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Gimme 2

I made Intercourse in a Mazda2. Intercourse, PA that is. And actually it was a service station nearby the town of Intercourse—just a pit stop on an 1,200-mile road trip I took from NYC to Ohio and back in Mazda’s sprightly new sub-compact. And although I didn’t do it, I’m not saying that you couldn’t make “real” intercourse in the Mazda2. I mean, it does have 13.3 square feet of cargo space in the hatch, and the rear seats do fold nearly all the way down, and the six-speaker stereo does sound pretty seductive, especially at a loud volume… Anyway, I digress. Here are 4 things you need to know about the 2:
1. Small is big. The 2 is Mazda’s entry into the subcompact market, an increasingly hot segment as people catch on that the current generation of five-seat hatchbacks like the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta are actually cool—and offer great drives…and offer great mpgs. So what does the 2 do different? It’s got the signature Mazda styling for one—that “grin” you see up front, and the swoopy, sculpted shoulders make it stand out on the street. It draws comments from strangers. It’s cute rather than sexy. More than Alison Brie than Scar Jo.
2. The smile’s there for a reason. Sure, the 2’s 1.5-liter four banger only puts out 100 ponies. And yes, it takes just over 10 seconds to go from 0-60 mph. But Mazda’s designed the 2 to bring the smiles during real world driving—all the stops, starts, and swerves you encounter on your daily commute. It’s tuned to be tight, with a stiff suspension and minimal body roll. It’s fun to flog, especially in the city.
3. It’s a friend of the Fiesta. The 2 shares the same platform with Ford’s smallest car, but the Fiesta boasts more tech, like an available dual-clutch transmission and the SYNC voice-operated infotainment system. And although the Fiesta boasts a 20-hp edge, performance figures for the two cars are similar, in large part due to the 2 weighing 220 pounds less. The 2’s more of a purist’s ride.  
4. It’s a city car that can rock the long haul. The interior is comfortable enough that you can pile three friends in, drive hundreds of miles, and no one will complain (unless your friends play in the NBA.) It does get noisy at speed on the open road—but the aforementioned stock stereo sounds pretty fantastic. Apparently, someone at Mazda knows there will be some road tripping done in the 2. And just maybe, some trips to Intercourse.   

2011 Mazda2

Price: from $14,180
Engine: 1.5-liter DOHC 16 valve 4-cylinder
Torque: 98 lb.-ft@4000rpm
Horsepower: 100@6000rpm
0-60: 10.2 sec