What is it? The Mazda2 is a small hatchback about the size of the Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris. It has been sold overseas since 2008 as a three- and five-door hatchback. Here, it will likely use the largest available engine: a 102-hp, 1.5-liter four cylinder with double-overhead camshafts and a variable-geometry intake manifold. A five-speed manual transmission will likely be offered; Mazda has not yet specified plans for an automatic.
What's new or notable? The Mazda2 will join a growing class of subcompact hatchbacks in the U.S., including the upcoming Chevrolet Spark and Ford Fiesta. The Mazda2 won the European Car of the Year award when it was introduced there in 2008, and it promises to be competitive in the category.
CR's take: Other small Mazdas we have tested are competitive in the small sedan, hatchback, and roadster categories and are fun to drive. So we're looking forward to driving this one, too.
When will it be available? Late 2010.