Budget vs. Design: A Closer Look at the Mazda Demio 2nd & 3rd Generations

Since its establishment in 1920, Mazda Motor Corporation has built its reputation by producing great-looking, stylish, and powerful cars. Some of its most powerful names include the Atenza Sport and the Axela, respectively a performance car and compact family wagon/sedan that not only looks great but is reliable as well. In the hatchback market, the main flagship has been the good-looking Mazda Demio, also known as the Mazda2, which is the perfect combination of small size, agility and power. With so many similarities, choosing which one to buy can be a challenge. Here’s a side-by-side comparison to help you make your decision.

Mazda Demio 2nd Generation (2000 – 2007)

Having been in production from 2000 to 2007, the 2nd Generation Mazda Demio is nice looking, affordable, reliable and easy to maintain. It was built for light urban family movement, but it can also take on long distance travel without a hitch. 

Mazda Demio 3rd Generation (2007 – 2014)

The 3rd Generation Mazda Demio was introduced in July 2007. The Mazda company focused more of its attention to the exterior appearance of the 3rd generation model than it did with its predecessors. It was given a wedge-shaped and sportier look overall. Size-wise, Mazda reduced the length and height but increased the width for a wider and more spacious interior.

Used Pricing Comparison

A 2003 Mazda Demio (2nd generation) will cost you around $500 at the lowest. The newer it is, the more it will cost. However, a 2011 Demio (3rd generation) will cost you on average $3,000 or more. A used Demio price also depends on optional features like whether or not it has alloy rims or fog lights.

Exterior Comparison

These are the biggest differences on the outside of each generation.

Mazda Demio 2nd Generation

One thing that sets the 2nd generation Mazda Demio apart, if you buy the earlier hatchback or estate versions, is its slightly wagon-like appearance. If the chassis were a little longer, it would look like a small minivan. The boxy body shape gives the car a lot of room and so it can seat five adults comfortably.

The greatest thing about it is it’s a small, five-door, 5-seater family vehicle. You will love the balance that Mazda has put between the interior space and the compact size. The 2nd generation also includes the Mazda Demio sedan, which is eye-popping in both design and style. 

Mazda Demio 3rd Generation

The exterior of the 3rd generation Demio is indeed a happy sight for sore eyes. It has well-rounded and sleek curves that run straight from the slanted bonnet to the oval rear. This is a small 5-door, 5-seater hatchback. However, it is also available in a sporty 3-door version. 

Interior Comparison

Let’s take a look inside the Mazda Demio’s 2nd & 3rd generations to see how they differ.

Mazda Demio 2nd Generation

One thing you will notice about the interior is that the wagon-like appearance of the 2nd generation Mazda Demio also enhances the interior space.

There is a small but sufficient cabin storage space in the door pockets, cup holder, glove compartment and even in the center console for coins and other small items. Earlier versions of the Mazda Demio have considerably larger boot space which can be made bigger by folding down the second row seats. 

Mazda Demio 3rd Generation

The 3rd generation Demio is impressive on the interior, with well-designed and stylish plastic moulding. Available cabin storage includes a cup holder, glove compartment, door pockets and more. The instruments are nicely positioned behind the wheel and the seats are sufficiently comfortable.

Like the 2nd generation model, the driver and front passenger may create more leg room by adjusting their seats, but tall backseat passengers may be a little cramped. There is enough boot space for a few small suitcases and other luggage which can be increased by folding down the split 2nd row seats. 

Engine and Fuel Economy

Mazda Demio 2nd Generation

The 2nd generation Demio has impressive fuel efficiency. The fuel consumption of the 1.3 Series FF is approximately 19.2 km/L while the 1.5 Series FF has been estimated at 18.2 km/L. Through various power train tweaks, the company was able to reduce the fuel consumption of the car. 

In the design, the gear ratio in the transmission was overhauled to achieve better balance between performance and fuel efficiency. The car is able to recover some of its energy with the help of an electrical discharge control system.

Mazda Demio 3rd Generation

The sportier 3rd generation Mazda Demio is designed to handle speed without consuming a lot of fuel. It comes in different engine displacement sizes. The 1348cc, 16-valve engine is known for fast acceleration. This responsive engine has been rated at the fuel consumption of 23.0 km/L. If you are an adventurous driver, you may prefer the 1498 cc engine, which is built for performance and delivers approximately 19.4 km/L.

The 3rd generation Mazda Demio hatchback comes in 5 grades. The Mazda Demio 13C has a 1.3L engine, 5-speed manual gearbox or 4-speed automatic gearbox. 13 SKYACTIV has a 1.3L engine and has been built with SKYACTIV technology for fuel efficiency. The 13C-V has 15-inch alloy rims, 1.3-liter engine and keyless entry. Demio 15C has a 1.5-liter engine, keyless entry and 15 inch alloys and Demio 15S has been designed as the sports edition of the Demio with 16-inch alloy wheels, 1.5-liter engine, body kit, fog lights, paddle shifts and keyless entry. Some of these grades are not found in the 2nd generation.

2nd Generation Mazda Demio vs. 3rd Generation Mazda Demio: Verdict

The main differences between the 2nd and 3rd generation Demio lie in the exterior design. The older Demio is boxier and wagon-like while the newer 3rd generation one is more curved, shorter and wider. Boxier shapes are better for larger interior space, something that the 3rd generation Demio has less of. 

Another major difference is that the 2nd generation Mazda Demio did not come with standard ABS (anti-lock breaking system) whereas the 3rd generation model does.  The 3rd generation had a Mazda Demio sedan option that was sold in the Caribbean, United States, Asia and Australia. The 2nd Generation only included the hatchback. 

The other difference is the price of the two vehicles. The 3rd generation, being newer, has more technology and is better styled, so the price tag is higher. 

Conclusion and Recommendations

When looking for a Mazda Demio, many factors come into focus. If you are young and love speed and feeling in control, buy a Demio 3rd generation sports version with 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights and paddle pedals. If you are looking for a reliable and spacious family car, then the 2nd generation Mazda2 Demio would be good for you. It is older but more affordable, cheap to run, and has bigger boot space to carry more cargo. No matter which generation you go with, the Mazda Demio consumes less fuel per kilometer than Vitz, Honda Fit or Nissan Note, and prices depreciate slowly. They may have limited space, but they are incredibly efficient.

Made up your mind and are looking to buy a used 2nd or 3rd generation Mazda Demio? Click the buttons below to view BE FORWARD’s quality and best-priced stock of each!