.

G15 Pure standard equipment:

  • 15-inch alloy wheels
  • Power-folding exterior mirrors
  • LED headlights
  • Automatic headlights
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • 7.0-inch infotainment screen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay
  • Wired Android Auto
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shifter and handbrake
  • Tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment
  • 6-speaker sound system
  • Keyless start
  • Air-conditioning
  • Power windows
  • 1 x 12V outlet
  • 2 x USB outlet

G15 Pure SP Hatch adds:

  • 16-inch black-finish alloy wheels
  • Carbon fibre-style roof
  • Shark fin antenna
  • Chrome exhaust extension
  • Black exterior mirrors

G15 Evolve Hatch adds (over Pure):

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Black mesh-style grille
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Climate control air-conditioning
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Colour head-up display
  • Satellite navigation
  • Red stitching details
  • Traffic sign recognition

G15 GT adds:

  • Keyless entry
  • Black leather/Grand Luxe suede upholstery with red highlights
  • Front parking sensors
  • Surround-view camera
  • Adaptive cruise control

Is the Mazda 2 safe?

The Mazda 2 had a five-star rating from ANCAP, but as this was based on testing conducted in 2015 it has now expired.

All models come standard with the following equipment:

  • Autonomous emergency braking (forward, reverse)
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Reversing camera

G15 Evolve and above get traffic sign recognition, while the G15 GT gains a surround-view camera, front parking sensors, and adaptive cruise control.

How much does the Mazda 2 cost to run?

The Mazda 2 is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Servicing is required every 12 months or 15,000km.

The first five services are capped at $334, $526, $396, $526, and $334, respectively.

CarExpert’s Take on the Mazda 2

The Mazda 2 G15 GT ticks most of the boxes when it comes to satisfying buyers in this segment.

It’s fun to drive, comfortable for a car of its size, packed with safety technology and easy to live with. Sure, the infotainment system and button controls remind you this is a 10-year-old platform, but that’s forgivable.

However, there’s an elephant in the room – the price. At nearly $28,000 before on-roads, the GT borders on unobtainable for first car buyers who may be cross-shopping with a Kia Picanto, or Suzuki Swift.

The GT is also swimming with some big fish at this price point, including the base Toyota Corolla and, if you’re after European sophistication, the Volkswagen Polo.

The base Pure is worth a look for cash strapped junior drivers, while mature buyers could be better served by a newer platform such as the Corolla or Polo.

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