With a week’s holiday booked and plenty of sun forecast, there was only one car on the fleet that would do: the MX-5. As Friday arrived, it seemed like a solid choice. The sky was blue, so the roof was dropped and my 90-minute commute became something to savour.
As Saturday dawned, I attempted to show my wife that the little Mazda was more practical than you might think. We were due at a friend’s Eurovision Song Contest party that night, so I crammed the boot with our bag, some rainbow-coloured afro wigs, platform boots, a few bottles of wine and our duvet.
While it all fitted, just, we did have one other occupant to carry: our dog, Sprocket. With no room at all behind the seats, she ended up in the passenger footwell, fighting with my wife for leg room. My practicality promise fell apart.
Despite this, the MX-5 did a convincing job of winning over both wife and dog. The former appreciated the sharp handling and good looks, while the latter seemed to enjoy the wind in her fur, especially when harnessed into the passenger seat.
But while Sprocket enjoyed herself, it took a great deal of restraint to drive in a manner that wouldn’t empty her stomach. The Mazda may not be outright fast, but the chuckable handling is an absolute delight that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
There isn’t a great deal of power, but you can enjoy feeling the rear end help to steer the car around corners at sane speeds. We’re not talking lurid slides here; you just need to wind on less steering lock than you might think.
It wasn’t all plain sailing, though, because a tyre pressure warning light came on. Never mind, it should be an easy fix with a compressor — or so I thought. However, a check of the pressures revealed that the tyres were properly inflated. It seems a sensor may be at fault, so a trip to the dealer is in order. Is this enough to put me off using the car again? Most definitely not.