In supermini terms, the Mazda2 is low volume with about 4,300 sales expected this year.
And this summer Mazda took the unusual step of cutting the range back to three models, with S continuing as the entry level and Antares and Capella the three higher-specification models.
Named after two of the brightest stars in the night sky, the Antares model has standard air conditioning, electric front windows, a CD player and body-coloured door mirrors. The Capella adds 15-inch alloy wheels, electric door mirrors and electric rear windows, extra audio speakers and a chrome-finished exhaust pipe.
While the Mazda2 replaced the Demio, it is still very much in the same mould, continuing its tall supermini design, more of a rival to the Ford Fusion than the Ford Fiesta. Now that lots of manufacturers are jumping on the tall supermini bandwagon, Mazda can rightfully claim that it was there much earlier than everyone else.
But the old Demio had rather a dowdy image in the UK when superminis needed to be seen as either charmingly quirky or solidly conventional.
The Mazda2 is in the former category, with cheeky styling at the front and a sporty rear with broad but shallow rear light clusters.
Its dashboard centre seems to have been modelled on an expensive hi-fi system and the interior feels as robust as the best in the supermini sector.
It has a versatile interior with 10 storage compartments and more than 1,000 litres of luggage capacity with the rear seats folded.
Our Capella test car came fitted with the middle-of-the-range 1.4-litre engine boasting 79bhp. As you might expect, it’s no ball of fire with this engine, but the 1.6 might tempt those wanting a bit extra in that department. However, the 1.4 happily managed a long motorway run from Peterborough to the south coast with little evidence of discomfort at the other end.
It feels surprisingly nimble on B-roads, although the engine needs working hard to maintain momentum, and in the end has more ‘zoom-zoom’ than you might expect.
Model: Mazda2 1.4 Capella
Engine (cc): 1,388
Max power (bhp/rpm) 79/5,700
Max torque (lb-ft/rpm): 92/3,500
Max speed (mph): 102
0-62mph (sec): 15.0
Fuel consumption (mpg): 42.8
CO2 emissions (g/km): 157
Fuel tank capacity (l/gal): 45/9.9
Transmission: 5-sp man
Service interval (miles ): 12,500
CAP RV (three years/60,000 miles): £3,525/36%
Price (OTR): £9,995