If you're looking for a tiny Mazda vehicle in the US, the Mazda3 compact sedan and hatchback are the smallest you can buy. The globally-available Mazda2 is not available in North America; Mazda stopped selling the model several years ago. It kind of returned in the form of the Toyota Yaris hatchback, but it was discontinued prior to the 2021 model year.
However, the Japanese brand has something even smaller in its home market. Called the Mazda Carol, it gets a massive update for 2022 and continues to be automaker's entry to the Kei category. If it looks familiar, it's the twin brother of the Suzuki Alto that's sold in Japan and other parts of the world.
The revamped Mazda Carol measures exactly the same as the Alto. It also shares the 658cc R06A inline-3 engine with the Suzuki, as well as the 657cc R06D mild-hybrid powertrain. Surprisingly, there's an all-wheel-drive version, but the most fuel-efficient setup is the 2WD MHEV that registers up to 65.2 miles per gallon (27.7 kilometers per liter) per WLTC.
The partnership between Suzuki and Mazda in the Kei class goes as far back as the late '80s when the latter re-entered the segment. Similar in body structure and styling to its Suzuki counterpart, the Carol has always differed from the Alto with its cabin appointments.
Don't You Just Love These Small Cars?
The story's the same for the 2022 model year. Since Suzuki has just introduced the ninth-generation Alto in Japan this December, Mazda is following suit with the eighth-generation Carol.
The Mazda Carol will be available in Japanese dealerships by mid-January 2022, with a starting sticker price of 998,800 yen or around $8,680 at the current exchange rates.
There isn't any chance that the Mazda Carol will be officially sold in the US. That shouldn't be a problem at all since Mazda's crossovers are more popular in the country, led by the CX-5.