Mazda MX-5 reviews | Expert and user reviews |

24 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Mazda MX-5 reviews | Expert and user reviews |
Mazda MX-5

Aggregated reviews, user reviews, videos, photos and stats

Rear wheel drive fun

Good value

Useable every day

Not that practical

Not great for tall people


Mazda’s MX-5 is in the Guinness Book of Records as being the highest-selling roadster of all time – and looking at the excellent reviews it gets, it isn’t hard to see why. Even in its current iteration it’s getting on a bit now, but the formula still works as well as when the original car hit the streets back in 1989.


The MX-5 has never really been known for a high-quality interior, and this model is no exception. The design works well enough, with nice shapes, a sporty steering wheel and clear dials, but the materials used are a little on the hard and nasty side in places.

There’s surprising storage space though, and the boot is decent enough for a weekend away. The driving position is spot-on for most people, with good seats, though the very tallest of drivers and passengers might want for more room. There’s a bit of wind noise at higher speeds with the roof up, but roof-down refinement isn’t too bad.


This is what the MX-5 is all about. Revisions a few years back cured some of the new car’s previous ills, such as iffy steering and handling that could catch out the unwary. Now critics say it rides, handles and steers as a sports car should.

It’s not quite as visceral as older MX-5s, but it’s a much better cruiser as a result, and still heaps of fun on the right roads. There’s plenty of grip and testers say it’s more progressive at the limit. Stability control will be welcome for those wanting the sports car feeling without the sports car handling characteristics.


Only two engines here, a 1.8 and 2.0, both naturally aspirated. Most overlook the 1.8 in favour of the 160bhp two-litre, which can accelerate to 60mph in 7.4 seconds and returns a reasonable 34.5mpg on average. It’s also better equipped.

The 1.8 is worth a look though. It’s not as quick, but the engine is a little sweeter, there’s still enough performance to have fun with, and it’s closer to the basic spirit of the original car. Both engines are fairly refined, and connected to one of the best gearshifts in the business – tight, quick and accurate.

Value for money

You can’t really fault the MX-5’s value, mainly because there’s little else to compare it with. MINI’s Roadster will soon be its most natural rival, but lacking the Mazda’s rear-drive balance, and the Lotus Elise is closest in concept, but far more expensive.

Equipment levels are good, running costs acceptable – the 1.8 will do 40mpg – and prices start at under £18,000, which is still only mid-range family hatchback money.

Worth noting

There are two roof options for the MX-5 – a regular fabric roof, and a hard folding option. The former is cheaper and a little lighter, the latter adds a little more roof-up refinement, and a more secure option.

An automatic gearbox is available too, but most recommend against it – it detracts from the fun, and it’s not the most sophisticated auto around.


The MX-5 is well worth a look if you’re in the market for something fun. It may lack the performance available in some modern coupes and sports cars these days, but in terms of pure fun it’s one of the best cars out there, and won’t cost you a fortune either. Perhaps best of all, it’s reliable, and you can use it all year round.

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