Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016
- Low cost option for a fun and sporty car
- Stylish and fun to drive
- Reasonably comfortable
- Limited boot space
- Rather indifferent interiors
The Mazda Mx-5 is the third generation of the massively popular roadster concept that made its debut in 1989. It is the best selling two-seater sports car in the world, quickly approaching a sales figure of 1 million. It's a comfortable and sporty car that adds the zing and fun-factor to everyday driving. The 3rd generation, although designed the same way as the first model 20 years ago, is a completely new car, built from scratch. Even the first MX-5 wasn't a bad car but the Japanese engineers have managed to make a big improvement with their latest effort.
Exterior and Interior
Mazda have done a good job designing the latest MX-5. It still retains that techy Japanese look, but is modern enough to stand out. Available in so many body colour choices and finished to a high standard, it is guaranteed to look good.
Having built the 3rd generation from scratch, the designers have managed quite a number of improvements. Without affecting the overall dimensions and weight of the vehicles, they've increased the boot space by 8 litres (at 144-litres it will barely fit in your weekly shopping), added some new compartments in the cabin and created a drink holder with 4 holes. Puzzlingâ€¦ two seats, four drinks?
There's nothing special in the interior of the MX-5. They're mostly dressed in dark colours, however, the quality of materials is high and the overall impression is good. It still looks elegant and the controls are easy to find and use.
Performance and Economy
Although the MX-5 is less expensive as new (compared to an MG or a Fiat Barchetta), the cars depreciate slowly. They're mostly driven by serious people and are well kept, that's why the prices on the used car market are reluctant to go down. Adding to the price is the good reputation and high quality of build.
Performance-wise, both 1.8 and 2.0-litre engines will offer enough power for the car to show off its sporty character. Both cars can reach speeds over 120mph, but the 2.0-litre engine with 157BHP is significantly more fun. The good news is that they're both quite restrained with fuel consumption. The 1.8-litre version reaches 38mpg or a bit more. The top-spec model can reach 37mpg if driven carefully, impressive for a car of this nature.
When it comes to insurance, the lower-specification MX-5 is group 22, while the 2.0-litre version is classified as group 26. These are pretty low insurance groups for a sports car.
Like to Drive
Although it's not a supercar, it comes pretty close. The MX-5 was built for fun and that's what it delivers ‐ pure fun. The current generation also introduced a sportier suspension, stability control and traction control. It has improved handling and made it a safer car (although it's not a perfectly safe car considering its dimensions and the lack of a proper roof).
The car offers a superb grip even at high speeds and both the steering and braking is keen and responsive. The seating position is quite comfortable as long as it fits your preference. If it doesn't you have to get used to it, because the seats are not adjustable. The car has a limited practicality but a recent study revealed that the majority of us drive on our own or rarely take more than one passenger. The truth is that many of us don't need a big car ‐ if you're one of them, the Mazda MX-5 will provide great value for money.
Faults and Repairs
Mazda MX-5 is known for superb build quality; it's a fine-tuned car with harmonious engines and gearboxes. The brand new suspension that it received in 2005 ensures a long lifespan. Because it's an open car, the main problems are often more or less to do with its roof or interior. Inspect the cabin before buying an MX-5 ‐ patches and discolouration should tell you that the car has been driven through the rain with the roof down. The folding mechanism can be sometimes sticky and it is difficult and expensive to repair.