2018 Mazda2 Premium Java Edition 1.5 AT Review – Behind the Wheel


The sub-compact hatch, a popular segment for its good looks, its oddly satisfying versatility, and of course, its power to weight performance has made its way into a lot of hearts. Be it frugal in traffic or exciting during twisty roads, it has caught many eyes including those of single and family drivers alike. Wrapped in a color called Titanium Flash, meet the Mazda2 Java Edition. Mechanically, it is the same the as the top spec Mazda2 Hatch V+. The Java is one of 3 editions coming into the country. The other two being Crimson and Katana. The obvious but suave highlights on the Java include a shark’s fin antenna, front, side, and rear skirts, side mirrors, and a spoiler all covered in burgundy. That’s right. Burgundy. When was the last time you heard that color being used? Much less on a car. It is as I said. Suave. The front clip mimics those larger models in the Mazda line-up. You’ve got a large grille at front, LED affair throughout the entire car. Headlamps and DRLs which are pretty fetching by the way all the way to the fog lamps. The dark 15-inch wheels look absolutely great against the Titanium Flash skin but they do contain the one flaw that I found which are the accents that you can find right there. Now, I’m not a big fan of them because they’re not burgundy. They’re actually red. I’m kind of thinking better if it were burgundy to mix well with the car or take them out completely. Either or it works. Chrome tipped exhaust? Nice touch. Boot space; 280 litres which is really enough for our camera equipment and then some. Need anymore? Fold the 60-40 and that will reveal 960 litres of space which will literally put a smile on anyone or anything’s face, really. Now, there are no toys to speak of back here and I do mean zero. There is no center armrest, no cupholders , no bottle holders on the door, no air vents, nada Not even a charging point. Now, like most hatches, or sub-compacts, rather, the seats are elevated which will allow two large adults to sit back here pretty comfortably though. Now, just like the Mazda2 V+ Hatch, the instrument cluster is led by a very large tachometer in the center flanked by 2 trip computers. You’ve got a 7-inch touchscreen display that has NAV and doubles as your reverse camera then your air controls and commander knob which are found down here have a very premium feel and touch to it. Now, there’s still no cruise control but there is automatic lights, automatic wipers, and paddle shifters. Now, the entire cabin already has a very choice feel to it but add to it the chocolate accents that you can find on the dash, on the seats, and on the door. With all due respect to Mr. Randy Watson, this too, is Sexual Chocolate. That’s a tito reference right there, for sure. Under the hood is a 1.5L SkyActiv, 6-speed automatic transmission that produces 108 horses and 139 nm of torque. Now, that’s just about par for an engine of this size. Compared to the sedan, this thing has the same wheelbase and the same width but it is 260mm shorter and 35kg lighter. Which means, pop this guy into sport and this thing is more fun to drive with gusto and gana. The drop in weight increases the power to weigh ratio and does well for economy. Traffic through the metro, through the highways and we were able to clock in 11.3km/l with just Vincent and me inside the car without putting it into sport mode. Yet. The seats are very well bolstered and the suede accents in the center do keep you in place just like the g-vectoring control… and this car is either slowing down or making a left. I don’t know what he’s doing. One moment, we’ll be right back. The seats are well bolstered and the suede accents down the center is a nice touch helping to keep you in place. Not as much as the g-vectoring control, of course but you know what I mean. The make or break for some drivers depending on their frame size is the fact that your right knee can bump up against the lower half of the center console. Bigger drivers might complain. I, myself actually like it because I can use it as anchor when I’m putting my foot down and I’m taking those turns at speed. That’s just a lot of fun. The Mazda2 V+ Hatch comes in at P965,000. Now, this Java edition comes in at P1,085,000. Essentially P120,000 for Sexual Chocolate on the inside, burgundy on the outside. Now, if this is not your cup of tea, do take note that there are still 2 more editions coming to our shores. So really, fortune could favor those that are patient. But, burgundy…

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