Despite adding some extra kit to the 2’s various trim levelsand some glossy paint detail to this Sport Black version, Mazda hasn’t messed with the mechanicals of the supermini.

That’s no bad thing, given that it only reworked the car recentlyandthe2’s handling and performance have earned the car a solid placing in our ranking of the top 10 superminis. Mazda’s philosophy of producing cars with relatively low weight and powered by efficient engines pays off here.

The 89bhp version of theSkyactiv-G engine in the Sport Black performs best when it’s being worked. While there are occasional flat spots in the power delivery when not using many revs, put the effort in and the engine is capable of brisk progress, helpedby a typically excellent Mazda gearbox. The engine is also efficient; we were able to average just over 50mpg during our test.

The ride is largely good, too, feeling smooth over all but the roughest of bumps,combinedwith consistent, well-weighted handling.

It’s worth noting that this 2’s combination of ride, handling and mid-range engine doesn’t necessarily result in the sportiest of packages.This might disappoint those who take the Sport Black’s nameliterally, but there is enough performance for most buyers of this type of car.

The £15,995 Sport Black is largely based on the mid-level SE-L Nav+ trim, which means you get automatic lights and wipers, LED foglights, rear parking sensorsand adjustable cruise control. For comparison, a 2 inSE-L Nav+ trim with the 89bhp engine costs £14,895.

The interior layout is largely unchangedand you’ll find little to criticise here;it’s simply laid out, clear, uncluttered and comfortable. The seats are supportiveand the controls arewhere you’d want them to be. Sport Black models get a few extra trim details, including some carbonfibre effect on the dashboard.

That said, the 7.0in colour infotainment screen (which can also be controlled with a centre console-mounted rotary dial) is beginning to show its age compared with the bigger, brighter systems in newer class rivals such as the Seat Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo. However, much like the way the2 drives, what the infotainment lacks in shineit compensates for with an intuitive, easy-to-use system.

Mazda 2 Sport Black 2018 UK review