The Mazda 2 is being updated for 2020 to bring it into line with newer rivals, and it’s available to order now with the first examples landing in dealers. 

The entry level SE-L model will cost £15,795, and includes rear parking sensors, 15in alloy wheels and climate control. As well a more powerful engine, SE-L Nav models and above gain the Mazda Connect navigation system, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and driver assistance features including brake assist and lane-keeping assist. SE-L Nav models start from £16,610.

For £17,310, Sport Nav models add 16in alloy wheels, a gloss black grille, rear privacy glass, chrome exhausts and keyless entry.

The top-rung GT Sport Nav models feature a reversing camera, leather seats, a head-up display, and heated front seats and steering wheel. Such models start from £18,110 for manual models, and £19,370 with an automatic gearbox.

The Japanese firm’s Ford Fiesta and Hyundai i20 rival will retain the 1.5-litre Skyactiv-G petrol engine, but is now boosted by a belt-integrated starter/generator on all manual models. It will be offered in two stages of tune, with a 74bhp version on entry level SE-L models, and a 89bhp powertrain for SE-L Nav, Sport Nav and GT Sport Nav trims. The manual versions produce 94-95g/km of CO2, depending on trim level, with a WLTP-certified combined fuel economy of 53.4mpg.

Mazda cites a number of tweaks to improve the handling of its supermini, including a new urethane top mount in the rear dampers, revised power steering and the introduction of a G-Vectoring Control Plus system, which subtly uses the brakes to aid cornering stability and smoothen your chosen line. 

The design changes include a revised grille with a new design closer to the Mazda 3, a wider wing, new bumper and revised LED headlights. Inside, the dashboard trim, air vents and other features have been tweaked, with new-shape seats designed to offer more comfort.