Renovating a home in the midst of winter is not the greatest of ideas.
If it is not already tough enough to be down on hands and knees pulling carpet staples from wooden floorboards, the additional arthritic crippling of the cold is enough to make you seriously consider a trip down to Carpet Court for some replacement plush pile.
What’s it all got to do with car reviews?
Well renovating is a good reminder that the right tools for the job are going to make life a damn site easier.
And while it is often appropriate to have a sledge hammer and a brute of a ute at your disposal for the big jobs… a nifty little purpose made staple remover and a classy little Mazda2 Neo Hatch also proved handy tools of the trade in recent times.
Both would have to be the cheapest tricks in the toolbox and garage respectively too.
The Mazda2 Neo opens the now four model range of Mazda’s popular hatch, with prices starting at $14,990 for manual and $16,990 for the six-speed auto, hatch or sedan.
The Neo lands in your driveway with 15-inch wheels, power windows and mirrors (now with power folding feature), cloth trim, air-conditioning, cruise control, four-speaker stereo with Bluetooth and USB, keyless start and rear parking sensors.
The Mazda2 has safety features no other car at this level can manage. As well as the usual six airbags, ABS and traction and stability controls, even the base model 2 has city auto emergency braking and Mazda’s G-Vectoring technology.
The 1.5-litre petrol four is slightly down on power compared to the rest of the range, developing 79kW and 139Nm, while fuel consumption sits at a claimed 5.4L/100km for the manual and at 4.9L/100km for the auto.
Even with all that floor sanding and brick cutting dust up your nose, the performance of the Mazda2 Neo is nothing to sneeze at.
It was perfect for the regular dart down to Bunnings for more supplies….. ok, product exchanges!
It might be little, but the Neo is nimble, responsive and even a bit of fun to drive.
While it didn’t take the hard work out of winter renovations, it probably proved more handy to have around as my fully loaded, yet still largely untouched, tool box.