Deciding to use the Yaris Hybrid – our our Affordable Hybrid of the Year in 2022 – as a base was a wise choice from Mazda. The focus is very much on efficiency, with a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol unit mated to a 0.7kWh battery offering up to 74.3mpg on the smaller 15-inch wheels – better than you get from the Yaris’s claimed 70.6mpg. 

There’s no indication at this time that the more powerful 129bhp powertrain will appear in the future, but the 114bhp unit feels sufficient for a car of this size. Even with the vague e-CVT gearbox, the Mazda 2 feels strong enough in its acceleration, even if it lacks a little in the torque department. Steering, body control and the general feedback is pretty good – as it is in the Yaris – and you can chuck the Mazda around with the confidence it’ll provide a decent amount of grip. 

Refinement is a strong suit of the Yaris-based Mazda. According to Mazda, the 2 can manoeuvre using only its battery when you stick it in ‘EV Mode’ – even if it won’t do this for long. Push the throttle too firmly and you’ll hear the petrol engine burst into life. It’s not the quietest integration, but once it’s up and running the hybrid system works smoothly.

We alluded to the improved economies of scale earlier, but unfortunately it doesn’t look like Mazda has been willing or able to pass these savings to the customer. The base-spec Yaris Icon has pretty much the same equipment list as the entry-level Centre-Line Mazda 2, but costs £1,500 less. In other markets there’s an even cheaper ‘Prime-Line’ version of the 2, but we’re denied that here in the UK.

Model: Mazda 2 Hybrid Homura Plus
Price from: £24,130
Price as tested: £29,230
Powertrain: 1.5-litre, 3cyl petrol + 0.7kWh battery
Transmission: CVT auto, front-wheel drive
Power: 114bhp
0-62mph: 9.7 seconds
Top speed: 108mph
Economy/CO2: 74.6mpg/87g/km
Dimensions (L/W/H): 3,940/1,745/1,500mm
On sale: Now
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