In 1996, the Japanese automaker Mazda introduced their subcompact vehicle called the Mazda Demio. Since its first appearance, this vehicle has saw three generations. In certain markets, the Demio is sold as Mazda2. However, in its earlier years, it was sold as Mazda 121, Mazda Metro and Ford Festiva Mini Wagon.
The Demio is in third generation now and also won the World Car of the Year award in 2008.
The current Demio is basically developed from the Mazda 121 appeared in 1987. It was a B-segment small vehicle built on Mazda D-platform. The first generation DA 121 variant was also sold by Ford under Ford Festiva name. In 1990, Autozam Revue was launched by Mazda as a next generation model based on D-platform DB. The model received some redesigning in 1993. The variants of DA and DB were also produced by Kia. Kia’s based versions were also marketed by Ford as Ford Aspire in US market, while Kia marketed them as Pride and Avella.
First Generation (DW, 1996-2002)
The Revue when launched was more than 1500 mm (59.1 inch) long and the redesigned model appeared as a high hatchback, minivan esque package. The vehicle was criticized a great deal by the printing media when launched but the vehicle came up as a big hit in the Japanese market that brought an ill fate for the ongoing B-segment minivans like Opel Meriva, Fiat Idea and Renault Modus.
In July 1996, Mazda began producing the new Demio based on DW platform. It was still sold as 121 in overseas market. A rebadged version was marketed in the Japanese market by Ford under Ford Festiva Mini Wagon nameplate. Mazda opted for a new company logo in 1998. The vehicle was redesigned in 1999 and new features were introduced such as cabin air filtration, retuned automatic transmission revised exterior etc. DSC was introduced in 2002.
Second Generation (DY, 2002–2007)
The second generation Demio was a redesigned model introduced in 2002 and was based on DY platform. The Demio name was retained in the Japanese market, while it was introduced in export market as Mazda2.
Ford discontinued the badge-engineered Ford version, called the Ford Fusion rather introduced a new Ford Fiesta based on the Global Ford B3 platform derived from the Mazda’s DY platform in the export market. The vehicle was specifically designed for European market and assembled at Ford facility Valencia, Spain.
The second generation Demio was offered with features including ABS, EBD and an optional stability control. In the Japanese version, a unique feature called the e-4WD was introduced, i.e. a hybrid car-type system which supplied power to the rear wheels of the front-wheel drive Demios through electric motor. This feature was introduced only to provide assistance in traction.
Considering the different types of customers, Mazda introduced three different trim levels, i.e.
- Cozy targets the single women with attractive color combinations.
- Sport targets the young male customers
- Casual is meant to target young families.
Third Generation (DE, 2007-present)
The third generation Demio is based on the new Mazda’s DE platform, on which 2008 Ford Fiesta was also based. The company used the lightweight material to lessen the overall weight as well as the dimensions of the vehicle.
On July 5, 2007, the sales of the third generation Demio was began at Mazda, Mazda Enfini and Autozam dealership. In 2008, it was mildly upgraded. The SkyActiv version of the Demio was planned to release in June 2011. The model is supposed to deliver 30km/L with the help of 1.3-L SkyActiv-G and CVT. The vehicle is also hoped to feature Mazda’s i-stop system.
The European version of Mazda2 was revealed for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show in 2007 then at Shanghai International Motor Show in 2007.
North American version
In 2009, the North American version of Mazda2 was displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It was the first subcompact vehicle introduced in North America by Mazda after 323 was withdrawn from US market far back in 1994 and a year later in Canada.
The North American version went on sale in July 2010 with a price tag of US$13,980. It is offered with a 1.5-L 4-cylinder engine mated to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.
The Chinese version was first revealed at Guangzhou Motor Show in 2007. It was made available to the public by first quarter of 2008. There is a 1.5-L, 5-door sunroof version as well featuring a glass sunroof and leather seats in the interior. Another 1.5-L Value version was made available in 2009.
Mazda Demio concepts (2008)
Apart from regular Demio, there are also Mazdaspeed concept model featuring aeroparts and cooling dusts, PCM tuning, replacement exhaust parts, 3D Net Sports seats and performance dampers.
The Haru IRO Spring Colors Collection is based on three vehicles available in blue, pink and green color combinations referring to the colors of spring season. For instance, the blue vehicle is associated with the blue sky of a crisp fall day; the pink vehicle refers to the cherry blossom in its full flourishing form; and the green vehicle is an inspiration taken from the shade of green usually seen in fresh green panorama.
All the three cars were revealed at the Tokyo Auto Saloon in 2008.