The Mazda 2 on sale in Europe – the Mazda-badged Toyota Yaris hybrid – has been restyled less than two years after launch in an attempt to look more Mazda-like.
The Mazda 2 Hybrid – a facelifted Toyota Yaris Hybrid sold only in Europe to help meet emissions standards – has been given an early styling update to differentiate it from its identical twin.
The original European version of the ‘Mazda 2 Hybrid’ launched less than two years ago was the current generation Yaris and the Toyota badges have been removed from the nose, rear, wheels and steering wheel – with Mazda logos in their place.
It has now received a facelift and styling changes – including a new front fascia – penned by Mazda designers in Europe and Japan, in an attempt to make the Toyota-built car look like a Mazda.
However, it seems that the development budget was limited due to the changes not being developed beyond the new front bumper, and the body color decoration on the tailgate to give the tail lights a more rounded shape, like Mazda.
The body shell, doors, rear bumper, headlights, taillights, wheels and interior are all carried over from the Toyota Yaris, alongside which the Mazda 2 Hybrid is built at the Toyota plant in France.
Mazda has now developed its own ‘HYBRID’ badge to be placed on the tailgate – replacing the Hybrid badge pulled from the Toyota parts bin that was fitted to the previous model – which Mazda’s press release claims is aimed at “expressing Mazda’s DNA .”
Introduced in Europe two years ago, the Toyota-built Mazda 2 Hybrid is still sold alongside the Mazda-built Mazda 2 hatch familiar to Australians, but uses less fuel and emits less CO2 to meet European emissions standards.
Compared to the 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer (g/km) manufacturers need to hit their model ranges to avoid a hefty fine, the existing Mazda 2 quotes 100-106g/km – while Toyota’s version claims 72g/ km.
It also gets a 12.3-inch widescreen digital instrument cluster, and a new Glass Blue exterior color.
It lacks the more powerful 96kW version of the 1.5-litre three-cylinder hybrid system offered in the updated Yaris, instead retaining the 85kW version familiar to Australian buyers, with a claimed fuel consumption of 3.8L/100km.
The Mazda 2 Hybrid is sold only in Europe, and is built at the Toyota Yaris and Yaris Cross plant in northern France.