Will black detailing justify a limited-run price hike?
Mazda 2 Sport Black
Engine: 1.5-liter, four-cylinder, petrol
Gearbox: 5-spd manual
Kerb weight: 1050kg
Top speed: 117mph
Fuel economy: 57.7mpg
CO2 rating: 111g/km
Does 2017 seems a long time ago? It was way back then that Mazda last refreshed its Mazda 2, so clearly this further refresh is long overdue. At first glance you might wonder what’s going on since it’s called the Sport Black but it’s a white car. Mazda has in fact gone subtle.
The Black refers to some black accents, such as the spoiler, skirts, grille, alloys and so on. It’s quite discreet. Then there’s the Sport bit. Mazda has refreshed the engine line-up which has meant dumping the diesel option. That means you can have the 2 with a 1.5-litre engine, with either 74bhp, 89bhp or 113bhp. This Sport version gets the middle power version – go figure.
So, we’ve deduced that the Mazda 2 Sport Black is a Mazda 2, but it’s neither terribly black nor terribly sporty. But on the other hand Mazda hasn’t messed about with what were a good set of mechanicals. With a sensibly low weight allied to the Skyactiv-G engine, you have a supermini that can make decently rapid progress without burning through too much of the world’s resources.
The five-speed manual transmission – there’s a six-speed in the 113bhp version – is excellent, and helps you to work the engine, which is one that responds well to a bit of a poke with a pointy gearstick.
Handling and ride are commendably controlled, and really you have a package here which works nicely in balance with itself. As we say, it’s not overtly sporty but it’s probably enough for most people.
Again, Mazda hasn’t messed with the cabin, which is comfy, clear and sensible, much like the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system. A few Sport Black touches around the cabin make a minor lift in the ambience, but overall this is a perfectly decent place to be.
Some might find the lack of razzmatazz a bit disappointing, but plenty of others are bound to find this supermini a delightful mix of sensible, attractive qualities. It’s well balanced, handsome and made classier by the discretion with which glossy black has been applied.
There’s a premium over the corresponding Mazda 2 version of about £1000 – it’s based on the SE-L Nav+ – and for some that will prove attractive, particularly as it’s all based on a car that was enjoyably refreshed just last year.