New look and flourishes for top seller.
The MX-5 may be one of the best known affordable sports cars (even holding a Guinness World Record for best selling two-seater sports car) but it is still perceived by some to be on the feminine side, which I don’t really see myself.
Maybe it’s the small size and its cute looks, or maybe it’s just the way it compares to Mazda’s other big sporty seller the RX-8.
As far as the looks go the New MX-5 has been given a wider, lower and more aggressive look, which may make some less inclined to dismiss it as just being one for the ladies.
The colour is an important factor too, the pearl white metallic paint on the MX-5 I tested was definitely on the girly side of the spectrum but opting for aluminium or black finish emphasises its beefier qualities.
It could also be the way it’s built for fun, rather than sheer power.
And it really is fun - from its convertible roof and 200 Watt Bose sound system, to the way it holds the road while zipping around, this is something to make driving carefree (except for the sudden rain maybe).
Its 2-litre, 4-cylinder engine has a lovely, almost throaty, roar but the acceleration does not quite live up to the sound or the car’s overall appearance. It will outperform many cars out there but does not have the massive surge which comes from putting your foot down in a powerful vehicle.
It does however handle perfectly and if you can find a nice empty stretch of road packed with corners and curves, you’re in for some excellent driving. Sadly I was unable to get much of this myself as I seemed to be perpetually surrounded by lumbering saloons and SUVs.
For a convertible which sits so close to the road it is a quiet drive, or at least until you start giving the accelerator some attention.
Obviously with the roof down, the noise is much more noticeable, which is where the big Bose audio system comes into its own. It may be childish but there is something about the sense of freedom of driving around in an open top car with the stereo belting out.
And when you get the revs past 2500rpm and the engine roar starts to add to the mix, it makes the experience difficult to beat. The manual transmission has an Induction Sound Enhancer and if I’m honest, I have no idea how it works – but it does.
Obviously rain, traffic fumes and dust can get in the way of your enjoyment but it only takes a touch over 20 seconds to get the roof back on (once you’ve pulled over and stopped that is).
With the roof in place it can feel a little claustrophobic at times if you’re taller than average and anyone with a bad back can forget climbing in or out.
There is not a lot of storage space for general clutter but what there is is imaginatively laid out, the doors even have netting on for some extra space. The boot was not as miniscule as you might expect either.
Let’s face it though, this is not a practical car and was never meant to be one but for sheer enjoyment it’s now even harder to beat.
Mazda MX-5 Roadster
Engine: 2-litre, 4cylinder
Power: 115kW @7000rpm
Torque: 188Nm @5000rpm
Fuel economy: 8.1 litres per 100km
Pricing: From $47,200 (plus costs)
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