OK, so let me shake things up a little this week. I know the guys at wheels love the little Mazda to bits, and I agree wholeheartedly with them about the car’s driving dynamics. It is fantastic on the move and that’s coming from someone who daily-drives a Volkswagen Golf — perhaps one of the best-handling cars in its class. I also like the way it looks and it is practical enough for most everyday applications. It’s fuel efficient too, sipping just 7.0 litres of fuel every 100km. However, beyond this, things come unstuck for me.
Starting with the infotainment system. I don’t find it the most intuitive to use and the radio control button is placed poorly — close to the multifunction knob between the seats. So every time you’re changing the settings you end up accidentally turning the radio off.
Another niggle is the touchscreen display, which is disabled when the car is in motion. I understand it’s for safety reasons and to minimise distraction, but even passengers can only access it while the car is stood still. Honestly, that’s just plain bizarre. While we are on the subject of the interior, I’ve also noticed that one of the AC vents is shaped differently from the other three. And finally, the tyre-pressure warning light came on for no apparent reason. Luckily, though, it’s easy to reset with a dedicated button on the dash.
But coming back to my initial point; the 2’s excellent driving dynamics inevitably means that the suspension is harsher than you’d expect. While the wheels boys may overlook that on the account of its sportiness, and it is sporty, it’s not pleasant to hear thumps and bumps from your thousands of dirhams’ worth of photography equipment at every speed hump.
It may seem that I’ve launched a full-fledged tirade against the 2, but most of the issues aren’t big enough to be a deal breaker. Not unless you shop for cars like you would white goods. It’s got more character than any of its rivals. And that’s always a good thing.
Week 9 The 2 makes a positive first impression on photographer Stefan, but inadequate space for his equipment doesn’t go down well with him.
Highs Nice to drive, kit.
Lows No armrest, boot not large enough.
Week 8 Friday magazine’s stylist Lindsay gives the 2 a taste of the glamorous life of the fashion world. Basically, uses it to carry unfeasible amounts of clothes and shoes.
Highs Practical little runabout.
Lows Doesn’t have a sat-nav.