If the 2013 Mazda2 reminds you of the Ford Fiesta, there's a good reason: As part of Mazda's technology partnership with Ford, the Mazda2 and the Fiesta are built on the same platform. Under the hood of the front-wheel drive Mazda2 is a diminutive 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces a meager 100 horsepower and 98 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, but a four-speed automatic is available. The Mazda2's fuel economy -- 29 mpg city and 35 mpg highway -- is below average for modern subcompacts.
The Mazda2's interior is spartan. All the proper dials and required controls are there, but it lacks any sort of design or embellishment. The front seats are comfortable, and there's plenty of legroom in front. But rear seats are cramped, and only comfortably accommodate smaller adults. Cargo space disappoints with only 13.3 cubic feet of storage, though this increases to 27.8 cubic feet with the split rear seats are folded down. Even so, it's less room than most competitors have.
While Mazda has built its reputation on fun-to-drive vehicles, the Mazda2 misses the mark in some ways. The small four-cylinder engine lacks the power needed for quick acceleration, but the manual transmission and notably sharp handling deliver a more entertaining driving experience than many subcompacts on the market today. On balance, it's fun enough for an entry-level economy car.