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2018 Mazda2 Black+ Edition Review

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2018 Mazda2 Black+ Edition Review

The exclusive 2018 Mazda2 Black Edition has been launched with a limited run of just 500 cars. We took it for a test drive and here is how it went.

What is the 2018 Mazda2 Black+ Edition about?

The Mazda2 is a small car meant for those who want a simple vehicle that is fun to drive and does not take itself too seriously. The Black+ Edition is a more stylised version of the fun supermini and certainly looks the part.

The Mazda2 Black+ Edition is a lot more focused and appealing than its predecessor. It still has the vitality of a small car and retains the simplistic approach that made the original so beloved. The curves are sleeker but not too sharp.

While this model looks great up close, it also looks poised and ready to go from afar as well. The bonnet has a swooping section to the sides giving it a menacing look from the front, that flows down the entire side of the car.

The 2018 Mazda2 Black+ is pretty striking from the back as well. There is an overall arch to the rear that gives the car the illusion of being in motion, even when it is perfectly still. The 16″ black wheels further enhance this look and the vehicle has an aggressive stance that underlines its spirited nature. The shark-fin antenna, rear spoiler, and the rear privacy window cement its uber-cool style.

Under the bonnet, there is a 1.5-litre SKYACTIV four-cylinder in-line, 16-valve petrol engine. It produces 90 PS of power, which is more than adequate to get this car off the line sharpish. The 148 Nm of torque is the real grunt behind making this car move well.

How does it drive?

The first thing you will notice and love about the 2018 Mazda2 Black+ is how direct an approach it takes to the open road. Everything from the way the seats are designed, to the position of the various dials focuses on giving you the best driving experience. There are no bells or whistles, it’s just about having fun. This is the Mazda way after all!

The 5-speed manual gearbox is another exciting part of the equation. Every movement feels like an event and the increased torque values give you more freedom between gearshifts. There is also that X-factor to the engine. It just feels great to drive. 90 PS is plenty of power, enough for having fun, without getting you into trouble.

The steering feel is the Mazda2’s biggest asset. It handles like a dream and combined with the excellent power delivery and torque, makes this a blast to drive around the B-roads. It is small and lightweight and has a decent turning circle. There isn’t too much power to play with, which is great if you just want to take it for a spin. It does feel a bit underpowered on the A-roads but a top speed of 117 mph should keep most drivers happy. You won’t be needing more than that in the UK for sure.

What Mazda has done with this car is make it exciting, even when you are just negotiating traffic. The view from the inside is also pretty good and allows for easy navigation, even in crowded city streets and tight corners.

What is it like inside?

The 2018 Mazda2 Black+ Edition features a few noticeable interior improvements compared to the previous edition. This has elevated the inside from appearing totally spartan to something a bit more welcoming.

The carbon fibre finish on the dashboard is a nice touch and there are subtle accents that enhance the overall look.

Coming to the controls, there is nothing overly exciting here. Even though this is probably the best Mazda2 you can buy, it is still relatively inexpensive. Having said that, everything feels soft to the touch and the buttons respond well. High-grade plastic is predominantly used in the interior and it looks stylish.

This is a small model, though and that is most evident in the rear seats. There isn’t too much room and adults may find it a tight squeeze. Having said that, children will find it quite cosy and this is a great vehicle for solo trips too.

The Mazda2 Black+ Edition is mostly aimed at travellers who want an easy-to-drive car that is cheap to buy and maintain. It is also a great option for city dwellers as it can cut through the traffic and fit into tight parking spaces.

The instrument panel is where the cost-cutting is most evident. It does seem outdated compared to the digital instruments on Mazda’s premium models, but we understand it is built on a budget. It is a car for the purists who value function over bling. It has a 7″ display for the infotainment system, which is easy to use and makes the space constraints work to its advantage.

The Experience

The Mazda2 was a car I had a blast testing previously and I was really excited when I got the chance to drive the limited-edition Black+ version of the 2018 model. I am happy to report that this car met all my expectations. The standard model does have some limitations and while the Black+ Edition does not eliminate them, it tries to make the best of what’s available.

When all has been said and done, a car boils down to the feeling it gives you when you are behind the wheel. The 2018 Mazda2 Black+ is all about that. If you want all mod cons then this is probably not the model for you. However, if you want a vehicle that will fill you with warmth every time you see a corner, then this is it. It comes with a plethora of the best driver-aid systems that Mazda offers, including its Smart City Brake Support. This makes it easy to handle and helps you stay out of trouble, even when you get carried away.

By offering a combined fuel economy of 57.7 mpg and a Co2 rating of just 111g/km, this is an easy-to-maintain car that is very kind to the environment as well. It is also very practical and can transport two adults in relative comfort and the luggage space is adequate for everyday use.

2018 Mazda2 Black+ Edition Cost

At a price of just £15,995, the 2018 Mazda2 Black+ is a steal, especially considering the fact that it is a limited edition top-of-the-line model. It offers a plethora of premium features, from tinted rear windows, to a special choice of paint options at no extra cost.

This is even more significant when you consider that is easy and cheap to run and maintain. All the driver aids, rear parking sensors, satellite navigation and the awesome looks make this car an absolute winner when it comes to bang for your buck. The only real problem is that there are only 500 of these available in the UK!

Verdict

Mazda is great at designing driver-centric cars and they have done it again with the Black+ Edition. There is plenty of fun to be had. Add this to the excellent value for money and this is an offer that you cannot refuse!

Specification

2018 Mazda2 Black+ Edition Specs

  • Price: £15,995
  • Engine: 1.5-litre SKYACTIV four-cylinder in-line Petrol
  • Power: 90 ps
  • Torque: 148 Nm
  • Transmission: 5-Speed manual
  • 0-62mph:  9.7 seconds
  • Top speed: 117 mph
  • Weight: 1045 kg
  • Economy combined:  57.7 mpg
  • CO2: 111 g/km

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