Mazda2 Subcompact To Be World's Most Fuel Efficient Car?


I have a soft spot in my heart for Mazda. For one, they made one of the best sports cars of the 1980’s, the RX-7, and they did it their own way via a rotary engine. Mazda has also been integral to Ford’s renewed success, as the Blue Oval’s mid-size lineup (Fusion/Milan/MKZ) are based off of the Mazda6’s architecture. Ford has recently divested itself of its stake in Mazda, though perhaps at the wrong time.

Reuters is reporting that the Mazda2 subcompact, which goes on sale in Japan next year and will eventually make its way to America, could get gas mileage of around 70 mpg. That would make it the most efficient gas-only car in the world.

I have personally seen the Mazda2 up close and personal, and it certainly is a cute car. Mazda, which has no hybrid engine systems of its own, has taken to vastly improving its line of gas and diesel engines to compete with hybrids. If these rumors are true, not only are they competing, but completely blowing the competition out of the water. A 70 mpg gas-only car would outdo every hybrid on the planet. Of course, it depends on what continent the mpg is calculated, as Japan, America, and Europe all have different standards.

The Mazda2 goes on sale in Japan in 2011, and will be priced well-below any hybrid, which makes sense since it will use less “exotic” technology. It will have a choice of petrol or diesel engines from the new SKY lineup, which promises improved fuel mileage and performance by increasing the compression ratio and squeezing the most amount of energy out of every squirt of gas. Mazda is making a name for itself outside of the herd by ignoring hybrids and improving the internal combustion engine, though how long this tactic can work to their benefit, I don’t know. You’ve got to admire their gusto for trying to be different though, and it may pay massive dividends down the road.

Oh, and as for Ford, Mazda claims they still have a strategic partnership. We will see how that pans out as well.

Source: Reuters

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • I fully agree with you on the RX-7. My sister had one. That thing was a rocket!

    Seems to me that if you can make a car (that the public will buy) that can get that kind of mileage, then adding a hybrid drive system would be icing on the cake, and apparently, they think so as well. From the Reuters article cited:

    “It plans to build on its current technologies to eventually develop hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars beyond 2015 …Mazda in March turned to Toyota Motor Corp for help in developing its first hybrid car.”

  • The Mazda2 might end up being the world’s most efficient car, but it comes at a price. My brother and I rented one for a few days in southern France about 3 years ago, and it was a dog. It took multiple *minutes* to reach highway speed, and that seemed like just about all the anemic little engine had in it. It might catch on as a city car, but people in cities have public transportation and only need cars for trips out of the urban area. (I.e. on highways, where at least the 2007 European model was ill-suited.)

    • I got 40mpg with a European 1.6L turbo diesel rental, and it had
      plenty of power and acceleration. I could easily go 100mph on
      the unrestricted portions of the autobahn, and I was no where near maxed out. How about just importing existing technology?

    • Not all cities have GOOD public transportation. I’ve lived in two “cities” where reliance on public transportation was a risky venture.

      Now, the NoVA/DC area with the Metro was pretty good. But out here in the flyover states, this “city” sucks for public transportation.

    • LS

      How could you have rented one three years ago if it is to come out next year?

  • I am hosting a small get together for everyone to meet Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Then there will be a short presentation for some valuable land in Nevada to be sold at give away prices, and some bridges to be auctioned. 70 mpg by Mazda, that’s awesome.

  • I own a Mazda 2, with gasoline motor.
    It makes 35 mpg (mixed, road and city).
    Maybe the diesel version makes 70 mpg, but I doubt it.
    Nevertheless it’s a mighty fine car.

  • This might be one area that the makers of hybrid cars are missing out on.

    Creating the best ICE platform will certainly improve efficiency and performance of hybrids.

    I imagine that this car would greatly benefit from a Toyota-style hybrid that would boost HP during mid-range acceleration (where this car is under-performing).

  • My 1st car was an 81 626. 2.2L 4 5 speed. It was tough as nails and started at the first touch when I traded it. It had real wheel drive and even a drive shaft carrier bearing. It was teh awesome.

  • Bob

    I had an RX7 for several years. It wasn’t a rocket … other cars had better acceleration … but on Pennsylvania’s windy, hilly roads nothing came close. Lateral acceleration was unbelievable. Downfall was snow and ice … didn’t do well then at all.

    My daughter has a Mazda2, five door, stick shift. It’s a blast to drive around town, a bit noisy and bouncy on long trips. Its brakes are awesome. I suspect that if I were stomped on them the airbags would inflate. My daughter loves it.

  • Bob

    OK … winding, not windy.

  • By the time we reduce the engine efficiency with US emissions standards and add the mass of US safety equipment I doubt it will get 50mpg.

  • The 2011 Mazda2 is selling in Canada now.
    My neighbor bought one a couple weeks ago…she loves it.

    It’s rated at 50 MPG highway (as advertised by Mazda Canada).
    MSRP $13,995 CDN for the base model.

  • That’s not a car, it’s the escape pod from a Lincoln Navigator.

  • “Of course, it depends on what continent the mpg is calculated, as Japan, America, and Europe all have different standards.”

    America: drive half highway, half city. take the number of miles and divide it by how many gallons of gas you used.

    Everywhere else: same thing, but use liters and kilometers.

    how is that hard?

  • The forerunners of RX-7 are all but forgotten R-100, RX-2, RX-3,
    RX-4, Cosmo & Rotary Pick-Up truck all were advanced designs & fun to drive while Detroit was still making the Pinto, Maverick, Vega & Monza as economy cars. They still sported recirculating ball steering & linkage steering Vs. Mazda’s rack&pinion and McPherson struts. VW’s TDI engine in the E.U. gets higher miles per gallon than here.

  • For the US model, the EPA fuel ratings are 29 city, 35 highway for a 2011 Mazda2 with a five-speed manual transmission. The four-speed auto is a bit worse.

    No where close to 70mpg.

    But, it does look nice and seemed to be handling the traffic of a Kansas City commute just fine.