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Mazda2 Maxx has been crowned the Best City Car for the fourth consecutive year in the 2017 Drive Car of the Year Awards.

The car outranked other finalists including the Suzuki Swift GL Navigator, the Kia Picanto S and Rio S, with judges praising the compact five-seater for its class-leading quality and versatility.

Drive Car Reviewer Daniela Intili said the Mazda 2 Maxx was once again a deserving winner in the highly competitive category.

“Overall, the Mazda 2’s unrivalled safety package, presentation and dynamics ensures it’s still the king of city cars in 2017 and a worthy first car purchase,” Ms Intili said.

“It’s an engaging little car to drive and the only one with a six speed auto; the engine is willing and perky and it can cruise just as well on the open road.”

Managing Director of Mazda Australia, Vinesh Bhindi, said it was an honour to see the Mazda2 Maxx maintain its standing in the hotly contested Drive Car of the Year Awards.

“We’re thrilled to see the Mazda2 Maxx named Drive’s Best City Car for the fourth year in a row,”  Mr Bhindi said.

“A busy urban lifestyle demands the right car to get you from A to B in style. The Mazda2 Maxx certainly meets this criteria, offering affordable and compact versatility, with efficient performance and all the latest safety features.”

Reflecting Mazda’s acclaimed KODO: Soul of Motion design philosophy, the Mazda2 Maxx is powered by a high-efficiency, SKYACTIV-G 1.5 litre, four cylinder petrol engine.

The Mazda2 Maxx also features the latest in safety, including Mazda’s i-ACTIVESENSE technologies. Forward Smart City Brake Support (SCBS-f) with Pedestrian Detection and Reverse Smart City Brake Support (SCBS-F) come as standard on the Maxx, and collision protection is offered with six airbags, including front, side and curtain.

Numbers that matter (Source: Drive)

250-litre boot

81kW makes it the most powerful of this group.

Verbatim: “It’s just a really together thing.” – David Morley

What we liked: Drives like a bigger car; good engine and transmission combination; plenty of safety.

What we didn’t like: Mazda has discontinued the optional Colour Pack for the interior; road noise is still intrusive; tight back seat.

Mazda2 Maxx price and specifications

Price: From $19,690 plus on-road costs

Engine: 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol

Power: 81kW at 6000rpm

Torque: 141Nm at 4000rpm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic, front-wheel drive

Fuel use: 4.9L/100km