2011 Mazda Mazda2 Touring review: 2011 Mazda Mazda2 Touring

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CNET Editors' Rating

1.5 stars Poor
  • Overall: 3.9
  • Cabin tech: 1.0
  • Performance tech: 5.0
  • Design: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good A well-tuned electric power steering unit gives the 2011 Mazda2 responsive handling, and the five-speed manual shifts smoothly.

The Bad Mazda offers nothing in the way of cabin tech for the Mazda2, not even satellite radio.

The Bottom Line The 2011 Mazda2 fails miserably as a tech car, lacking even a Bluetooth phone system or a USB port, but it can be kind of fun to drive.

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With the high gas prices of 2007 and continuing economic troubles, automakers have been banking on new, small cars for American consumers. Ford threw a Fiesta, Kia got a little Soul, and Nissan squared off against the others with the Cube. Now it is Mazda's turn, with the 2011 Mazda2.

Although our car, a Touring trim model, was well-equipped by Mazda's standards, it showed up at a gunfight with a pointy stick. Other cars of its type offer amenities such as Bluetooth phone systems, MP3 player integration, and voice command, but the Mazda2 is about as tech-free as you can imagine these days.

Sure, it has an in-dash CD player that can read MP3s. The stereo even has six speakers. And there is a simple 1/8th-inch auxiliary input. But that is it for cabin tech. No navigation or USB port, no Bluetooth phone system, and not even satellite radio.

With its hatchback body (Mazda doesn't offer a sedan version), expressive face, and Mazda design cues, we liked the modern look of the car. Ours came in a bright green that added pizzazz. So it was odd to enter the cabin and find just a simple radio, with no optional cabin tech.


In Touring trim, the Mazda2 gets quite a few steering wheel buttons, but the available cabin tech hardly justifies it.

The radio uses a typical monochrome single-line display. When listening to an MP3 CD, a button lets you view artist, album, and other ID3 tagging information. But choosing music requires sequentially moving from folder to folder.

Given the minimal head unit, we were surprised to find a six-speaker audio system. Tweeters in the A pillars offered some separation, giving it better-than-average sound quality. Of course, a subwoofer would have given it real oomph, but that would have to be an aftermarket addition.

98 foot-pound weakling
Despite the lack of cabin tech, we had quite a bit of fun driving the Mazda2. Maybe it's tech fatigue after driving vehicle after vehicle loaded with complex drive systems or tremendous horsepower, but the Mazda2's simplicity made it an in-demand car for our staff.

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Where to Buy

2011 Mazda Mazda2 Touring

Part Number: 101323914

MSRP: $15,365.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Body style Coupe/Hatchback
  • Available Engine Gas