Mazda MX-5 1.5 Driven: The Car You Must Drive Right Now

If you are thinking of going out and buying a two-seater sports car right now, then there are really only a couple of choices. The Mazda MX-5 or something from Toyota that, to be honest, I

If you are thinking of going out and buying a two-seater sports car right now, then there are really only a couple of choices. The Mazda MX-5 or something from Toyota that, to be honest, I can’t be bothered to tell you about because I have already announced the winner right here, right now.

The MX-5 has been doing the rounds for over 25 years now, and every time Mazda produced an updated model, I went out and tested the new generation just to see if it would feel better, worse or just the same.

Well, I am happy to report nothing has changed because it’s just as good as it always been—even 25 years later.

In fact, it’s so good that three people who all live within a 600-yard radius of where I live all own one too. I’m not joking either. One guy is a banker, one guy is a steel worker, and the other guy owns a catering company. Also, the best news here is that not one of them is either a hairdresser or a balding man over the age of 50.

So now we have that out of the way, we can dispense with all the innuendos about the kind of person who would own an MX-5 and get on with explaining what happened when the car I was testing arrived on my drive.

As I said earlier, a lot of people who live around me own one generation of the Mazda MX-5 or another, so as you can imagine when they found out I had the new generation sitting on my drive. It immediately caused quite a stir within said 600-yard radius.

To cut a long story short, I was visited quite a few times that week that I almost felt like I may have needed to move home or worse have the MX-5 taken into protective custody for all our wellbeings.

Power and Efficiency

The latest Mazda MX-5 is fitted with a 1.5-litre petrol four-cylinder in-line engine with 129 horsepower at 7000 rpm and150Nm of torque. That engine is paired with a fantastic short shift six-speed gearbox that is pretty much used across the board by many sports car manufacturers because its basically of one of the best you can buy if you are looking at building a fast two-seater sports car.

You might also be lured into thinking that installing a 1.5-litre engine in two-seater sports would be a feeble combination, but you would be wrong because as the MX-5 only weighs 1,215 kilograms. This makes it as nimble as a field mouse and as frisky as a French Poodle. Give it some beans, and it will surprise you and then slap you in the face with a healthy zero-to-62 time of around 8.3 seconds and return an impressive 47.1 miles per gallon (combined. Top speed of around 127 miles per hour.

On the road

Nimble, frisky and downright sublime, and that’s just to get you started. The handling is also just as superb thanks to the Mazda engineers getting everything right and getting all those all important components working together in perfect harmony with each other in such a way that it will leave you breathless because of how well balanced and controlled it feels on the road.

Design and Technology

The design of the MX-5 has stood the test of time well. Even with this new generation, you can tell it has not lost any of its appeal or its DNA because you can instantly tell it’s an MX-5 even with the new lighting changes and the body boosting upgrades.

Sitting inside any two-seater sports car is tight, but for some reason, the MX-5 feels bigger. Headroom and legroom are also good, and I was surprised that none of my internal organs needed to be squashed into place once I sat inside.

Additional standard equipment on the Sport Nav model (above 131ps SE-L Nav) includes; 16-inch Gunmetal alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive front lighting, rear parking sensors, premium Bose sound system with nine speakers, smart keyless entry, Lane Departure Warning System, black leather seat trim and auto-dimming rear view mirror.

To sum up

What can I say, the MX-5 is the perfect little two-seater that everyone should at some point in their life experience.

I would recommend right now that you find one and immediately drive it around some snaking bends with the roof down while listening to Aretha Franklin on repeat.

Price: £22,795 (Standard Car OTR)

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Nick Cvetkovic