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Mazda MX-5 consumer car reviews and road tests

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Mazda MX-5 consumer reviews by year of make: 1989  1990  1992  1993  1994  1995  1996  1998  1999  2000  2002  2003  2004  2005  2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011 

Mazda MX-5 consumer car reviews

Chris, Bristol

Mazda MX-5 2005 - 2008

5 star review

Well I've had my mk3 for a couple of weeks now and it's brilliant. It's 7 years old with 70000 miles and it feels as tight as a brand new car. Couple of answers to the questions that I had before I bought are: I'm 6'4" and I fit fine - need to perfect a more graceful exit technique though! I play golf and my clubs fit in the boot fine (except driver which goes in cabin). It's all about the handling & open top experience really but the 1.8 is plenty fast enough (although I do have a motorbike for serious speed thrills). Yes the cabin is a bit noisy but then if this doesn't suit perhaps a convertible isn't for you. Don't expect 40MPG - like most manufacturer quotes it's about 8 less. For a sporty, low car the suspension is lovely while still providing great handling - leave it alone unless you're off to the track. Cons? No spare tyre is a bit annoying, um, um, the neighbours cat slept on the roof and left fur all over it until I got a sonic cat deterrent!! Other than that, for the money (I paid under 4k, ins £220 @ 36) it's absolutely awesome. Do it.....or buy a Fiesta , whatever!

Submitted: 2014-06-11 | ID: 97450

Antony Marriott, Leicestershire

Mazda MX-5 1.8 se 2008

5 star review

Owned my MK 3 for 4 years now and it still feels as tight as the day I bought it. Routine servicing has been the only expense so far. I didn’t realize how bad my old Celica was to drive (sorry celica owners) until I tried the Mazda. Everybody says it, but it’s true, you feel a connection with the road. It makes every journey an enjoyable event. Definitely a car for those who enjoy their driving. I could really do with two more seats but can’t even contemplate driving a souless eurobox which are so easy and dull to drive. These are obviously produced for the A to B brigade who don’t actually enjoy their driving. The fact that the mx5 is a soft top is an added bonus, roll on summer!

Submitted: 2013-02-01 | ID: 42822

Michael P. R. Stephenson, Yorkshire

Mazda MX-5 1.8 2011

2 star review

If you must have a new sports car, there’s not too much competition for the money. However, the gearbox is poor; having to push the pedal to the floor is irritating, and dictates your driving position before you even start. The gearbox is notchy, and the engine when manoeuvering to say park would rather stall than go. On the first MOT at 2500 miles the wipers failed (not covered by the warranty, of course) and cost £47.50 for replacements. So much for famous ’bulletproof’ build quality! The heater when you need it in frosty conditions works when it feels like it and doesn’t clear the screen. If you can find any roads these days the driving experience can be rewarding. My Mazda dealer (Tordoff’s, Leeds) offer nothing in customer care, in fact you’re lucky to get a cup of coffee, and come nowhere near my experiences with Polar Ford dealerships. All in all  although I’ve had two new MX5s I will go for something more sensible next time, either a Jazz, which was great, a Fiesta, also great, or a Golf.

Submitted: 2012-12-26 | ID: 42821

Mike Wilson, Berkshire

Mazda MX-5 Mk 2.5 2002

5 star review

These are wonderful cars. Bolted together like a German car but with Japanese reliability. Corners on rails in the dry and fun to drive in the wet, because the back end will go easily enough if you let it. Comfortable too - my wife and I drive to Cornwall in it and prefer it to much bigger saloon cars we’ve owned. My only slight criticism would be to ensure you get yourself one with 6 gears as you’ll really want to change up when you get to 70 mph. However, you won’t regret buying one. If you buy an old one you can run it for 10 years and probably get what you paid for it.

Submitted: 2012-08-29 | ID: 42823

Panos, Greece

Mazda MX-5 2004

5 star review

A great car. Bought with 38k kms, now on its 80ish k with no problems whatsoever. Serviced once every 18 months. This is my second car and it is enjoyed greatly every time it’s driven. It’s not very fast, 1.6 version, but the fun is in the setup not the speed. Equally enjoyed in town or country and its looks are classic and modern at the same time. I can’t get enough of it. I would recommend it anyday for an everyday or a weekend car.

Submitted: 2011-12-27 | ID: 42824

Todd Fisher, United States of America

Mazda MX-5 Grand Touring PHT 2011

5 star review

This is a great car! I’ve owned three and the 2011 is the best so far. I also ride a motorcycle and when the weather is not behaving, the MX-5 is a great substitute. Quality is up there with Honda. I hope to always have an MX-5 in the garage. I bought my last one on my birthday. Time to go get yours! ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM!<br /><br />

Submitted: 2011-06-07 | ID: 42812

Bill McKenzie, United States of America

Mazda MX-5 2011

5 star review

This 2011 is my third MX-5, never had any trouble with any of them. Fun and solid car. Thanks Mazda for making a great car.<br /><br />

Submitted: 2011-05-25 | ID: 42813

Mark C, Devon

Mazda MX-5 1.6L 1995

5 star review

I bought the car a year ago with 100,000 on the clock, what a fantastic car. It’s great fun and very reliable, would buy another one tomorrow.

Submitted: 2011-04-12 | ID: 42814

Dave Barr, Lanarkshire

Mazda MX-5 Euphonic 2004

4 star review

Great car and totally reliable. Only niggles have been fan belt that squeals in damp weather (I am on my fourth in 18 months) and now the rear sill is rusting through and will need about £400 of bodywork repairs per side. Saddens me Mazda didn’t protect this area better, they rust through from the inside so be careful with cars 2005 and older. Drive mine through deep puddles and the engine management gets wet and the electrics play up for several hours/days. Unusual alternator/voltage control arrangement and it’s £300 for an alternator! Would like to upgrade to a Mark 3 but need to pay for sill repairs first, which loses me £800 to £1000 straight away. If I get a mark 3 I will have it stripped out and get into the sills with a snake camera the first weekend!

Responses to this review

I too own a 2004 2.5 euphonic and I am glad to say I have not experienced any of the problems mentioned by Dave. Rusting of the rear sills can be caused by the hood drain holes being blocked allowing water to enter the sill area. My car has only covered 19k and is a weekender, however, knowing about problems with rust, prompted me to have a full dinitrol treatment carried out by a professional and comprising of treatment to the underside of the vehicle and wax injection into all the cavities. Although this is not cheap, I felt it worthwhile. It can be done at home but without a compressor and all the other necessary equipment it is difficult to achieve the same results - Janet Lyon from Lancashire

Submitted: 2011-03-01 | ID: 42819

John Stamp, Norfolk

Mazda MX-5 2.0l sport tech roadster 2010

5 star review

Got it in the snow just before Christmas. Owned a mk 2.5 for 5 1/2 years. This is a step up in every way.

Submitted: 2011-02-09 | ID: 42818

Patrick Allen, Kent

Mazda MX-5 2.0i 2006

5 star review

Owned soft top 2.0i from new since 2006. Only niggle some of the wheel nuts rusted after first winter, which were replaced by Mazda. Excellent handling wish it was faster!

Submitted: 2011-01-28 | ID: 42817

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Have your say!

Peter Garton, England

Mazda MX-5 1.8 1999

4 star review

I swapped a very troubled MG TF for my Mazda MX-5 30 months ago. Inspite of it having 80000 miles instead of the MG’s 26000 it has never let me down unlike the poorly built MG. I have just traded her in with 120000 miles and she was still as tight as a drum and a credit to Mazda in terms of build quality. The only bad point would be the rust factor which is common on all the but the MK3’s I believe. The MX-5 goes round corners on rails and the steering is as direct and precise as any car I have ever driven. Friends have been known to take the micky, but as I point out I have owned some seriously cool performance cars in the last decade and the MX-5 is to my eyes the most fun even with the lack of power; I had a Supra Twin turbo MK4 with a moon roof and know one believes me when I say I prefer the drive of the Mazda more, power is not everything it would seem. I do now fancy a change and am now looking at the most recent MR2 instead as I do like a little mid engined balance. The Mazda did catch me out twice when driving to hard in the wet and I did end up facing the wrong way on a roundabout lol good old sporting lift off oversteer. I do miss the old girl but time for a change I think, but I will buy another in the future I am sure.

Responses to this review

Lift off oversteer in an MX5? Think you might be getting confused with your MG. Agree with everything else you have said about the 5. The best car every built for making driving zero’s into hero’s. Never quite been able to steer anything else on the throttle the way I could my old "hair dressers" MX5 - Paul Reed from Dorset

Submitted: 2011-01-22 | ID: 42815

Khalid Khan, Kuwait

Mazda MX-5 2.0 Coupe hard top convertible 2008

4 star review

The Middle East is a great place for anyone who likes cars. They’re cheap to buy and maintain, and petrol’s cheaper than water (a fiver for a full tank of super unleaded in Kuwait, anyone?) I’ve owned a number of cars over the years, new and old, exotic and mundane. The MX5 is right up there with the very best I’ve ever owned (a gorgeous 2001 Porsche 911 Turbo, a bulletproof 1994 Porsche 911 and a magnificent 2008 Golf GTI with a PDK gearbox). The Mazda’s reliable, cheap to maintain, and tremendous fun because of its rear wheel drive, light weight and eager engine and gearbox. The only niggles I’ve had are: (a) the engine’s a bit rattly sometimes for a car with only 30,000km on the clock, (b) the clutch squeaks (probably only needs a squirt of WD40), (c) the gearbox occasionally feels a bit notchy. and (d) the cabin’s a bit rattly (not helped by inevitable expansion and contraction caused by 50 degrees heat in the shade, no shade, and ice cold AC). However, these niggles pale when you drop down a gear and grin like a lunatic as the car’s size and handling flatter your driving ability and shorten your daily commute. I’ve wanted an MX5 for 15 years. However, I was crushed when my 2 younger brother’s derided them. One said it was a hairdresser’s car, and the other said I should wait until I could afford a proper sports car. I was young and stupid and so I submitted to the peer pressure. I should have ignored them. The Mazda is a great little car. Everyone should have one!<br /><br />

Submitted: 2010-10-27 | ID: 42811

Liz Glenn, Worcestershire

Mazda MX-5 MX5 Sports Tech 2010

3 star review

I have a cracked windscreen Radiating from the RH Lower A Post from Under the Seal. I took it into the dealership who agreed with me and every other person who has seen it that there is no evidence of a stone chip. There are several reports of this fault on the internet and by all accounts Mazda USA have it registered as a known fault. Mazda UK are insistent that it is caused by a stone chip. This has been going on for 3 weeks now, disgraceful. I bought this new Mx5 after owning a 2002 model for 5 years I will think very carefully about buying another one if this is the customer service you get.

Submitted: 2010-09-08 | ID: 42810

Joe Wilson, Durham

Mazda MX-5 1.8secc 2010

5 star review

I just love it.

Submitted: 2010-08-01 | ID: 42809

Bram Emmerson, New Zealand

Mazda MX-5 1989

5 star review

What can I say that hasn’t already been said before? Brilliant? No, better than that. 5 stars, but only because I can’t give it more. This is our fourth MX5. Two were Eunos Roadsters (Japanese imports) and 2 were NZ new. The NZ new ones differ in that they didn’t come equipped with power steering, air cond. or electric windows. I think they are the best. Our current MX5 is "89 NZ new but has been retro fitted with power steer. And this is the best. We payed NZ$3500 for it, to a lady who was leaving the country. Should have payed more but her loss is our gain. Even with the economic downturn we can’t lose on this puppy should we choose to sell it but that would take some fairly serious arm twisting to covince us to. Like most MX5 lovers (I mean owners) we are fortunate in that it came equipped with its own set of rails to drive on. Although I’ve never actually seen them I know they are there somewhere. I can remember a time before I owned an MX5, but oh so vaguely. It’s almost as if my life didn’t start until I had the pleasure of sitting in the 1st one we purchased. We’ve only owned ’89 or ’90 NA series cars and haven’t yet experienced later models let alone higher horse power examples. Maybe one day we will but even if we don’t I will never ever feel deprived. My wife uses ours as her daily driver to and from work while I get stuck in our Bighorn so as I can drag a truck load of tools around with me. Wow, imagine that, being able to drive one every day. MX5’s were created for people like me and more importantly, I was created for cars like MX5’s. If you haven’t owned one may I suggest you do. At the very least, borrow or hire one, especially on a nice warm day and fold the roof down and see if you don’t get even the slightest amount of pleasure from it. My wife tells me she loves me and I tell her I love MX5’s. She understands. MX5’s forever.

Responses to this review

Hello Bram, I’m an old Aussie from Sydney now retired to Paris, and recently the owner of a ’94 1.8l MX5 I found in England. It’s in great original shape, but during my drive back to Paris I could not decide whether the steering was unassisted and just a trifle heavy, or power-assisted and needing a flush and top-up. From a search around, I still am none the wiser. Since you obviously love these little treasures as I do, perhaps you could let me know. Mine came new from California, USA in 1994 loaded with ’boys’ toys’ extras, massive speakers and self-locking doors which I plan to disconnect. Do you know a nice owner’s manual for the older MX5s? - Thanks parispete1@yahoo.com Pete Finlayson from France

Submitted: 2010-04-12 | ID: 42797

Rachel Marr, Yorkshire

Mazda MX-5 2000

5 star review

A Brilliant little car, easy to fit in (I’m 6’1" and couldn’t get in the BMW Z3) This little car has been buried under 3 foot of snow for the past three weeks then started first time! I wish my hubby was as reliable!!! :-)<br /><br />

Submitted: 2010-02-18 | ID: 42799

Keith Scrivener, Essex

Mazda MX-5 MX5 2007

2 star review

Great little car to go to the gym and running races in. I have never had any trouble with it. Buy one.

Submitted: 2010-02-14 | ID: 42800

Tracey Agnew, Northumberland

Mazda MX-5 2.0i 6-speed Sport-Tech (Option Pack) 2005

5 star review

We’ve owned this car for 2 months now and it’s great! It has 35,000 on the clock, leather seats etc. When we got into it, we knew we would buy it and a test run convinced us, it’s brilliant to drive! Build quality is superb and the hood is simple to operate. It needs alot of right-foot to reach it’s full potential, but this car is not about speed. We have the best fun at slower speeds along country roads. With the roof down on a warm autumn day and some nice classical music, it’s bliss and you can easily hear eachother talk! The engine note is satisfying and the handling is 100% safe. The car feels really solid and the boot space is impressive. We love this car and the whole driving experience that goes with it. I used to hanker after a Porsche Boxster, but who needs one when you’ve got a car as fun and cheap to run as this?

Submitted: 2009-12-07 | ID: 42801

Syd Taylor, Staffordshire

Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe 2009

4 star review

Everything's going for it, so why don't you go for it? It harvests the traditional sports car virtues without getting stuck in the rut of the past. It's as up to date as the date on today's calendar and has the charm and appeal to make everyday feel like that special holiday. There's all the dash and flair one could wish for without the flash of the exhibitionist - so if you could package fun in commonsense and splash it with a dash of sunshine, this treat would be hard to beat. We're talking glowingly about Mazda's latest MX5 - with origins back to 1989 - which continues the great sports car tradition that dashing young (and old) blades have known and loved for generations. Being a Mazda, It's as reliable as a banker's bonus; with a plus factor that prices haven't gone through the roof (Starting at £19345 for the Roadster Coupe tested, but Soft top MX5s start at just over £16000). This little Mazda is simply amazing and one wonders why everyone doesn't grab themselves a share. Delighted owners derive satisfaction from the fact that they're members of a very exclusive club. An exclusivity that doesn't depend on a bottomless wallet, but a reservoir of sense, spiced with a sense of fun - brrrm brrrm! zoom zoom! And fun is what this sporty Mazda is all about. Whether you're driving it or passing by you can't help but smile. Once the high revving 159bhp 2.0 litre engine (You can have a 1.8 litre124bhp version) is alive it breathes through an exhaust with a lovely sporty note; hinting at the fun to come. Settling into the comfortable hot seat you take in your surroundings and appreciate the practical cabin - with plenty of room for two and their bits and pieces - where everything combines to stir the emotions ready for that delectable sports car enjoyment. It's fitted with welcome features such as power windows, airbags and a jolly good quality stereo system. And, of course, if fresh air action is your thing, you just push a button and...Hey Presto! Electric power folds that metal roof away in seconds. Grasp the steering wheel, which fits snugly into you hands, snick the gearlever into the first of the six gears, blip the throttle to amplify the burbling exhaust and fuel the sense of exhilaration and you're ready to go. On the grimy streets of our decaying cities the MX5 shines like a neon as you elicit admiring glances and pointing fingers: the sculpted styling and curvaceous shape enhancing the considerable road presence. Impeccable manners born of responsive steering, astute brakes and well tuned suspension mean that smooth progress can be made even along streets deliberately fouled with humps, ramps and tank traps by the overpaid zealots from the Ministry of Nastiness and Elimination of Fun. Out on my top-secret test route things really began to buzz. I couldn't help but push it hard and utilise the 159bhp. Acceleration is sharp and smooth, steering is wonderfully weighted and there's lots of grip - and should you push to lunatic levels where even the traction control won't save you, you can bring it back into line with a quick flick of the wheel - because it's rear wheel drive. It handles like a pedigree without any niggles whatsoever, doing all that's required so well that the wonder is that you're not caught in a permanent state of wonder. It holds the road so tenaciously that you don't even question it, and it delivers punch enough to take you to near 130mph when needed, without the trepidation that can accompany ludicrously quick supercars. You don't need that sort of nonsense on today's roads. What you need is enough zip to act as a pick-me-up, and the reassurance that comes with sublimely adjusted engineering. The sort of car, in short, that won't spin out when you take it for a spin - but will weave a little magic web of its own. Monsieur and Madame Toad might not take to the road in such a vehicle, but the less terminally desperate will certainly find it's the cat's whiskers. And the running costs - even though I only achieved about 29mpg - are bound to leave any owner purring. It's very definitely the cream of small sports cars - and do I want one in my Christmas stocking? Yes Rudolph. Yes! On a grim November night on a damp road in a traffic jam, this car is a veritable shaft of sunlight.

Submitted: 2009-12-07 | ID: 42802

Michele Sheppard, England

Mazda MX-5 Eunos V-Spec Roadster 1843cc 1994

5 star review

My favourite car so far, had it since April 05. Added the K&N air filter kit, which gives it that little bit extra and a nice sound when you floor it! It was a Japanese import, sails through MOT’s, all I have put on it since purchase is new tyres, filter kit, and one brake caliper needed replacing, but that’s it. What more can I ask, excellent, love it.

Responses to this review

Hello, Michele, I’m an Aussie retired to Paris and recently the buyer of a lovely old 1.8 MX5 from the UK. The car came with a journal tracing its life from sold new in ’94 California, through Europe, to England in about ’08, but no technical information. It’s in wonderful condition, but among the mysteries I am enjoying solving is whether or not this model has power steering. It steers well, but a bit heavily. Since yours may be the same layout, could you let me know? - parispete1@yahoo.com Pete Finlayson from France

Submitted: 2009-10-01 | ID: 42804

Lewis Buckle, Somerset

Mazda MX-5 1.6i 1998

5 star review

Bought it last weekend. My first MX5, but my second soft top (previously owned an MG Midget). I live out in the sticks in Somerset... Compared to other cars I drive (BMW 5 series to Peugeot Estate), it’s not brilliant at most things. It’s bumpy, noise levels mean the radio is little more than a distraction - and as for conversation on a hands free... Chatting with the wife becomes a non-stop shouting match (I hope you never made that comment out loud - your wife may hear). It’s also drafty, uneconomical, uncomfortable.... and the best motoring fun I’ve had for years! I’m a guy who HATES driving! I travel 110 miles a day commuting, and have done for years. This car has restored what was lost in just a couple of miles. Why? Take the top down, and you’re no longer in a cocoon; isolated from what’s around you. Somehow, you become more aware, part of the environment. You don’t even have to stop to be able to smell the roses. Any fatigue/frustration/angst just melts away with the pleasure of driving. The car is very retro in feel and handling, harping back to some early 60’s sports cars. The modern chassis and handling is much better though. Personally, if a Ferrari Vito or Bugatti Hi-Lux or whatever wants to drag away from me that’s fine; back to peace, quiet and no exhaust fumes. Horses for courses...

Submitted: 2009-10-01 | ID: 42803

Michael PR Stephenson, Yorkshire

Mazda MX-5 1.8 Option pack 2008

2 star review

After a years ownership, I’m usually bored with a car, and the MX5 is no different. The performance is fair, the gearbox is poor, MPG around town is about 25 mpg, though on a run approaching 50, mainly because you can’t find any roads to go fast on these days. It’s fairly comfortable, if a bit cramped. The pedals, being too far away, determine your seat position (height 5ft 9ins) because you have to push the clutch pedal right to the floor, which I find irritating. I’ve had the wheel nuts replaced under warranty through rust, and there are one or two more nuts rusting. I don’t like the Mazda dealers that I’ve come across; and wasn’t even offered a coffee when having a service at JCT Leeds. I expected to be inventing reasons to drive it this summer, but that’s not been the case. I’ve only done just over 3,000 miles. The best bit is that, everywhere I go, people love it, and I get loads of envious glances and envious remarks. I don’t like to disillusion them by saying how average it is. I honestly don’t know what all the fuss is about, and their glowing reputation is not deserved.

Responses to this review

I’d say you bought the wrong car! 1800...mmmm try the 2.0 6 speed sport! Or even an import with added supercharger if that’s what you want! It’s strange that only you - one in a million owners - have decided you don’t like it, I guess other cars are more worthy, maybe you’re one of these old men with a cap we see about. As for being 5ft1, you’re tiny! Of course you won’t fit! Why not try a smart car? Or the new Mini, nobody can sit behind me (6ft4) in a mini, as the chair goes back onto the seat and I still wanted more! Go buy a Mini! - John Smith from England

A pity you can’t read John, you might make more sense of these reviews if you could! I’m 5ft 9 ins, not 5ft 1inch – Michael P.R. - from Yorkshire

Submitted: 2009-09-04 | ID: 42806

David Hayes, Perthshire

Mazda MX-5 Sports Tech 2009

4 star review

Generally I love this car......BUT initially there was a constant hesitation in 6th gear. This was eventually rectified by updating the software. I still have a problem, despite replacing the gearbox, it rattles at about 2000 rpm in 2/3 gears. Mazda do not seem able to come up with an answer as yet.

Submitted: 2009-07-13 | ID: 42850

Penny Ferris-Arnold, Somerset

Mazda MX-5 1990

5 star review

I have owned my MX5 for 7 years it’s an old girl now, 19 yrs old, cost me only £3000 and I have spent nothing on it apart from new alloy 17in low profiles £250 including tyres and a new roof for £450 and replacing the brake disks. I do loads of miles being a sales rep going up and down motorways, well its still going!!! and it still turn heads, (kids love the pop up head lights). I have parked next to the best Farrari, Aston Martins etc and people still come up to look at my car. I only have praise for this amazing little car reliable, street cred, cool and very cheap to run, what more could you ask for . This car is what real driving is all about it’s just brill!!!!

Submitted: 2009-07-08 | ID: 42849

Emma Myers, England

Mazda MX-5 MK2.5 Angels 2003

5 star review

My Mazda MX5 is the first convertible sports car I have ever owned after 10 years of driving cars like the Peugeot 106, Fiat Punto and Renault Clio so the difference was immense. I absolutely love my car, the handling is second to none and the build quality feels superb. Although the car is nearly 6 years old, it only has 31000 miles on the clock and looks and feels like brand new. I love the extras on the Angels version and don’t have any complaints whatsoever. I did look at the MK3 versions but felt that, after spending a year looking at a multitude of MX5s of differing age, spec, trim etc, it lacked that elegance and beauty and almost felt lacking in soul. I couldn’t recommend this car highly enough!!!

Responses to this review

Hi Emma, I couldn’t agree more about the Angels. I’m from Dublin and imported one from Chester back in 2006. None of the special editions have ever been made available in Ireland - Mazda Ireland please take note, you know who you are. Well at least I had the satisfaction of being the only owner of an Angels edition in the country for a few years. It has a list of great extras as long as your arm, the best of all the Mk 2.5 range and the standard equipment even included a hardtop. As usual with Mazda, they created a thing of great beauty but the standard models had a drab, featureless interior and not so nice alloys. Altogether this was a recipe for premature ageing. But with the special editions like the Angels, Icon, Phoenix, Euphonic and Nevada, little touches like leather seats, nice alloys and much needed chrome vent rings, these cars will always look classy. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t jump at the newly released MX5s, just bide your time and they’ll issue a nice special edition with extras included - Paolo Romeri from Northern Ireland

Submitted: 2009-04-14 | ID: 42847

Simon Greaves, England

Mazda MX-5 Sport 2002

5 star review

Having had my beloved MX-5 stolen on Christmas day I decided it was time for a change. I bought a Peugeot 206cc and regretted it. It was a nice car, well built but just lacked something. I kept the car for two months and sold it and now have another MX-5. Now I know what I was missing. It is a pleasure to drive and the balance is fantastic. I felt I must comment on a previous reviewer who could not out-drag a van. He is missing the point completely and should buy one of those annoying little Clio’s. I find a reputed 129mph top speed quite enough enough to pull away from most. However, I have not actually pushed the car past 70mph. There is no point and it is about the pure pleasure of driving as all MX5 owners know. If you see me in my little car and want a race please go ahead I will not be taking part. I shall look relaxed and happy while you grind the gears and the revs and wreck you engine. However as most of these idiots drive 1.2 Clio’s or Corsa’s be aware as you pass me with your red face and flooring your car I just smile and of course you know why! I have driven high power cars over the years raced with the best in my youth but completely missed the point about driving. It is simply not cool to drive like an idiot any more. In short the MX-5 is simply the best car I have ever driven. And if you want to out-drag a van as one reviewer then buy a more powerful van!!!

Responses to this review

Mazda MX-5 -1.6 -2003. I am in my 82nd year and my second childhood. I have a 2003 Rover 75 diesel Auto Connoisseur SE CDTI. I use it for weddings, funerals, christenings anniversaries, picnics and various other social functions. Love it. Last week, I bought my second Mazda MX5, ’03, with only 30,250 miles on clock. I use this as my Babe Magnet, score - nil. I still have my MK1, Japanese import. 21 years old, only 93,000 odd miles on the clock. Great little car, lot faster than my latest (did a ton in that last year. Naughty!). Someone once said that these MK1s are ’bullet proof’, must agree with him. I agree entirely with Simon. I do 60, occasionally 70 on the motorway, what is all the hurry? These simpletons are rushing around like headless chickens, they seem to make it a prioity to pass a sports cars at all costs, and hasten on a early grave to boot. Whenever I encounter one, I merely comment, ’Bloody Moron’ and the dog nods in agreement. He loves the MX5 and enjoys the wind blowing through his whiskers. He’s had no ’Babe’ luck either. I think I will stick with both these cars until I get a wooden box. Good on ya Simon, one of the old school, a man after my own heart. The old MX5 is still going strong, MOT and all. Watch on Ebay - Alasdair Corrie from Mid-Lothian (Edinburghshire)

Submitted: 2009-03-30 | ID: 42845

John Ong, Hampshire

Mazda MX-5 Roadster Special Edition 2008

5 star review

I have driven lots of convertibles in the past 25 years. They have included the Merc CLK, Porsche Boxster, Toyota Celica, Ford Escort and the Honda S2000. Nothing compares to the MX5 I am driving now, it’s so beautiful and it drives as well as the more expensive convertibles I have driven before and it cost less to buy and to insure and to run. It also gets lots of attention from the general public; especially when the roof is down. I would recommend this car to anyone.

Submitted: 2008-10-01 | ID: 42832

Malcolm Lamont, Aberdeenshire

Mazda MX-5 1996

4 star review

Re. Martin Read’s comments about inadequate acceleration etc, surely this would have been evident on the shortest of test drives? I don’t think the 5 is about out and out power but of the "chuckability" built in to the fabulous chassis.

Submitted: 2008-09-25 | ID: 42833

Martin Read, Warwickshire

Mazda MX-5 1.8i Sport 2003

2 star review

Bought the car new in 2003 after all the hype and owners’ reports. What a disappointment! Vans out drag me from the lights. OK, I agree, it is a fun car round bends but, 1800cc producing only 155 at the flywheel is just not good enough for serious fun. I drove the new 2.0 Sport and it is marginally quicker but way below what should be available to match today’s sportsters. As for the supposed boost from VVT when hitting 5,000rpm, I wish!! If I was managing 50mpg I could accept the lowly performance but just over 30mpg general driving is not acceptable. My 6-speed box is terrible. Bulking between 2nd to 3rd up and snatching on same gears when changing down. Supplying main dealer garage say it is par for the model. Funny, didn’t mention that when I was buying! Sound system useless over 60mph with hood down and not much better with it up. Had two new clutches and it still ’judders’ when reversing slowly. I am a retired Class 1 traffic police officer and I admit that it can be great fun round bends but this is just not good enough in today’s sportster market when mated to such poor power output. I am coming up to change my Mk. 2.5 and a Mk. 3 will definitely not be on the menu!

Responses to this review

I fear Martin Read does not understand MX5s ... - from Sussex

OK Ian, rather than just state a worthless bit of diatribe. Explain to me what I do not understand! Do I not understand a car that cost over 19k in 2003 that is outperformed by a multitude of similar and cheaper cars? Do I not understand that a car that does 30mpg on light driving is acceptable? Do I not understand that a car that may be able to corner very well but when the gearbox is bloody useless in two of the gears you will be using when doing this seriously impairs that ability? Try finding roads where you can experience the supposedly road-holding capability? I would much rather have some poke as well then I could enjoy the performance. I think that where I am honest enough to admit that the car is just not that good and I could have bought better for the same money other people would rather not admit this and continue to try and convince other drivers what a great car it is! Sorry Ian, is just is not good enough in today’s market. I note you did not say what MX5 you owned or have driven or are you another armchair driver who believes everything he reads unless it disagrees with their own views. Here is a list of "sports" cars I have owned during my enjoyable life as a car driver. In order of owning: Healey Sprite Vitesse 2ltr MGB Sunbeam 4.2 Tiger Healey 3000 3.8 E-type TR6 Lotus 7 MG Midget, MGC MG Midget (for wife) Lotus Sunbeam Children now so wife has car, I switched to motorbikes. Kids now grown up so had a selection of Micras, etc. so that they could learn to drive and be insured, then: Westfield SEight wife MR2 Westfield with Cosworth engine Celica Golf GTI convertible Z3 2.0 MX5 1.8 Sport Just about to purchase a 2007 350Z OK, if you do not think I am capable of giving a fair or unbiased opinion of my MX5 that is fine but, if you are going to criticise, at least have the balls to say something that other readers can digest and not do what so many other MX5 drivers do, rant on about a mediocre car as if it is some divine machine for the sports car driving fraternity that is complete without faults and peerless. It is not on both counts! Please also remember that I am (was) a Grade 1 Police Response Driver that maybe, just maybe, has a little more driving experience than you. I apologise if I am wrong! Regards, - Martin Read from England

Martin, I agree with Ian you just dont get the MX5 philosophy, and if you are beaten from the lights by vans, may I suggest traffic may not be your forte - from Surrey

Really interesting comment, Darren. Said absolutely nothing. If you are going to take the trouble to reply, then say something that other readers might find useful. This is just twaddle from someone who doesn’t have the balls to offer a comment that others might find interesting and cannot even form an opinion of his own. Stick to knitting, Darren, seems about your cup of tea! Do you own an MX5? Have you owned other sport cars that you could compare an MX5 to? Have you any other driving qualifications other than just the driving test. I doubt it oherwise you might have said something useful. Put on your anorak and go train spotting! Regards - Martin Read from England

I agree, the MX-5 is a sweet handling car but simply does not get your adrenaline moving. What an outstanding car this would be with a decent engine - Tony Casino from England

Could not disagree more. I have the same model and year and it’s just wonderful. Nothing wrong with the performance, sound system or gearbox. Mine is now eight years old with 20K on the clock. The build quality is excellent (of my many previous cars, only Honda beats it) and it gives "miles of smiles". If you’re realistic about what this car is intended to be, you won’t be disappointed. A classic in the making - Dave Thwaite from Essex

What a load of rubbish some people write. I too have had my share of two seater sports cars - 2 MGBs, 1 Triumph Spitfire and the MX5 1.8I is better than any of them. Yes, it might be underpowered but who needs power today with all the speed cameras etc. I was fortunate enough to have one of the most powerful cars ever - a Citroen CX turbo (another classic car) capable of 150 mph and it is the only time I was done for speeding (at 105) although I had reached much higher speeds. My MX5 is fun, well built, has enough power for my needs but most importantly is modern, well-built and reliable and in North Norfolk does not cost a fortune to insure even if the mpg may only be in the low 30s - from Norfolk

In response to Martin, therein lies the answer, E types, MG's, Lotus, Austin Healey 3000, Sunbeam 4.2 Tiger, and so on, you will be very happy with the Nissan 350 Z, and being a police driver all kinds of high powered police vehicles, its just that you are so used to some very high performance cars, the stock MX 5 is not going to impress you with its standard performance, But with a turbo or a charger, it will keep up with a Porsche Boxster, they are a fun car, people say you always get out of an MX 5 with a big smile, my son has one, and I love it; I get out laughing, and I used to street race E Types. its not that there is anything wrong with them, you're just used to cars with more power. Anyway; you won't be disappointed with the 350 Z, but the MX 5 is not in the same class. Enjoy your next one, because you will miss it. - Steve H from Gwynedd

Submitted: 2008-07-11 | ID: 42836

Kim Cross, Warwickshire

Mazda MX-5 1.8 2007

5 star review

My first soft top and I love it. I’ve had my MX-5 for 18 months on contract hire with good monthly rates. I’m normally getting bored by now but already am already fretting about when my contract runs out. I think I would buy one to keep.

Submitted: 2008-06-10 | ID: 42844

Bob Montana, Cornwall

Mazda MX-5 Sports Ltd 1992

5 star review

What can I say? Every owner knows there is nothing that can compete with its looks or performance, 30+ mpg for a 1.6i roadster, bilstiens, four branch manifold 15i TSWs, goes like a torpedo and corners like a spirograph. No contest for a car of this class, we love it......

Submitted: 2008-05-02 | ID: 42834

Andrew Tipping, Derbyshire

Mazda MX-5 2000

5 star review

I bought my MX5 in 2003. It was second hand, had £13,000 on the clock and was 3 years old. I had promised myself that I would have a 2 seater sports car before I was 30 and I made it... Just. I used the car as my everyday run around and had absolutely no problems with it being impractical, quite the opposite really. After all I could never drive friends to the pub because we simply wouldn't all fit in. This obviously worked in my favor. I owned the car for 5 years in total and I enjoyed every minute of the ownership. I have recently changed my car to a Mazda RX8, another wonderful car made by this company and a very thrilling ride I have to say. A couple of days after I traded the MX5 in I was driving past the franchise that I brought the RX8 from and I saw my old MX5 on the forecourt for sale. It looked wonderful and although I was in my new shiny coupe I couldn't help slowing down and looking longingly at the car I had, had so much fun in over the past years. I actually felt envy for the person who would eventually buy it. Great car, wonderful memories and although I no longer have it I still consider myself an MX5 owner. Who knows I may end up buying it back next week.

Submitted: 2008-03-25 | ID: 42835

Bernard Lawson, London

Mazda MX-5 Artic special addition.. 2005

5 star review

I own the MX5 18i and have done so from new, but I'm getting rid of it. I desperately want the 2.0i sport which I have placed an order for one today. The Mk 2 Mazda MX5 is excellent but I am reliably informed that the Mk 3 is something else. I have driven the Porsche 911, a Ferrari and the Bentley Continental GT. They belong to my friends who think my MX should belong to my daughter. Of the three cars above, the Bentley is a dream. Goes like a rocket and is soooo smooth but for £130,000 what do you expect? I have to say, it's frightening watching the petrol gage moving when sitting at the traffic lights but hey, it's a rich man's car. The Ferrari and Porsche are for image, the MX5 is for fun. I cannot praise it enough. It handles the country roads far better than the three serious fellows mentioned above. Its steering is so true one can throw it into any bend and it will stick to the road like glue and it's cheap to run. When a Mini Cooper S had the cheek to take me on it became a speck in my windscreen mirror because the Mini could not handle the bends and round-a-bouts like the MX5. Fantastic car.

Submitted: 2008-03-03 | ID: 42830

Carl Barton, England

Mazda MX-5 1993

5 star review

Awesome convertible, Lovely handling, Easy maintenance, Nippy engines and cheap to boot. Make sure you get one later that 1992 to avoid crank problems.

Submitted: 2008-01-28 | ID: 42831

Mel Andrew, Derbyshire

Mazda MX-5 Merlot 2007

5 star review

Having owned my Mazda Mx- 5 Merlot limited edition since 1997 and only intended to keep it three years, it’s been the best driving experience I’ve ever had - hence I still own it! Mileage has crept up over the years to £80,000 but I have not had one problem with this car. It is fast, exciting, reliable, nippy, comfortable, exhilarating, always a head turner and a beautiful addition to my life! I have had the opportunity to drive many company lease cars over the years through work and not one of them compares to my orginal Mazda Mx-5 sports car. The only reason I would change my car is to indulge myself to buy a new one with an automatic roof and larger boot space (which in realtiy I don’t need). I will will always be an Mazda Mx-5 owner / driver. Other cars just don’t compete!

Submitted: 2007-10-12 | ID: 42827

Michael McNulty, Staffordshire

Mazda MX-5 1.8 Option Pack 2007

5 star review

I currently drive the New Style Mazda MX5 2dr Convertible 1.8 Option Pack. Having owned other convertibles I must say this vehicle is by far the best. It may not offer the likes of an electric hood, however it does come with 3 Yr/60000 Warranty, ABS + EBD, Cloth Upholstery, Driver Airbag, Dual Front Airbags, Elec Dr/Side Window, Elec Heated Mirrors, High L Brake Light, Immobiliser, Passenger Airbag, Power Assisted Steer, Radio + Single CD, Rear Head Rests, Remote C/Locking, Solid Paint, Thatcham Cat 1 Alarm. To add to this I am getting circa 29mpg and I don’t hang around! The handling and Drive are excellent. Working for Acorn a car Finance Company I must say the monthly rentals you can achieve on this vehicle are good. And for those buying residual values on this vehicle are good too! Go take a look at your local dealer....

Submitted: 2007-10-02 | ID: 42826

Adam Le Fondre, Durham

Mazda MX-5 1.8i Option Pack 2007

4 star review

As far as two seater roadsters in the sub 20k bracket go, you absolutely will not get any better than the Mazda Mx-5. It has brought reliability and every day useability to a sector of the car industry which was previously sorely lacking both qualities. It’s also a cracking drive!

Submitted: 2007-09-18 | ID: 42825

Ryan Campbell, Suffolk

Mazda MX-5 Mazda MX-5 2.0i Sport 2007

5 star review

This car has surpassed my expectations, it really is the most exhilarating drive I’ve ever experienced. If you are looking for a two seater you have to test drive one of these, the car speaks for itself!

Responses to this review

Do you experience a problem changing from 1st to 2nd when the engine’s cold? We have a Mk 3 55 reg. 2.0i Sport 6-speed. Other than that, it’s brilliant - Tracey(male) Agnew from Northumberland

Submitted: 2007-08-09 | ID: 42828

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Road tests

Mazda MX-5

2.0i 2009 - It’s official – the MX-5 has been at the top of its game for two decades. It’s just over 20 years since the original small sports car was unveiled at the Chicago Motor Show in 1989 and since then it’s seen three major revamps, all of which have been successful and resulted in over 850,000 sales acro [...]

Road Test Reports Says 4.5 star ratingFull Report
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Mazda MX-5

2.0i - It’s hard to believe that Mazda’s MX-5 has now been on sale in the UK for almost 20 years, but its longevity is no doubt a result of its brilliant dynamics. Infallible reliability, combined with eye-catching looks and a driving experience that can’t be bettered for the price mean that the MX-5 fully [...]

Road Test Reports Says 4.5 star ratingFull Report
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