From £17,665
Mid-spec model loses the toys, but is none the worse for it.

Our Verdict

Mazda MX-5 2005-2015

The Mazda MX-5 is still great fun, and more grown up

20 December 2005
What's new?
This is the mid-range MX-5 – it doesn’t get the Sport’s six-speed ’box, 17in wheels or Bilsten dampers, but it does have the fizzy 2.0-litre engine and a limited-slip differential.
You get side airbags and traction control as standard, but a cloth hood and alloy wheels are part of an £800 Option Pack.
What’s it like?
Rapid. On paper it looks plenty fast enough but the MX-5 isn’t about speed, it’s about ability and agility and that’s what makes it quick. The steering (which thankfully isn’t electrically assisted) is refreshingly direct and quick, although it doesn’t have quite as much feel as the old MX-5's.
Compact dimensions and excellent visibility mean town driving is stress-free, and country roads are immensely fun. And the gearchange must be one of the most accurate (and delightful to use) ever built. The rear tyres will happily give up their grip unless the road surface has been towel-dried, but it’s always benign and easy to control.
nside it’s snug but not cramped with adequate (if not generous) storage, and excellent seats.
Should I buy one?
Obviously. These days there are few cars that trade power and speed for entertainment, but the MX-5 is one of them. It’s also a more practical proposition than the old MX-5, although you’ll still struggle to fit more than a single suitcase in the boot. That’s not a reason not to buy one, and there are many reasons why you should.
Dan Stevens

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK