The Mazda 2 was not high on my list at all when I started thinking of getting a new car a month ago. I was originally considering the Honda Jazz or the Ford Fiesta and for some reason, Mazda just did not come into my radar.

Everything changed when I was waiting for a cab along EDSA and just happened to find myself right in front of the Mazda dealership in Greenhills. I walked in and talked to a sales agent who quite quickly convinced me to schedule a Mazda 2 for a test drive a few days later.

The day of the test drive came and boy was I blown away by this little car’s performance. Now, I am by no means a no hardcore car enthusiast so I’m not going to get into anything technical. If you’re looking for technical details and car specs, you can look elsewhere. This is purely a review from the driving experience of just a regular guy.

Right when I sat down and closed the door, I could feel that the construction was really tight and solid compared to some cars in it’s price point. The engine revved nicely and the ride felt really smooth. The car really felt stable when turning. The 4-speed automatic transmission sounds a bit mediocre on paper but it’s response was very, very good. There wasn’t any lag, which is what annoys me with some automatics I’ve driven before. The steering wheel was very light and responsive so this is a great car for someone who’s starting to learn how to drive.

The space is a bit of an issue. I wouldn’t necessarily call it cramped but it is noticeably small. It’s like riding inside your own little snug ship. I’m 5 foot 7 inches tall and I would say 4 of me (driver included) would be able to fit inside the cabin comfortably. The boot will fit maybe 2 duffel bags of clothes. Suffice it to say that this car might not be the best for very long drives. If you want a car for long, comfortable drives with enough luggage space for a holiday’s worth of clothes for four people, you’ll definitely be better off getting the Jazz.

As for the technology inside the car, there’s really not that much. The 1.5 automatic comes with AM/FM radio, CD player, Aux and MP3 but that’s it. No bluetooth or any of that stuff here. If you want all the bells and whistles, the Ford Fiesta will be better suited for your needs.

So if the Mazda 2 isn’t as roomy as the Jazz, and doesn’t have the tech of the Fiesta, why do I like it? It’s a nice little car that’s zippy and responsive. It’s extremely fun to drive around the city and just feels good to be in. It also helps that the Mazda 2 comes with three years of FREE roadside assistance and free parts and labor for every periodic maintenance service. That’s a win for me.