The latest Mazda MX-5 is awesome. It really is. And it’s not just our motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, who thinks it. But we got him to review it anyway!
The remarkable sports car has already been named Roadster of the Year in the UK – and has collected a truckload of other accolades around the world. But why is the MX-5 so brilliant? Well, the car has become part of modern folklore due to its simple, front-engined, rear-wheel-drive set-up – and that has been the case in all of its embodiments over the last two and a half decades.
Having made its British entrance at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed, the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 has an outstanding power to weight ratio, flawless 50:50 weight distribution and more tech and comfort than previous models. The Mazda MX-5 is offered with two petrol engines, and with nine models across five trim levels, the potent, yet pint-sized, the motor looks set to build upon the Japanese auto maker’s sway within the level-headedly priced sports car segment.
Preserving the driver-focused appeal that has made the Mazda MX-5 the top-selling two-up sports car of all time, it is clear that the engineering values behind the latest model have allowed Mazda to keep hold of the enjoyment, dexterity and engagement that has always embodied it.
The sprightliest MX-5 since the admired original, the new MX-5 is lower, shorter and wider than the last model, with the lowest centre of gravity and smallest overhangs yet. These dynamic proportions merged with Mazda’s KODO: Soul of Motion design principles, make sure that the MX-5’s styling mirrors its accent on driving pleasure in an unambiguously energetic and contemporary way.
Featuring Mazda’s prize-winning SKYACTIV tech, the MX-5’s efficient featherweight petrol-powered units deliver new levels of economy and performance. Across the range, the Mazda MX-5 features LED headlights, a leather steering wheel, alloy wheels, and a fabric hood.
SE-L MX-5s have LED running lights, a DAB radio, Bluetooth, cruise control and climate control air-conditioning. They also house Mazda’s connectivity and infotainment system with a seven-inch colour touchscreen display and Multimedia Commander. SE-L models with the 2.0-litre 160ps engine are characterised by piano black door mirrors and 17-inch Gunmetal alloy wheels.
Go up to Sport trim and both the 1.5 and 2.0-litre MX-5s feature rear parking sensors, smart keyless entry, rain-sensing wipers, heated leather seats and Premium Bose Surround-Sound. With the 1.5-litre engine, Sport trim MX-5 models come with 16-inch Gunmetal alloy wheels and piano black door mirrors. Sport models with the 2.0-litre 160ps engine profit from a dynamic set-up that comprises Sports suspension featuring Bilstein dampers, a limited slip differential and strut tower bar, while visually, they are distinguished by their 17-inch Bright alloy wheels and body-coloured wing mirrors.
But perhaps the most marvellous aspect of the Mazda MX-5 is that when the original model was launched back in 1990, it cost £14,249 (that’s £31,687 today), yet 25 years later, with far more standard kit, the new Mazda MX-5 costs from £18,495. This means, more than ever before, the MX-5 sets the yardstick as one of the globe’s best and most reasonably priced sports cars.
Certainly, it seems with its light design, composed cabin, excellently engineered mechanicals and stable handling, the newest Mazda MX-5 is ready to further advance its place in the hearts of automotive admirers.
Why not pop into your local Perrys Mazda dealer to try an MX-5 out for yourself?
Pros ‘n’ Cons
- Entertaining √
- Handling √
- Looks √
- Limited room X
Fast Facts (2.0-litre petrol 160ps manual)
- Max speed: 133 mph
- 0-62 mph: 7.3 secs
- Combined mpg: 40.9
- Engine layout: 1998cc, 4 cylinder, 16 valve petrol
- Max. power (PS): 160
- CO2: 161 g/km
- MX-5 price range: £18,495 – £23,690