Having tried and thoroughly enjoyed the elderly yet still competitive Mazda2 back in 2023, it seemed time to sample the petrol-electric 2 Hybrid. Especially as it has now been given a facelift which better distinguishes this B segment hatchback from the Toyota original. Not that they look anything but highly similar yet the 2 does at least now have its own style at the front end.

Manufactured in France

Toyota manufactures the 2 Hybrid on behalf of Mazda Motor Europe. Both this car and the Yaris roll off the same line within the TMMF (Toyota Motor Manufacturing France) complex in Onnaing near Valenciennes. There was a major investment made there ahead of the latest generation models’ introduction, these being Toyota GA-B platform cars.

Production volume of the 2 Hybrid might be far less than that of the Yaris but the Mazda is nonetheless a popular model for the brand. This is especially so in Britain, second only to Germany for European sales volume.

MY2024 changes

The recent facelift will inevitably boost the success of what was already a fairly fresh model. Now with a new front bumper and changes to the tailgate trim it looks far more Mazda-like. Inside, the 2 Hybrid is near-identical to the Yaris Hybrid – a steering wheel badge being the sole difference – but that’s no bad thing. And when you connect a smartphone the system identifies itself as ‘Toyota’.

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Cars are available in the UK with the choice of four trim levels, these being Centre-Line, Exclusive-Line, Homura and Homura Plus. Even the base grade is well specified and pricing is competitive. Plus Mazda resale values tend to be excellent. Curiously though, the Yaris has a longer warranty.

Specification updates for the 2024 model range now include wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, along with new touchscreens (there are two sizes). Both Homura variants add an updated digital instrument cluster along with a black headliner. The Plus also comes with a navigation system, head-up display and a glass roof.

Electric by default

Something which hasn’t changed is the powertrain. Not that there was much wrong with the engine and motor combination from the original Mazda2 Hybrid when it was launched back in 2022. Power from the 1.5-litre three-cylinder remains 85 kW (116 PS), with the 59 kW motor doing a lot of the work from low speeds, the car usually automatically starting off in EV mode. There is also hardly any NVH from the standard CVT.

Just like the Yaris, the Mazda is incredibly economical, the WLTP Combined numbers being 67.3-74.3 mpg. And this is far from theoretical too, the test car delivering 70.6 mpg during my 400+ miles at the wheel in a variety of conditions.

Sub-100 g/km CO2

As for CO2, that’s an official 87-98 g/km (dependent on wheels size). The driver can also switch between Eco, Normal and Sport modes though anyone spoiled by EVs might consider 0-62 mph taking 9.7 seconds to be a touch on the slow side. In practice, boost from the motor makes it feel quicker than it is.

Being a B segment model, the 2 Hybrid is not a car for transporting five people over long distances yet the rear seat room is decent enough. The knees of those in the back have soft surfaces to lean against too, though hard plastic features almost everywhere else in the car. Boot volume is fairly good at 286 litres, there are lots of places to stash the likes of sunglasses cases, water bottles and so on.

As good as a Honda Jazz?

In the Exclusive-Line press tester there is a nice big circular speedometer with a real pointer plus a power gauge mirroring its shape. This trim level also adds 16-inch alloy wheels, parking sensors and keyless start-stop compared to the base Centre-Line. Happily too, the air conditioning controls are all real buttons and twisty dials.

To drive, the 2 Hybrid has perhaps a little less steering feel than its Honda Jazz e:HEV rival and the ride is softer than might be expected for such a small car with a short wheelbase. The view out for passengers is good too, while the windscreen feels a long way ahead of the driver. Jump out of a Mazda2 and into a 2 Hybrid and you immediately see how much further forward it is in the newer, Toyota-built car.


This is one of those cars you would recommend to anyone. Some might prefer the Yaris and that would be understandable yet Mazda does seem to have a genuinely upscale image nowadays. The Jazz hybrid is just as good as these twins it should also be mentioned, and roomier, but you’re paying more for the Honda.

With the spectacular economy of the 2 Hybrid, the other obvious question is to wonder how many EV-intenders might choose the Mazda over the likes of the Corsa Electric, e-208 and other small plug-in B segment hatchbacks?

Two 2s to the fore for Mazda