2011 Mazda 2 Touring – Long-Term Road Test Update

With fewer than 8000 miles to go before the conclusion of its stay, our Mazda 2 continues to serve primarily as a spunky round-town runabout. The car has racked up nearly 10,000 miles since September, most of which were turned within the borders of our home state; a sprint to Virginia accounted for the rest.

The logbook continues to fill with praise for the 2’s nimble nature and slick shifter. Drivers maintain that clutch feel is still too numb, requiring us to “get used to” something that should be easy and straightforward. But one long-haul driver was surprised to note that the 2’s ride and interior noise were nowhere near as punishing as expected. The cabin plastics seem to be holding up well and the seats continue to receive plaudits, although the bottom cushion’s foam has compressed to the point where some drivers can feel the side of the seat frame.

Rectifying Problems, Experiencing Others

In our last update, we mentioned that our 2 was suffering from vibrations at highway speeds. This resulted in new anti-roll-bar bushings, a new rear shock, and a new steering intermediate shaft being fitted under warranty. Some steering-wheel shudder persisted as we awaited the arrival of four new tires that were replaced under warranty because of premature wear from the faulty suspension. We’re happy to report the new rubber was installed and seems to have fully resolved the issue, although the front suspension still groans on occasion and we haven’t been able to track down the source of the noise. The new all-season tires were swapped out after 2000 miles for Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires.

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