With the result of the Philippine economy booming every year, more people can now afford to buy their own car. Plus with Uber, Grab Car now placing big role of this growing demand, entry level sedans are now more and more needed than ever.
Unfortunately when it comes to showcasing a lineup of small sedans there isn’t much of a “Luxury” choice but rather “value”. Sometimes value is defined as getting the most out of your money, but some car manufacturers tend to downgrade their mid-class sedans and just provide what is remaining.
Mazda Philippines invited us to experience their new Mazda 2 SkyActiv vehicles. Assigned to us is their entry level model SkyActiv S 4DR for Php795,000. Our journey was accompanied with Shell FuelSave as the official gasoline where we traveled from Capital Commons, Shell NLEX to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar Hotel in Bataan.
The Mazda 2 is quite similar to the Mazda 3 and 6, given that it is also blessed with Mazda’s Kodo Design philosophy gave the Mazda 2 an invigorating and distinctive look in its class. Inside the dashboard is the black on black setup (Base model) with red accents to show style. The Exhaust vents for the aircon are shaped and resembled after airline jets to give you the impression of a strong and well thought of vehicle.
Perhaps the only gripe we see in the base model SkyActiv S is the radio system. Although you have your steering controls available, pairing it with the Bluetooth system can be a task as you don’t have a more interactive LCD Display. Sound wise the audio the appreciated with clear and loud delivers but lacks a bit of bass on our taste.
Rules were simple, given the handmap provided our task is to drive the Mazda 2 SkyActive in real world economy situations. Meaning the aircon is at optimal strength while maintaining a suggested 70-90kph speed. The journey is a total of ____km and reloading of gas will be conducted to the nearest Shell station in Las Casas.
En route to Shell NLEX was still unregulated so we were able to be a bit of a bad boy ourselves. If there is one word to describe the driving experience of the Mazda 2 that would be “Agile”. As starters the steering wheel is unbelievably responsive, even to the slightest rotation will give response, perhaps not proffered by some but we like how the Mazda responses especially for quick turns and gives you the feeling you are one with the car.
Perhaps this what sets the Mazda 2 to other small sized sedans in the market, their flagship SkyActiv Technology. More than just delivering fuel economy, the SkyActiv Technology is a completely new approach of Mazda’s approach to vehicle engineering. The overall aim is to deliver a lighter, stronger, fuel economy and responsive car than before.
With the steering being responsive, acceleration is another thing. We were delighted how fast and strong the engine’s response when it comes to accelerating, overtaking isn’t a problem when you can simple rev up from 60km/h to 100km/h in a snap. Plus with the Mazda 2’s Sport Mode, it’s a different experience overall. Focusing on the detail of acceleration, the sports mode makes the car more sensitive to every acceleration and letting you change gears with more power. As a result with the sports mode, we experienced a more responsive, faster experience especially in NLEX. Just take note that the sport mode isn’t really fuel friendly, so just take it easy.
Upon leaving Shell NLEX we started our challenge for the fuel economy run. Passing through NLEX, SCTEX and Subic we tried the usual tips of maintaining a speed of 80kph. In our experiments, maintaining a speed of 80kph delivers an engine rpm of 1,700 which is the lowest we could find.
Of course following behind buses, trucks and big sized vehicles were also considered to reduce air drag. But unfortunately they were not present all the time.
From Subic to Bataan the roads were much narrow with being only 2 lanes. As per talk with co-attendees it’s where some practices their racing skills as the roads are narrow and has a lot of turns….yes sharp turns are included.
We decided to ditch the ambition of winning fuel economy run and we floored the gas from Subic to Bataan, the result was having fun with the Mazda 2’s amazing performance of handling tight turns while still running 60kph in minimum.
One tip I got in all the fast driving fiasco we did with my car buddy Googly Gooeys Anthony Go is that you must find the most straight path possible to avoid any loss of power. This gives you more power to rev up after any turn. Of course in some turns like turning left, you have to take the rightmost lane possible and vice versa.
Just in case you aren’t familiar, the place is a revival of the old Spanish era where houses in different places in the Philippines were even transfered or replicated to create a multi-hectare land and showing the old and cultural heritage of the Philippines. This is also where the final scene of Heneral Luna was shot (Where General Luna was killed). Just in case you can also read our Opinion about Heneral Luna here.
So to wrap it all up. We didn’t win the SkyActiv challenge, the winner got a whopping more than 30km/l fuel mileage while our car achieved Rank #6 at around 17km/l. Traveling more than 150km at that achievement is not bad indeed for the fuel economy of the Mazda 2 and we even did some rally type fun on the side.
To sum it up we were definitely impressed with the overall package the Mazda 2 Skyactiv delivers. From handling, design, fuel economy and ride comfort is definitely a notch better than most small sized sedans we have ridden and driven before. Price wise might not be that still accessible as other brands, but investing a few more is definitely worth it as you’ll get to maximize every step of the gas with Mazda.
Here are also the prices for the Mazda 2 SkyActiv
- SkyActiv S 4DR M/T – 748,000
- SkyActiv S 4DR A/T – 795,000
- SkyActiv V 4DR A/T – 865,000
- SkyActiv R 4DR A/T – 925,000
- SkyActiv V 5DR A/T – 855,000
- SkyActiv SPEED A/T – 975,000
- Optional : 16,800 for Soul Red color
Colors available : Soul Red, Black Mica, Aluminium Metalic, Snowflake White Pearl Mica, Titanium Flash, Dynamic Blue, Metropolitan Grey, Arctic White
If you are curious about Mazda’s SkyActiv technology, here is a quick video to let you understand more about it. We promise it’s definitely worth watching.