Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe 2.0I Sport Tech

Mazda_MX-5_Facelift_2012_stThe rear wheel drive Mazda MX-5 redefined the convertible game when it arrived 25 years ago but can it still fend off rivals, we find out writes Geraldine Herbert

What is it?  The MX-5 has attracted a loyal following for its smart looks, seductive character and affordable cost.

Who is it aimed at? This two seater is the world’s best selling sports car and is the ideal car for anyone seduced by the allure of top down driving.

Styling?A facelift last year sharpened the look with more muscular, pumped-out guards, triangular fog lamp and a rounded bonnet but the MX-5 remains instantly recognisable.

Under the Bonnet? Our test car came with a 2.0 litre petrol engine which dashes from rest to 60mph in 7.9 seconds and has a top speed of 135mph.

What about inside? Slid behind the wheel and the interior is basic but not sparse. The dark plastics of previous versions have given way to a good looking dash and better quality feel throughout.  Like all low slung roadsters getting in and out is almost a workout in itself but once nestled behind the small sport steering wheel it is very easy to get comfortable. Small mirrors, windows and snug cabin makes for poor visibility but all can be improved in seconds by dropping the hard top roof and it means you won’t miss a single admiring glance.  Operating the roof is simplicity itself but be warned you’ll have to pack light for weekends away.

On the Road?  Press you foot on the accelerator and instantly you discover just how much fun the MX-5 is. Take it on a twisty back road and it responds sharply, hangs on tenaciously and grips fearlessly. On the downside the engine needs to be revved to get the best out of it so it’s a tad tiring on long journeys and it does border on noisy.

Mazda_MX-5_Facelift_2012_2

And Safety? The  MX-5 not only looks great but it is as safe as any other car out there and comes with a host of active and passive safety features including airbags all around and traction and dynamic stability control to keep you firmly planted on the road at all times.

Economy?  Fuel efficiency  is not a strong point and  on a mix of city and motorway driving the MX-5 will return an average of 36mpg although  we found it a little more of a fuel guzzler than the official figure suggests. Co2 emissions are 181 g/km.

Verdict? So much fun and charm crammed into such an iconic roadster the MX-5 offers exquisite road handling and balance at an affordable price. Despite having only two seats, a miniscule boot and poor economy and emissions figures if it wasn’t for the kids, the family pets and the weekly shopping it would be at the very top of our wish list!

 

Why you’ll buy one? Fun to drive; Reliable; Classic

Why you won’t? A new 4th generation MX-5 has just been unveiled

 

Rivals

BMW Z4 – Priced from  £27,735

 

Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe 2.0I Sport Tech

Engine: 1999cc, 160ps @7,000 rpm, 188Nm @5,000rpm
Max speed: 
 135 mph
0-60 mph:  
7.9 seconds
Emissions :
  181 g/km
Model range:  From £19,995 (test car £23,095)
No of Doors: 2 doors
Euro NCAP : Not tested
Fuel type:  Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 36 mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up: 150 litres
Length: 4020mm
Width: 1720mm
Height: 1255mm
Wheelbase: 2330 mm

For more information check out Mazda UK or check out the video below for an overview of 25 years of the MX-5

Geraldine Herbert

17th July, 2014

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring journalist Geraldine Herbert is the founder of wheelsforwomen. A jury member for the International Women’s World Car of the Year, she has been a motoring journalist for over ten years and is the motoring expert for Good Housekeeping Magazine and their “Women at the Wheel” section of goodhousekeeing.co.uk. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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