The Mazda MX-5 is a car that begs to be driven and the more you drive it the more addicted you become. It is a true sports car, with the handling to match. I am sure that there are many motoring pundits and enthusiasts that would disagree and no doubt there are better handling cars but at £15,000 this car is superb.
I drove the MX-5 around the Hereford/Welsh border which is excellent driving country and it performed faultlessly. It offers the right amount of power to be exciting - you can play with the car through bends, steer with the throttle should you desire and the MX-5 does exactly what you expect of it. The MX-5 is a very controllable car however, being rear wheel drive, the end will break away and it did but then it was January and icy and it still managed to feel reassuring. The 1.8 sport model does feature a Limited Slip Differential and larger 16” wheels and tyres as standard over the 1.6i model which aid its already considerable grip. The steering is precise and always gives the correct amount of feedback to the driver keeping you composed and in tune with the road.
The car is definitely more fun on country 'B' roads which allow for a more spirited drive; around town the car is fine, although with the roof up visibility can be a pain over your left and right shoulders. Mazda has stiffened the chassis by 22% over previous models and even though the ride is firm it didn't break my spine over the occasional pot hole and speed bumps.
At motorway speeds with the roof down the MX-5 is fun for the occasional blast. With the roof up wind noise is no more than you would expect and I covered long distances without any problems.
This is a 17-year+ news article, from our Mazda archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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