While the previous generation of the Toyota Yaris sold in North America was essentially a rebadged Mazda2, it’s the other way around with the new superminis commercialised in Europe. Confirming rumours from about a year ago and giving credence to our recent spy shots, the fourth-generation Mazda2 has landed on the Old Continent as a Yaris with Mazda logos. The newcomer doesn’t spell the end for the previous-gen model as it will soldier on.
The tie-up between the two Japanese automakers allows Mazda to launch its first full hybrid in Europe, joining several mild-hybrid vehicles and arriving before a new family of PHEVs scheduled to launch from 2023. The self-charging supermini hatchback starts up in electric mode thanks to the battery pack feeding an electric motor that produces 79 bhp (59 kilowatts).
The e-motor works together with a naturally aspirated, three-cylinder gasoline engine that has a 1.5-litre displacement and 91 bhp (68 kW). With the power of the two combined, the 2022 Mazda2 produces 114 bhp (85 kW), which is more than you’ll ever need from a city-oriented small hatchback. The electrified punch helps the B-segment hatch run to 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill in 9.7 seconds and max out at 109 mph (175 km/h).
Depending on the size of the wheels (15 or 16 inches), the hybrid 2 will sip as low as 3.8 litres (61.9 miles per gallon) in the WLTP combined cycle and emit just 87 g/km in its thriftiest configuration. Since it charges itself, the car’s hybrid powertrain does all the work and knows how to distribute output to create the perfect balance between fuel efficiency and performance.
Mazda will sell its rebadged Yaris with a choice of three trim levels: Hybrid Pure, Hybrid Agile, and Hybrid Select. The cargo capacity of 286 litres and 2,560 mm wheelbase are obviously identical to those of the Yaris. Much like the Toyota donor car and the high-riding Yaris Cross, the new Mazda2 boasts a five-star Euro NCAP rating.
A hybrid version is nice and all, but can we get a Mazda equivalent of the GR Yaris? Probably not. Meanwhile, the revamped 2 goes on sale in Europe from spring 2022.