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The Mazda 2 supermini marks the start of a busy period of model launches for the Japanese brand, which will see the 3 as the oldest model in its range by the end of this year.\
It's a testament to the enduring appearance of the old 2 that it's one of the last of Mazda's line-up to get the new design (the last will actually be the new MX-5 this summer).
The updated look brings the car in line with the rest of Mazda's range, and a choice of Euro6 Skyactiv diesel and petrol engines come with it. The new diesel reduces CO2 from 112g/km to 89g/km, which matches the Vauxhall Corsa for best-in-class emissions.
It puts the 2 into the 16% BIK band under the 2015/16 tax year changes, and at £51 matches the Corsa for the lowest monthly payments for 20% tax payers when compared with its main rivals.
While the Fiesta is the most popular car in the UK and the top-selling fleet supermini, the 2, along with the Corsa, are looking to give the market leader a run for its money on running costs.
The Mazda's 36.4p per mile gets pretty close to the Fiesta's 35.3ppm figure, but doesn't put in a segment-leading performance due to higher insurance costs and a worse RV performance. The Corsa leads the supermini segment on running costs at 35.0ppm.
So the 2 doesn't lead the pack on costs, but it puts in a good performance, and fleet drivers get a great little package around the numbers. The Mazda is easy to manoeuvre, it handles nice and tightly, and the 105hp from the new 1.5-litre Skyactiv diesel is more than enough to whip the car up to speed. Mazda has done a good job with the styling on the exterior and interior too, with the 2 holding its own against rivals.
Some may not be fans of the Mercedes-style iPad touchscreen on the dash, but overall, the layout is intuitive and it's easy to scroll through menus with a radial dial or with the seven-inch touchscreen. Build-quality is to a high standard and the plastics are soft touch on the higher trims for us Europeans.
The SE-L and SE-L Nav trims are expected to be the big fleet sellers, but Mazda has put together a retail-focussed launch edition trim, which is expected to take 60% of sales initially.
Mazda is expecting 12,500 sales in its first year with fleets taking 23% of that volume. From the SE-L trim up, drivers get access to a free internet radio station called Aha, which can be downloaded on a driver's smartphone and then accessed through an app on the touchscreen.
There are also some pretty impressive standard safety features on the SE-L, including lane departure warning and smart city brake. The auto braking system is available on the Fiesta too, but it's a £200 option, plus it costs an extra £400 for Ford's Sync2 and DAB infotainment system, the Mazda equivalent of which come standard on the 2.
The Mazda 2 has a big job on its hands to make its mark on fleet lists having not appeared in the top 50 fleet models sold last year, but the Japanese brand has put together a competent package which managers should consider for choice lists.