The Road Ahead : December January 2009
motoring ... USED CAR REVIEW REVIEW JOHN EWING Mazda2, 2002-2005 The Mazda2 was an all-new design and proved light cars could be more than just utilitarian transport, by offering a level of sophistication frequently missing from this budget- driven class. It was the successor to Mazda’s popular 121 ‘jellybean’ and the Metro. What you get The Mazda2 was larger and better equipped than the model it replaced from December 2002. Mazda kept life simple by offering one engine mated to either a fi ve-speed manual or four-speed auto in a fi ve-door hatch body. There were only three specifi cations: the Neo (entry model), the mid-fi eld Maxx, and the strangely named Genki mounting the top step of the podium. Airconditioning, CD, dual-stage front airbags, tilt-adjustable steering column, central locking and immobiliser are standard on the Neo. Additional items on the other models includes 15” alloys and on Genki, a body kit plus the added safety of anti- lock brakes (ABS) and electronic brake distribution (EBD). From January 2004, Genki’s safety features were improved with standard p head and side (front) airbags and brake However, look for advanced wear on assist. These items, plus ABS and EBD, became a safety pack option on the other versions. Mazda2 scored a four- star ANCAP crash rating. How it drives The 1.5-litre double overhead cam (DOHC) engine with variable valve timing offers more power than some of its peers and is lively enough, despite a lack of pulling power low in the rev range. A good balance between comfy ride and good handling has been struck, ensuring it’s one of the class’s leading lights for road manners. It’s worth seeking out cars fi tted with ABS brakes for their improved brake performance and safety. The easy-to-drive Mazda2 also offers practicality, courtesy of good interior space for the car’s physical size and the versatile sliding and tumbling split-fold rear seat. It’s possible to have reasonable leg room for rear passengers or a useful load area. The interior layout is stylish and mostly user-friendly, while the Mazda2’s build quality is equalled or bettered by few of its peers. Mazda’s ‘tiddler’ is also pretty reliable. HONDA JAZZ Hatch three-door and Competitors 60 DEC 08/JAN 09 fi ve-door, 2002 to 2006, 1.5-litre, from $9000 to $19,500. Under the pump Mazda2 will use between 6.6 litres and 9.5 litres of fuel every 100 km, depending on model and driving conditions. How much are the parts? For a 2003 Maxx: Tyres (each) Oil fi lter Air fi lter Front brake pads from $190.00 $12.50 $34.75 Headlight $342.90 Tail light $122.25 $185.65 What will it cost? From $9,200 to $17,400 depending on year and model. NEED HELP? RACQ can help with car fi nance (call 1300 361 316), vehicle inspections (call 13 1905) and insurance (call 13 1905). Further details also available from racq.com. HYUNDAI GETZ Hatch three-door and fi ve-door, 2002 to 2005, 1.3 and 1.5-litre, from $6900 to $12,800. VW POLO Hatch three-door and fi ve-door, 2002 to 2005, 1.4-litre, from $9800 to $16,900. However, look for advanced wear on brake discs, oil leaks around the gearbox or lower engine areas and records showing careful, scheduled servicing. Check also for uneven tyre wear, mostly due to wheel alignment problems.
October November 2008
February March 2009