Read Caroline’s 2024 Mazda2 Hybrid review for everything you need to know about buying Mazda’s hybrid small car in Ireland.

The Mazda2 Hybrid joined the Mazda range for the first time in 2022. Sold alongside the Mazda2 petrol, the Mazda2 Hybrid is essentially a rebadged Toyota Yaris.

The hybrid supermini is an important step in helping the Japanese brand to reduce emissions and offer customers a fuel-sipping hybrid option (without the cost of developing its own).

Toyota is a leader in hybrid for over 25 years so this car certainly has good provenance. But is it distinct enough?

Now in 2024, Mazda seeks to distinguish this car a little more with a few styling tweaks from its own European Design Studio.

I travelled to Barcelona to take a first look at the new Mazda2 Hybrid, ahead of its arrival in Ireland this March.

The 2024 Mazda2 Hybrid
The 2024 Mazda2 Hybrid

Styling

The Mazda2 Hybrid is a Yaris in disguise but this time around Mazda has done a little more than a simple rebadging exercise. Mazda’s version of the famous small car gets a new face with a unique bumper and Mazda five-point grille. At the back, the light clusters are separated by a body coloured garnish. Black side mirrors come as standard. The Homura models add glossy black trim, LED headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels. This is a very convincing spec for the Mazda2 Hybrid, with a sporty, squat stance on the road. Glass Blue is added as a new colour.

Overall the design tweaks do give the Mazda2 Hybrid a modicum more style than before, yet it still looks more like a Toyota than a Mazda. This may be disappointing for Mazda fans but doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a very accomplished small car underneath.

Interior

Again, there’s very little inside to distinguish the Mazda2 Hybrid from the Yaris, except for a Mazda badge on the steering wheel and printed on the mats. It’s a solid, well-made interior – though it lacks the artistic flair of a true Mazda cabin. It benefits from the same digital upgrade the Yaris receives this year, including larger and more modern touchscreens (9” to 10.5”) with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and the availability of an impressive full digital driver display.

Standard features include a reversing camera, leather steering wheel, electric windows, automatic air con and adaptive cruise control. Going up the trim levels adds things such as smart keyless entry, parking sensors, wireless mobile phone charging and even a head-up display and panoramic roof on the very top of the range Homura Plus model.

Inside the 2024 Mazda2 Hybrid
Inside the 2024 Mazda2 Hybrid

Practicality

At 286 litres, the boot is average for a small car but will fit two cabin bags side by side. The rear seats also split fold 60:40. Rear legroom is on the tight side so it’s certainly one of the more compact models on sale – though you will get adults in there from time to time and children will be fine.

Engine

The Mazda2 Hybrid uses Toyota’s 1.5-litre petrol electric hybrid with 116hp, just like the latest Yaris. It’s incredibly frugal with fuel consumption quoted between 3.8 – 4.2 litres per 100 kilometres. Real world consumption is not too far off that, though consumption naturally increases at high speeds on the motorway.

Driving

The Mazda2 is a solid and capable small car on the road. It handles well without being particularly fun to drive. But the hybrid does feel more lively overall than a Mazda2 petrol, which can feel a bit lethargic, particularly on motorways. The Mazda2 Hybrid has no problem keeping up with the best of them on the motorway though it does get quite noisy with a lot of tyre and wind noise at high speeds. It’s at its best in town and city driving when the hybrid drive really comes into its own. At low speeds, it frequently dips into EV mode, running silently on the power from its electric motor with no emissions from the exhaust. For this reason it’s a very convenient option for buyers who want to be a little more environmentally conscious but without the need for chargers and charging – the small capacity battery is topped up in braking and deceleration.

Boot space in the Mazda2 Hybrid
Boot space in the Mazda2 Hybrid

Pricing

There are four trim lines confirmed for Ireland: Centre-line from €27,700; Exclusive-line from €29,550; Homura from €32,300; and Homura Plus from €34,700.

Verdict

It’s challenging to put an individual stamp on a car as popular and well-known as a Toyota Yaris. Mazda has tried again with the 2024 Mazda2 Hybrid and the results are more convincing than before, particularly in the sporty Homura trim line. It’s an attractive car though Mazda fans are likely to be a little underwhelmed by it overall as it lacks the artistic flair and craftmanship of a true Mazda. But, it’s not a bad car: it’s incredibly frugal and well-made with a modern, digital cabin and plenty of high-end safety features. It’s lack of distinction from the Yaris might let it down in the wider market. But within Mazda’s range, it’s a frugal and lively compact car.

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Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

The Mazda2 Hybrid is incredibly efficient
The Mazda2 Hybrid is incredibly efficient