Used Mazda2: 4 Pros and Cons of Buying This Subcompact Car

The Mazda2 made its U.S debut in 2011 and survived up until 2014. It was a small subcompact car that rivaled other fuel-sipping commuters like the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta, however, it was overshadowed by both of them during its run. In fact, Mazda only sold around 42,000 Mazda2s during the time it was around. In contrast, Honda sold 53,000 Fits and Ford sold over 70,000 Fiestas in the year 2013 alone.

So, we can see that the Mazda2 was not the most popular car during its time. However, the good news is that you can now buy one for really cheap on the used market if you just need a small to get around town in. In case, you’re thinking about doing so, here are four pros and cons of buying a used Mazda2.

Pro: The Mazda2 is a slow car that’s fun to drive

Mazda 2 Sport in silver
Mazda 2 Sport | Getty Images

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Have you heard the phrase “It’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than it is to drive a fast car slow?” Well, the Mazda2 is the epitome of that saying. Under its hood is a tiny 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that pumps out 100 hp and 98 lb-ft of torque, but its saving grace is its 2,359 curb weight. Those stats, mixed with a small wheelbase and a tight suspension makes for a fun and tossable car – even if you’re only going 30 mph.

Pro: It makes for a great first car

Are you new to driving a manual transmission or driving, in general? If so, then the Mazda2 is a great choice for you. It comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission that has a light clutch pedal and an easy learning curve. On top of that, its relatively large front windows and small size make it easy to drive around town and park in the smallest of spaces.

Pro: You can still buy a Mazda2 for cheap on the used market

The Mazda 2 is seen at the 2010 New York International Auto Show.
The Mazda 2 is seen at the 2010 New York International Auto Show. | Brian Ach/WireImage

A nationwide search on CarGurus reveals that you can currently buy a Mazda2 for anywhere from $5,000 to $14,000 depending on the car’s condition, location, and mileage. If you aim toward the lower end of that price range, expect to get a car with around 150,000 miles or more. However, we did see a 2012 model with 27,000 miles selling for $12,900.

Pro: The Mazda2 can be modified

If you’re an enthusiast that likes to modify cars, then you might like the Mazda2. According to Torque Cars, suspension and wheel/tire modifications are the most prevalent for any year of the Mazda2. However, if you want to modify the car performance, then you may only find support for aftermarket intakes and exhausts in addition to ECU tuning.

Con: It’s slow

2009 Mazda 2 driving on a snowy road.
2009 Mazda 2 driving on a snowy road. | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

As stated before, the Mazda2 is slow, but fun to drive. But again, it’s slow, so if you normally drive up large hills or steep inclines, then you have been warned.

Con: The Mazda2 isn’t very tech-savvy

If you’re looking for Apple Carplay or Bluetooth, you won’t find either in a Mazda2. What you will find though are power windows and door locks,  cruise control, six airbags, and a CD player. There’s also an aux jack for your portable MP3 player or outdated smartphone. That’s right, welcome back to the early 2010s.

Con: Really tight interior space

2011 Mazda2 Interior
2011 Mazda2 Interior | Mazda

Take one look at the tiny Mazda2 and you can guess that there’s barely any space. To be clear, it’s not too bad if you’re under six feet tall as there is a decent amount of head and legroom in the front and rear seats for shorted folks. But for taller people, we suggest the larger Mazda3.

Con: There’s a four-speed automatic transmission (Yes, four)

If you find a Mazda2 with an automatic transmission, just know that it only has four gears, not five. That means that it will sound a little louder on the highway and you’ll definitely wish it had one more gear.

The Mazda2 is a fun little used car

  Mazda2 badge shown at the LA Auto Show
Mazda2 badge shown at the LA Auto Show. | David McNew/Getty Images

While the Mazda2 was never as popular, or as well-equipped, like its rivals from Honda and Ford, it was still a fun little car in its own right. And if all you need is a tiny commuter to get around town and run errands, then the Mazda2 could work for you. Especially if your budget for a car is less than $10,000.

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