The Mazda MX-5 is, incredibly, some 25 years old. But still Mazda has managed to keep their iconic roadster fresh and competitive. And it’s had yet another makeover.
The MX-5 has been cleverly updated through the years, along with a few special editions, and has achieved cult status. This is a desirable car. The current version is longer, wider and taller, with better engines, more power and improved fuel economy than its predecessors. But Mazda has preserved the appeal and style of the original.
I test drove the top-of-the-range Roadster Coupe 2.0i Sport Tech Nav which has a pleasant, short-travel six speed manual box as standard. There’s also a 1.5 litre option.
This is a tin top, with a powered metal roof which flips back and forth at the touch of a button. It’s a slick operation, a far cry from struggling to get a manual soft top back in place in the pouring rain!
The 2.0i Sport Tech comes at a competitive on the road price of £22,695. This includes smart alloys and leather upholstery.
The shark-nosed MX-5 continues to look sleek and fresh. It’s a classic roadster with simple lines and some nice touches, like the sharply sloping headlamps and attractive rear light cluster.
The 2.0 power unit puts out 160 horse power. It won’t leave you gasping with a 0-60 time of around 7.5 seconds, but it’s certainly quick enough and makes all the right noises. The gear shift is well-positioned and slick, with economical movement and you get more than adequate power throughout the range.
Handling is undoubtedly the MX-5’s strong point. It feels much bigger on the road than it actually is, with precise and responsive steering. Suspension is hard without being uncomfortable. Only the biggest bumps in the road will cause you to jump in your seat. All round, the car feels poised and well-balanced.
Cabin layout is attractive and functional at the same time, with nice use of materials. There’s storage space for bits and pieces in the centre console and between the seats, and the glovebox is well proportioned for a small cabin.
Power steering, satellite navigation, central locking, electric windows and mirrors, automatic climate control, leather seats and cruise control all come as standard on this model.
This is an attractive and stylish car, great fun to drive even with the top up, and it won’t set you back a fortune in running costs with a mixed driving economy figure of 36.2 miles to the gallon. The Mazda MX-5 just keeps on going.