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Long Term Update 5: 2011 Mazda2


Overall, I'm still liking the peppy Mazda2, but on a couple of occasions last month, the little green machine fell short. The first time was when planning a trip to Needles, California, a four-hour-plus drive from Los Angeles. There was no way that a female friend, and a guy friend, and I could cram ourselves and enough luggage for a beach weekend into the '2, and when it comes to ride quality, it far from resembles sitting atop a cloud of marshmallow fluff. Plus we didn't quite know how to get where we were going (it has no nav), and on the way back my husband wanted to listen to his beloved Detroit Tigers, and the '2 doesn't have XM satellite radio. Hello, Honda Odyssey.

The second time was when I had to move. My shoe collection alone would've filled the 13.3 cubic feet of trunk space. With the back seats folded down, there's 28 cubic feet -- not nearly enough to haul giant boxes and overstuffed duffel bags. Hello, Porsche Cayenne.

One positive thing I've noticed: I love that when it's hot out, the A/C brings down the interior temp in record time, and the nozzles are easy to position exactly where you want them. And if you've got short hair, you can get in the car with a wet head, crank up the A/C or heat to 4, and the strong wind will dry your 'do' in less than 10 minutes.

I also got a compliment leaving a Pasadena parking garage. "What is that, the new Fiesta?" asked the attendant. "Nope," I said. "Same platform, but slightly different, and I think it's more fun to drive." "I like it; it's fresh," he said. "What's your gas mileage?" When I told him upwards of 33 mpg overall, he said, "Daaayum. You gotta love that." And after filling the Cayenne with $90 of gas, yes, I do love that about the '2.
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