Although Mazda would like to claim the credit for the 2, much of the donkey work in the car's design and development can be attributed to Ford. Riding on the same chassis as the Fusion, the Mazda2 has done its bit in turning the Hiroshima company from a one-trick pony into a brand with a nicely rounded product portfolio and a whole heap of exciting future potential.
The Mazda2 first arrived in the UK in March 2003, the Ford Fusion having enjoyed a seven-month advantage over its Mazda cousin. Although many customers were puzzled over quite what a Fusion offered over a Fiesta, with no 'conventional' supermini in the Mazda line up, there wasn't quite the confusion. Nevertheless, the tall roofline of the Mazda2 does give it a slight element of supermini-MPV and it's a whole lot more comprehensible than its predecessor, the Demio. Trim levels began in Mazda's usual S, TS, TS2, mould but in 2004 they were rather inexplicably renamed Antares and Capella.
The Mazda2 was facelifted in Spring 2006 but in truth, the alterations didn't amount to much. Steps were taken to render the 1.4-litre diesel engine compliant with the Euro4 emissions regulations and the car got clear-lens light clusters front and rear. Elsewhere, it was a case of better quality interior trim in new colours. An all new 2 arrived in September 2007, replacing this model.