Reliable Mazda MX-5 even safer than before
Its new styling, with a larger, more aggressive grille, takes its inspiration from the Takeri concept, which was revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show last December and previews the new Mazda 6.
The engine line-up remains unchanged, which means there are 1.8 and 2.0-litre petrols, producing 124bhp and 158bhp respectively. The throttle has been tweaked, though, to provide smoother acceleration.
The brakes have also been updated, with the application of a vacuum brake-booster giving a better pedal feel through corners.
There’s even a range of new colour-and-trim combinations, as well as a new active bonnet pedestrian-protection system, which automatically raises the trailing edge of the bonnet in the event of an accident.
Prices haven’t been announced yet, but expect the fourth-generation MX-5 to start from around £16,000 when it arrives later this year.
The company haven’t changed the basic design of the MX-5 since they introduced the original version in 1989: low weight, moderately-powerful engines and excellent handling have always been what it is all about.
But this latest model is bigger, safer and slightly more powerful than its predecessors, and it has more in the way of creature comforts, so it’s easier to live with.
Storage space isn’t bad, either, considering the size of the car, but you’ll still need to pack carefully for a long weekend away.
The MX-5 has incredibly-accurate steering and it is extremely nimble on the road. The 1.8 and 2.0-litre engines have 124bhp and 158bhp respectively – just enough to make the Mazda a speedy little sports car.
The 1.8 has a five-speed gearbox, while the 2.0-litre has a six-speed, and both have a short, accurate action that makes it easy to find the right gear.
An optional, six-speed, Sport Tech, automatic gearbox, with wheel-mounted paddles, is best avoided because it is not as effective as the manual.
And the 2.0-litre models are arguably more fun to drive as they are fitted with a limited-slip differential.
This MX-5 is more comfortable than you’d expect. It travels over rough surfaces well and there’s little in the way of vibration – as is often the case in a convertible.
Sport Tech models are less comfortable but, for the most part, the MX-5 is about as relaxing and comfortable as a cabriolet gets.
The entry-level 1.8-litre model doesn’t come with stability control, which means it is more likely to catch unwary drivers out in slippery conditions.
All other versions come with it as standard, though, as well as side, driver and passenger airbags. A reinforced windscreen frame and roll-over hoops are also standard.
The earliest MX-5s are still very reliable cars, and the machine has been hailed for its superb durability ever since, and, as ever, so you can purchase with confidence.
You don’t buy a Mazda MX-5 for space but for its size, and the 150-litre boot is just about big enough for a couple of soft bags for a weekend away.
The car’s fabric hood is easy to fold down: just release a couple of clips and drop it back, and it doesn’t eat into the boot space.
The folding hard-top Roadster Coupe model is more secure, and is operated electrically, folding away in around 12 seconds. It is then stowed cleverly behind the cabin, leaving the entire boot space intact.
The entry-level 1.8-litre feels quite basic, so the favourite is either of the Venture Edition models, or the 2.0-litre Sport Tech, with additional standard equipment.
Roadster Coupe models are more desirable, but carry a sizeable premium. The MX-5 is well-priced, though, and you won’t find a convertible that offers so much fun for a similar price.
The most frugal MX-5 is the 1.8, which returns 39.8mpg and has emissions of 167g/km. The 2.0 Sport Tech offers 36.2mpg, along with 181g/km. The 2.0 Powershift, with automatic gearbox, is poorer still, at 35.3mpg and 188g/km.
Resale values are reasonable, so it’s no wonder that the MX-5 is incredibly popular with second-hand buyers.
But MX-5 lovers may want to get their hands on this new edition, when it eventually appears this year. After all, they just know they’ll get a decent price on a trade-in!
Short URL: http://www.canarianweekly.com/?p=13984