The Mazda MX-5 has become a sanctuary for anyone that savours cheap, simple – but ultimately hugely rewarding motoring.
This is the smallest MX-5 ever built – it’s 100kgs lighter than the car it replaces. Mazda’s attention to detail (when it comes to weight) makes its presence felt both on the straights and in the corners. It means the MX-5 doesn’t need stiff suspension to contain lean in corners – so there’s no body roll, but the car is also comfortable on the UK’s bumpy broken roads.
That’s also helped by the new 1.5-litre engine that’s 100cc smaller than the entry-level engine in the old car – allowing Mazda to sit it further behind the front wheels. The larger 2.0-litre petrol is praised by reviewers for its eagerness to rev and linear power. It is non-turbocharged so the MX-5 is not as quick in the midrange but will achieve close to the advertised fuel economy.
Despite its very reasonable price, the MX-5 comes well equipped – even base models get LED headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, electric windows, remote central locking, heated wing mirrors, traction control, stability control and a multitude of airbags.
The Mazda MX-5 is a brilliant sports car. The fact it's the best-selling sports car only reinforces that claim
This kind of simple driving enjoyment that the Mazda MX-5 provides is hard to match at any price, but the fact that it should be reliable and economical too only makes it more tempting. Assuming you only need two seats, and luggage space isn’t a priority, it seems rather difficult to find any weaknesses.