Mazda announces revised Demio subcompact hatchback

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Mazda of Japan has announced a significant update to its Demio subcompact hatchback, known in North America as the Mazda2. A newly improved Mazda2 should will no doubt help the brand remain competitive with other subcompact offerings such as the top-selling Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, and Nissan Versa, plus the all-new Hyundai Accent, new Kia Rio and impressive Ford Fiesta that shares the Mazda2's underpinnings.

In addition to slightly revised exterior styling, the new Demio (Mazda2) features a restyled dashboard that now includes a colour display screen on the centre console as is found on more expensive cars these days. Overall, the new Demio follows Mazda's current design trend with broad and curvaceous bodywork.

The biggest news concerning the new Mazda Demio (Mazda2) centers on its engine. The Demio is now the first model to be outfitted with Mazda's SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY. Specifically, the Demio features Mazda's 1.3-litre direction injection "SKYACTIV-G 1.3" gasoline engine. The 1.3-litre unit features an engine compression ratio of 14:0:1, which is claimed to help the car achieve exceptional efficiency. The "SKYACTIV-G 1.3" engine also has the "i-stop" idling stop system which now requires less fuel to restart from idle and is claimed to do so more smoothly as well. The engine also benefits from a new mutli-hole fuel injection system, dual sequential valve timing, exhaust gas recirculation, and reduced friction due to lighter pistons, connecting rods and low-tension piston rings. Mazda says the advances in engine technology allow the Demio to achieve as much as 30.0 kilometres of range on a single litre of fuel.

An interesting feature of the new Mazda Demio is the "intelligent-Drive Master" (i-DM). The system is said to support enjoyable driving yet encourages a driving style that promotes passenger comfort and fuel economy as well. Mazda's i-DM system works by displaying driver "scores" and practical driving advice on the dashboard at the end of each journey.

Standard features include the i-stop system, i-DM, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), and a Traction Control System (TCS). Additionally, Mazda says that all grades of the Demio now feature a more comfortable ride and more stability due to increased body rigidity and a revised suspension. The Demio also gets a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with seven-speed manual mode; five- and six-speed modes are usual fare in the subcompact class.

Mazda's Demio subcompact car was first exported to North America as the Mazda2 back in July of 2010. In less than a year a significant revision to the car's fuel economy and driving dynamics will make it a more attractive choice for those in the subcompact hatchback market. The new Demio should reach Canadian showrooms as the revised Mazda2 by the end of the year if not sooner.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Hatchback, Mazda, 2012, Mazda2, Demio, $10,000 - $19,999, Subcompact,

Organizations: Mazda

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