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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist


South Africa likely? Mazda2 gets surprise second update in Japan

Although dropped in South Africa in 2019, the 2 continues to be offered with the SkyActiv-D turbodiesel engine in Japan.


Although it gave its smallest model a handful of updates in January this year, Mazda has introduced more tweaks to the venerable 2 in Japan that are not only limited to colours and aesthetics.

What’s new?

Introduced at the same time as the revised CX-3, the 2’s aesthetic changes comprise two new colour options; Jet Black Mica and Machine Grey Metallic, complete with Vivid Lime Green detailing on the grille insert, mirror caps, wheels, bootlid spoiler and around the inner surround of the grille itself.

Body coloured bumpers, door handles and mirror caps now feature on the Sport and XD Sport+ models, while the previous Sunlit Citrus special edition bows out completely.

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Known until its original facelift in 2019 as the Demio in Japan, the now nine-year old internally named DJ 2’s biggest change comes inside where the seven-inch MZD Connect infotainment system makes way for the 8.8-inch setup with improved voice activation that premiered on the CX-3.

No further changes to the model’s specification sheet has been made as a result of the mentioned refresh earlier this year.

Pick between petrol or diesel

Up front, Mazda has kept the existing Japanese Domestic Market engine line-up unchanged by once again offering a choice of two powerunits; the normally aspirated 1.5 SkyActiv-G petrol in two states of tune, or the 1.5 SkyActiv-D turbodiesel once sold in South Africa.

Commencing the range, the MB, bizarrely, makes use of the higher-powered petrol that delivers 85kW/148Nm to the front wheels only through a six-speed manual gearbox.

Next in-line, the C, BD and flagship Sport all derive motivation from what Mazda calls the high compression SkyActiv-G rated at 81kW/142Nm.

Mazda2 updated again in Japan
Two new body colour options both highlighted by Vivid Lime Green accents. Image: Mazda.

The standard transmission is a six-speed automatic with the Sport being the sole derivative to offer the manual as an option.

A choice of front-or-four-wheel-drive remains available for the automatic, but not the manual equipped Sport that remains two-wheel-drive only.

Mazda2 updated again in Japan
Interior now recieves a new 8.8-inch MZD Connect infotainment system. Image: Mazda

On the diesel front, the SkyActiv-D, known as the XD, comes in three trim levels; base, BD and the mentioned Sport+ with all featuring power outputs of 77 kW.

Torque output is rated at 250 Nm, but not for the front-wheel-drive Sport+ fitted with the six-speed manual ‘box, which loses 30 Nm for a total of 220 Nm.

As on the petrol, all diesels fitted with the six-speed automatic can be specified with either front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive.

South Africa, wait

Now on-sale in Japan priced from ¥1 768 800 (R226 270) for the MB to ¥2 622 400 (R335 465) for the four-wheel-drive XD Sport+ automatic, the latest rounds of revisions has not been mentioned for South Africa as a result of the January tweaks’ only being introduced earlier this month.

Should approval be given though, expect Mazda to only introduce the new infotainment system, and not only the four-wheel-drive or diesel engine option, at some point next year.

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