2018 Mazda2Relentless development in the world of the automobile means if you stand still for five minutes you’ll be overtaken by the hoard at your heels – or, in this context, rear bumper. Mazda’s current Mazda2 supermini was launched only in 2015 but by mid-2017 it had undergone a nip and tuck to freshen it up, ready for the onslaught of the latest Fiesta, Polo and a dozen others.

Lots has been tweaked to make this good little car better still, though beyond the new seat fabrics, lights and mirrors, you’d might be hard pushed to tell. Yet this Mazda2 does have a more contemporary look about it, and it’s still stand-out handsome in a world of dull conformity.

The Mazda2 drives better, too. The diesel engine has been dropped (diesels in small cars was always a crazy idea), and the chassis and steering have been fine tuned to make the Mazda2 drive better in greater comfort.

Mazda says it’s a small car even better equipped to take on big drives. Challenge accepted: we went to the Azores with Mazda to try it out on this scenic, mountainous, mid-Atlantic island. With its 1.5 litre petrol engine, devoid of turbo-chargers, the Mazda2 proved a terrific companion – light, nimble and eager to dash around the winding roads, yet comfortable when you just wanted to pootle about.

Take a look at the MR video to get more of a flavour.