What is it?
The launch of the new Mazda MX-5 started with a warning: Welcome to Scotland, where the roads are long and winding, and if you’re doing 61mph in a 60mph zone, they’ll ticket you.
So, with Scotland’s no-tolerance attitude to speeding firmly in mind, I needed a car that would be fun within the legal limits, and I was hoping that the MX-5 1.5 would be one of the best cars in the world for that.
With just 129bhp, this entry-level version of the MX-5 starts at £18,495 (or around £230 per month on finance), undercutting the 158bhp 2.0 by between £600 and £800 depending on trim. However, it does without the 2.0-litre model’s strut brace, limited-slip differential and – in 2.0 Sport trim only – the Bilstein dampers and sports suspension.
In essence, we already know how good the MX-5 is. What we really want to find out here is whether the 1.5 can cut it for thrills on British roads, or whether you should find the extra for a 2.0-litre model.