No, you don’t need to get your vision checked – the new Mazda 2 Hybrid is a Toyota Yaris with different badges.
This is the first full hybrid model sold by Mazda in Europe, and is a direct result of the EU’s strict 95g/km CO2 limit. Brands whose vehicle sales average out beyond that mark are liable for stiff fines that could run into billions of euros.
The same rule also sees Suzuki sell a rebadged version of the Corolla hybrid wagon as the Swace, and a restyled take on the RAV4 as the Across.
Mazda’s electrification efforts are so far limited to the MX-30 EV, and mild hybrid drivetrains in the 2, 3, CX-30 and CX-5, meaning it’s unable to meet the 95g/km target without pooling its emissions with Toyota.
Given the company’s first plug-in hybrid models aren’t due to go on sale across Europe until 2023, the 2 Hybrid is likely a stopgap model to see the brand through the next few years.
Unlike some other models shared between brands — such as the Mazda BT-50 and Isuzu D-Max — differentiation between the Yaris and the 2 Hybrid starts and stops with the badges.
Up front, Mazda’s winged-M badge sits in place of the Toyota badge. If you dislike the blue badge backing on Toyota’s hybrid models, the Mazda 2 Hybrid might be your cup of tea.
Look closely at the alloy wheels and, yes, there are Mazda logos in centre there too.
At the back there’s a winged-M logo in the centre of the tailgate, and a stately Mazda 2 badge on the left. No change has been made to the Hybrid badge on the right, though, which is straight from the Toyota parts bin.
On the inside, the only difference seems to be a Mazda badge in the centre of the steering wheel.
In some European markets, such as the UK, the Yaris-based Mazda 2 Hybrid will be sold alongside the Mazda-designed 2.
As with the Yaris, the 2 Hybrid has a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor and a battery pack.
Total power output is 85kW, and fuel economy is around 4L/100km using the WLTP testing methodology.
Like Euro-market Yaris models, the Mazda 2 Hybrid is built by Toyota at its factory in Valenciennes, France, near the border with Belgium. It seems highly unlikely the Yaris-based 2 Hybrid will be sold outside of Europe.
This isn’t the first time Toyota and Mazda have shared models, with Mazda supplying the 2 to Toyota US from 2016, which sold the sedan as the Scion iA.
When the Scion brand was axed, the Mexico-built 2 continued on sale north of the border as the Toyota Yaris iA. As buyers continued to shift to crossovers and seemed unwilling to consider any model smaller than a Corolla, the Mazda-built Yaris was axed in 2020.
The new 2 Hybrid also marks the second time Mazda has rebadged another company’s vehicle in Europe’s popular B-segment.
Between 1996 and 2002, the European 121 was a tweaked Ford Fiesta, although at least there was a new grille and tailgate garnish to stand the two models apart.
MORE: Everything Mazda 2