Mazda MX-5

21 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Mazda MX-5
Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5

Making a lot from very little, the Mazda MX-5 offers excellent bang for your buck, and is the epitome of good-time grassroots motoring

Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe

Road Test

Price Guide (recommended price before statutory delivery charges): $47,200

Options fitted to test car (not included in above price): Sports Pack $2605

Crash rating . Four-star

Fuel . 95-98 RON PULP

Claimed fuel economy (L/100km): 8.1

CO2 emissions (g/km): 192

Overall rating: 3.5/5.0

Engine and Drivetrain: 3.0/5.0

Price, Value, Practicality: 3.5/5.0

Safety: 2.5/5.0

Behind the wheel: 3.5/5.0

X-factor: 3.5/5.0

About our ratings

More than an icon, the Mazda MX-5 has become the automotive benchmark by which all other roadsters are measured. The lightweight, rear-wheel drive convertible conquering records many dearer marques could only dream of, including an impressive 900,000 cumulative sales since the lovable little drop top first went on sale back in 1989.

Adding an optional retractable hard top to the range in 2006 served only to further its appeal, the composite lid bringing coupe-like styling, security and practicality to MX-5 without compromising that wind in your hair feeling, or the car’s legendary dynamics. And for the record, the push-button operated roof retracts in around 12 seconds.

Mazda MX-5

Motivation still comes from Mazda’s spritely (MZR S-VT) 2.0-litre twin cam engine which manages 118kW @ 6700rpm and 188Nm @ 5000rpm. The normally aspirated four-cylinder mill is a touch rorty when compared to MX-5’s more luxurious (and more expensive) European rivals, but in a way this enhances that grassroots driving experience many owners so dearly covet.

In the instance of our test car, MX-5 is mated to a close-ratio six-speed gearbox enriched by a tactile short throw clutch and drive-by-wire throttle sending power to the rear wheels via a limited slip differential; although a six-speed ‘Activematic’ automatic transmission is available optionally, it is not offered with an LSD.

Mazda claim a combined fuel consumption average of 8.1L/100km for its manual gearbox-equipped MX-5 though we achieved a collective 9.4L during our test.

Adhering to its winning formula, the refreshed 2011 model’s cabin is appointed with much the same equipment found in previous incarnations including a Bose six-CD tuner (with 3.5mm auxiliary audio input), air conditioning, cruise control, power windows, power mirrors and remote central locking.

The layout is simple, and rather compact, all of MX-5’s dials and controls favouring the driver; its two sporty Recaro seats (courtesy of the optional Sports Pack) offering adequate bolstering for a supportive ride when roads get twisty.

MX-5’s tilt adjustable steering wheel offers a direct feel over the front wheels via a quick hydraulically assisted rack and pinion arrangement.

The roadster is suspended by a double wishbone front/multi-link rear set up which provides a terrific ride/handling compromise few will ever truly exploit.

Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are stopped by disc brakes at all four corners measuring 290mm at the front and 280mm at the rear and assisted by ABS and switchable electronic stability control. MX-5 scores a four-star ANCAP safety rating courtesy of front and side airbags, front and rear crumple zones, three point seatbelts with load-limiters and pretensioners plus a pair of roll over hoops behind the seats.

If you’re the type who favours the journey above simply reaching the destination – and you don’t need the space of a sedan – the MX-5 is an enjoyable and entrancing way to sample open top motoring in its purist form.

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Published. Thursday, 7 April 2011

Mazda MX-5
Mazda MX-5
Mazda MX-5
Mazda MX-5
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