2011 Mazda 2

Under most circumstances, a middle-aged Dad would not be caught dead behind the wheel of a sub-compact hatchback like the Mazda 2.  However…..we are living in the age of $4 per gallon gasoline and 40MPG is the new 30.  The Mazda 2 is a no-nonsense, reliable, affordable vision of transportation in the most basic form.

Mazda calls its engine “lively” and “fun to drive,” but that’s just marketing speak.  It’s a sub-compact that is supposed to get 35 MPG (28 is more accurate).  The engine is a 1.5-Liter, 4-Cylinder, DOHC engine that produces a whopping 100 horsepower and 98 lb-ft of torque.  And yes, it’s as slow as it sounds, but at a starting price of $15,500, it does fulfill its mission statement to provide high quality Japanese engineering with affordable, reliable transportation.

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