From £17,665
All the fun of the MX-5 with added security and useability. If you think the premium’s worth it, go for it.

Our Verdict

Mazda MX-5 2005-2015

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

Matt Prior
14 September 2006

What’s new? If there’s one good thing to have come out of the invention of the Peugeot 206CC, you’re looking at it. Because despite the popularity of those removable lids that people have been fitting to MX-5s for the past decade, Mazda has only just twigged that its punters might want a hard-topped roadster. And it’s the success of those flexible coupé cabrio sheds that has done it.And so – with all the plagiarism and efficiency you’d expect from a Japanese carmaker – Mazda’s nicked the idea and introduced an affordable hard-topped convertible that just happens to be better than anyone else’s. There’s no chassis flex, no dumpy rear end styling. This is just an MX-5 with a folding hard roof, pure and simple.What’s it like? Nope, I didn’t believe it at first either. But the cleverness of the hood means that it’s true. It takes up barely any more space than the MX-5’s soft top, so there’s the same, 150-litre boot, roof up or down. It’s a superbly packaged mechanism, and a quick one at that. Twelve seconds might be about four times as long as it takes on a regular MX-5, but it annihilates its hard-roofed rivals.It’s noticeably quieter than the soft-top too. The car even looks more or less the same – the bootlid’s front edge is 4cm higher and the body cavity a tad bigger, but there’s none of the fat-backsidedness of hatchback-spawned CCs. All you gain is 37kg. Eighteen of that’s the plastic (not metal) hood; the rest is ancillaries.Ah, but, you’re thinking, there’s 37kg sat virtually atop the rear suspension pillars and the body’s not quite as stiff as the regular car’s. Mazda has tweaked suspension settings mildly to make it a teensy bit softer. That has to affect the handling, right?Right. But not by much. It’s the sort of difference you’d feel if you carried a fat passenger or loaded the boot with suitcases. It’s still very much an MX-5. So it’s agile, controllable and, between you and me, not quite as much fun as the old one.Should I buy one? Mazda reckons that 20 percent of British MX-5 buyers will go for the Roadster Coupe. At a £1760 premium – £1200 for the roof, £560 for aircon, don’t be surprised if it’s more than that.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 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
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment