The Mazda MX-5 is a true sports car with the handling to match.
Around town the Mazda MX-5 is easy to drive the 6-speed gearbox is a little notchy but our test had not been run in yet. The 2.0i engine delivers the power in a precise manner allowing you to perfectly match each gear change within the correct power band.
In summary the Mazda MX-5 is a car that begs to be driven and the more you drive it the more addicted you become. The growl from the engine as the revs build is exhilarating and the engine is very flexible.
How It Drove - Ride and Handling
The Mazda MX-5 is a true sports car with the handling to match. It is very close to perfect. I am sure that there are many motoring journalists and enthusiasts that would disagree and no doubt there are better handling cars but at £21,000 this car is exceptionally good.
The third-generation Mazda MX-5 was developed with the Jinba Ittai philosophy still firmly in mind. Applied to the Mazda MX-5, Jinba Ittai means 'oneness between car and driver' - the sportscar reacting instantly to the driver's commands.
The third generation was launched with a stiffer and lighter bodyshell than the second-generation Mazda MX-5 it replaced. Now, the upgrade version carries on this tradition. It has high flexural and torsional rigidity and is roughly the same light weight as the original model, with an ideal 50:50 weight distribution.
It also retains the double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension systems, along with the Mazda MX-5's front-midship engine, rear-wheel drive layout with a stiff power plant frame in the transmission tunnel. This forms a rigid connection between the transmission and the rear differential to brace the chassis and suppress chassis deformation or flex during sporty driving. The 2.0-litre versions with manual transmission are equipped with a limited slip differential (LSD) that ensures optimum traction under all driving conditions.
Sport Tech models are equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, updated Bilstein dampers, front strut bracing bar, a six-speed manual transmission and front fog lamps. Overall the ride is supple, handling neutral and the steering is direct and perfectly weighted always giving the correct amount of feedback to the driver keeping you composed and in tune with the road ahead.
Ease of Use -
The Mazda MX-5 is a very easy car to drive and compared to most modern cars it is very basic with limited gadgetry to get to grips with. The Mazda MX-5 is more about pure unadulterated driving fun.
The cabin of the upgraded Mazda MX-5 offers enhanced comfort. The door cupholders, for instance, do not protrude into the cabin anymore, which provides more space for the occupants' legs. The door armrests and the floor console lid/armrest have new soft pads for better comfort.
Key Ease-of-Use features are carried over. The soft-top opens and closes manually in just a few seconds. The boot itself inherits the original model's size of 150 litres and can be opened easily by pushing a button either on the dashboard or on the remote key.
Parking and manoeuvring the Mazda MX-5 couldn't be more simple, with the roof down visibility is superb although, with the roof up it is a little difficult to see through the rear quarter lights and rear window.
Everything is ergonomically laid out within the cabin and due to its large doors it is surprisingly easy to get in and out of for such a low car.
Mazda MX-5 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Mazda Mazda MX-5 2.0i Sport Tech|
|Colour||Stormy Blue Mica|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||7.6 Seconds|
|Top Speed||132 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||47.9 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 10/06/10)||£20,645|