- Brilliant fun to drive
- Stylish looks
- Built to a high standard
- Sportiness sacrifices comfort
- Not the most desirable badge
What's the Mazda MX-5 like?
Many hanker after the open air experience of an MX-5. They're great to drive, with loads of verve, tremendous steering and the most marvellous handling and roadholding.
It has stood out ever since it was launched and is still right up there with the most enjoyable drives on the market. It might not be the quickest, but this sports car is a hoot to drive and marvellous on a warm summer’s day with the top down.
From the earliest cars with their pop-up headlights to the latest 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre, this has been the best small sports car you can buy. Not only that, but would you believe, it has also been rated as 'Most Reliable Car in the World' in years gone by.
When it comes to an affordable 2-seater, it still stands out and has also stood the test of time.
Engines have been 1.6-litre, 1.8-litre, and 2.0-litres. Early 1.6-litre models had about 110bhp and are brilliant, but some later ones had the power cut to 90bhp. The 1.8-litre originally had 140bhp, but again, this was later reduced to 124bhp.
Latest models are a 1.5-litre with 130bhp which is a hoot, and a 2.0-litre with 157bhp that is quicker to 60mph by a second.
All bar some 1.6-litre models have a limited slip differential, which helps get the power down onto the road and also keeps occupants safer in adverse conditions.
Acceleration is good and all the engines have a wonderful free revving nature with smooth power delivery and a delightful, addictive sound.
All that is very, very good, but where these cars excel is in the corners.
The superbly direct power steering feeds road information to the driver’s hands like few others, and a brilliant chassis gives the most amazing grip and safe roadholding.
It's immensely agile and huge fun, and the ride is also much better than any such sports car has a right to.
Interior and Equipment
Putting the manual hood down takes a few seconds and can be done from the driver’s seat, but getting it back up again is easier from the outside.
When up, it’s completely weather tight and windproof, and most models come with a glass heated rear window. There's also a model with an electric metal roof, but it’s not as good-looking as the soft top.
Everything inside is beautifully to hand, and the tiny, short throw gear change is a joy to use.
There have been many different varieties and special editions, some of which have leather and aircon, but all have a marvellous driving position.
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Find your Mazda MX-5 your way with CarStore
If you don't need a lot of space and are after something that's sure to put a smile on your face, then the Mazda MX-5 is one of the best options on the market. Its engaging driving experience, top build quality, and fruity engine note all make it a much-loved car, especially in the summer when you can enjoy it with the roof down.