Jeremy Funny how car companies go through peaks and troughs with their range of cars. The arrival of the Mazda2 in 2007 was a definite turning point for the Japanese manufacturer.
The 2 was an instant hit and went on to win World Car of the Year in 2008 – no small achievement. Perhaps because the car it replaced, the rather dull 121, was nowhere near as good and just a re-worked Ford Fiesta.
The Mazda2 is still a sibling of the Fiesta but looks much prettier, despite having no major bodywork design overhaul since launch five years ago.
Light, fuel efficient and exceptionally well engineered for a little car, it’s still a match for some of the very latest supermini offerings, such as the current VW Polo, Honda Jazz and Kia Rio.
But when a new version is surely launched over the next year or two, I think there’s every chance the Mazda2 could go to the top of the pile.
Jeremy I’m ticking off the hours until they pick up the Golf today. We are not quite on first name terms but a bond has been established between us. It’s like having your best mate on standby for every eventuality.
Instantly recognisable as VW‘s iconic hatchback, under the skin, this new Mk VII version is fully equipped with technology that would have been unrecognisable when the first model was launched almost 40 years ago. It helps make an already great car even more desirable.
The vehicle selected as World Car of the Year cossets the driver with every conceivable aid in GTD form. Electronic handbrake, stop/start engine, a range of engine modes for different types of driving, front and rear parking sensors – none of these would have been even dreamt of in 1974.
So, far from meddling with a successful product to create the Mk VII, VW designers have just raised the bar for all other hatchbacks to follow. Smoother, faster, lighter and better equipped, the new Golf is everything you would expect it to be. You just wonder what they will do with the Mk VIII…