Ladies and gents – say hello to Mazda‘s all-new 2 Hybrid. Which is neither a Mazda nor is it all-new. You’ve probably already clocked that it’s actually a Toyota Yaris with a cunning disguise consisting of…some Mazda badges and branded floor mats.
It’s one the lowest-effort badge-engineering jobs we’ve seen recently (at least the Corolla-derived Suzuki Swace gets new front and rear bumpers) – Mazda hasn’t even bothered to remove Toyota’s hybrid logo from the boot lid.
Regardless, it’s a significant car for the company, being its first-ever hybrid. It’ll be sold alongside the existing 2 hatchback, which – of course – looks entirely different. Mazda says this gives “customers in the supermini segment the choice of two distinct models, depending on their needs”. We say consumers might find that confusing, but let’s see.
Mechanically, nothing has changed, so you still get a 1.5-litre inline-three petrol engine working together with an electric motor and a small battery pack. The total system output is 115bhp, making for a 0-62mph time of 9.7 seconds. Depending on your chosen wheel size it’ll do up to 74.3mpg according to the WLTP combined cycle, and puff out a mere 87g/km of CO2.
Inside, it’s – lo and behold – just like a Yaris, save for that Mazda badge on the steering wheel and those floor mats we’ve already mentioned. Not necessarily a bad thing, but the ‘proper’ 2 hatchback’s cabin has a neater design. You do get a little more boot space here, though.
This isn’t the only Toyota/Mazda collaboration we’ve seen lately, we should point out. In 2019 the manufacturers joined forces to do the opposite, rebadging the 2 as a Yaris for the US market.
Both manufacturers have plenty of recent experience in the badge-engineering game. The Toyota GR Supra’s BMW genes should need no introduction, and the GR86 is built by Subaru alongside the mechanically identical BRZ. Mazda flogs various rebadged Suzuki and Toyota models for the Japanese market, and built Fiat’s MX-5-based 124 Spider for a time, although that car did have some substantial mechanical differences from the Miata.
And before you ask, no – none of this means we’re likely to see a GR Yaris badged as a ‘Mazdaspeed 2’, as fun as that would be.