The mild update given to the Mazda 2 in Japan (where it’s called the Demio) last October has reached Thailand, where the 2017 Mazda 2 is now on sale in hatchback and sedan forms.

Only the slightest of changes to the exterior and interior for MY 2017, which can be identified by the chrome strip on the front fog lamp housing, plus revised side mirror indicators. Inside, top spec cars get an upgraded Active Driving Display head-up display and brown leather trim on the dashboard and doors, perfectly matched with copper rings on the AC vents. Higher-end variants get leather-suede seats, similar to those you’ll find on the CX-3 in Malaysia.

According to our resident Mazda 2 driver Gerard Lye, the steering wheel is of a new design, the instrument cluster appears to have updated graphics and there’s a shark fin antenna on the roof. Subtle improvements to a cabin that’s far from broke. Now, “Luxury European quality” is quite a bold claim by Mazda Thailand, but the cabin does look rather exquisite for a car of this size and price.

No change in the powertrain department. The Mazda 2 is an eco car in the Land of Smiles, and it can be had with either a 93 hp/123 Nm 1.3 litre petrol engine or a 105hp/250Nm 1.5 litre turbodiesel. Both SkyActiv engines are paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Enhancements include better response for the diesel and improved NVH.

The Mazda 2 is the latest to gain the G-Vectoring Control system that modulates engine torque to optimise vertical load on each wheel, improving steering response and stability. After the Mazda 3, it’s the second model in Thailand to get the software, which will be eventually rolled out for all.

Prices are up in Thailand, and the quantum is from 1,000 baht to 28,000 baht. The price range is now from 530,000 baht (RM67,331) to 789,000 baht (RM100,250). No price difference between similarly specced hatchbacks and sedans, but diesel variants are costlier. Should be coming to Malaysia this year.


GALLERY: 2017 JDM Mazda Demio