New Mazda2 Owner - Suspension Questions

Hi all,

I'm the new owner of a 12' Mazda Mazda2 Sport with 5-speed manual. The car has ~80k miles on it. I bought this car to replace my previous daily driver, a 93' Honda Civic DX hatchback. My situation in life changed due to having a baby, and I needed something more reliable and most importantly safer than the Civic. I've had my Civic for about 4 years and completely loved it, done a D15B VTEC swap, swapped over Integra suspension, etc. Out of newish cars, it seemed to me that the Mazda2 would be the closest thing to my Civic, which will probably get sold shortly.

I've been enjoying the Mazda2 so far. The shifter is pretty slick. The only thing that has really taken some getting used to is the steering. I'm not used to power steering, so it feels pretty light and sloppy at low speeds. The Civic definitely has better steering feel, but I'm getting used to the Mazda2's steering and enjoying it more and more as I get familiar with it. It's certainly far more precise and faster, which isn't a bad thing.

It seems like there is a lot of old information about these cars, and a lot of products that were formally sold are no longer available, so I have a few questions about suspension upgrades, etc. The goal of this car is to be a fun daily driver that I can drive my wife and baby in comfortably. I'd like to lower the car a bit from the stock monster truck ride-height and improve handling as much as I can without sacrificing the ability to drive my family in it. If I can't drive my family in it, the car is totally useless. This car will be more of an occasional family car, we have another car to drive around most time.

I'm mostly trying to determine if either of the Racing Beat or Eibach lowering springs would be appropriate on this car. My guess is the Racing Beat springs are pretty mild and wouldn't make much of a difference. The Eibach seem like they are lower, but it's unclear if they would have a better or worse ride. It seems like the Eibach ride pretty well due to being progressive, but I'm unsure. My other worry is that the high-mileage shocks won't be able to handle the new springs, so this is something to consider. I'm not sure I can justify new shocks as well as springs.

The other thing I'm considering is sway-bars. It looks like only the Corksport, DDMWorks and Mazdaspeed rear sway-bars are available anymore. I can't find any new front sway-bars for sale. The Corksport is priced right, and seems like it'd be a reasonable upgrade, but it seems like people have problems with them breaking, so I'm not sold on it. And the DDMWorks requires drilling, which I don't like. If this was a fun-only car, I'd probably go for it, but it seems overkill for the purpose of the car. I have a set of Enkei RPF-1s 15x7 from my Civic with 200 TW tires or something which I plan on swapping over at the very least. Nothing really seems to be worn out suspension wise, except the front sway-bar endlinks. I'm thinking about replacing them with the Moog items, since they're cheaper and the stock units seem like they're made out of plastic or some really wimpy metal.

The only thing that really seems like I need to address first on the car is some general maintenance, like changing the oil, spark-plugs. There is an issue with a vibration during braking downhill that I need to figure out first. So far it seems like a fun car for what it is, and I'm certainly enjoying it.