Mazda Mx-5 Convertible
1.5  SE-L 2dr
1.5  Sport 2dr
2.0  Sport Tech 2dr
2.0  GT Sport Tech 2dr
Review Of The Mazda MX-5 Convertible
JTNDY2VudGVyJTNFJTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI1NjAlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjIzMTUlMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnd3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbSUyRmVtYmVkJTJGZ250R0FjNTZncEklMjIlMjBmcmFtZWJvcmRlciUzRCUyMjAlMjIlMjBnZXN0dXJlJTNEJTIybWVkaWElMjIlMjBhbGxvdyUzRCUyMmVuY3J5cHRlZC1tZWRpYSUyMiUyMGFsbG93ZnVsbHNjcmVlbiUzRSUzQyUyRmlmcmFtZSUzRSUzQyUyRmNlbnRlciUzRQ==Ever wanted a two-seater drop-top sports car that costs just £20,500? Cars are always more fun with the roof down. Usually, the stuff of dreams, the moderate price tag for the flamboyant Mazda MX-5 Convertible makes owning a roofless, sexed-up sports car accessible to us all. Gorgeous and more fun than a day at the beach, it’s easily one of the most successful cars of its type ever.
For just over twenty grand you can cruise with the sun on your face in a car that engages you like few others. It’s also dependable, usable and should be enough to reignite interest in the two-seater sports car that us Brits used to do so well.
And perhaps the best thing? It’s naturally aspirated. Two words that melt in the mouth of every die-hard enthusiast.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our Mazda MX-5 Convertible review.
On The Road
There isn’t that much power available – just 158bhp at the most. But that doesn’t even matter, because the MX-5 is so light that it doesn’t need too much power. Even the 129bhp engine has enough oomph to offer a fun and engaging driving experience.
The steering is well-weighted and responsive, and it feels balanced in bends. It’s still a noisy proposition, but it doesn’t growl as loudly as last time. It’s just as agile too, thanks to Mazda shaving off 100kg.
If you fork out for the Sportier model, you’ll also get Bilstein dampers thrown in, which firm the ride up while providing more grip. It almost feels like a Porsche 718 Boxster. Almost.[vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_single_image image=”58272″ img_size=”article-image”]As usual, there isn’t the option of an automatic gearbox. Instead, you have to settle for a joyous 6-speed manual stick that’s super easy and quick to shift gear.
In terms of the engines, there are two petrols to choose from. Both are naturally aspirated which, while this has a slight dampening effect on emissions and economy, makes the engine sound better.
The entry level 1.5-litre 129bhp engine is good for 0-62 in 8.3 seconds. It revs rapidly, emits a great vocal note, and should have enough performance for most buyers.
However, if you can afford a few extra grand, the 2.0-litre 158bhp petrol engine is tasty. It does 0-62 in a sprightly 7.3 seconds, and uses its power well. For such a small, light car, you can really feel that this is a meaty old engine.
Mazda MX-5 Convertible Interior, Design & Build
[vc_single_image image=”58273″ img_size=”article-image”][vc_empty_space]Mazda have borrowed most of this ones interior from their impressively smart Mazda 3 Hatchback. Which means you can expect a top-quality interior that’s a pleasant place to be.
That said, there are differences. For example, the way you are positioned is reminiscent of a classic sports car that’s ready to rock ’n’ roll. You’re sat low, the pedals are nearby, and the gear stick is the perfect height. In other words, you’re as cocooned as you should be.
That said, the MX-5 Convertible is a small car, and taller drivers might have an issue with that. When the roof is up, they’ll feel a bit squashed. Worse still, the steering wheel doesn’t offer much adjustment, which will make it hard to get comfy.
That said, everyone will appreciate how swanky the dashboard is. It’s so much better than previous models, with Mazda finally bringing life to the dash with better, brighter plastics. Look hard enough and you’ll still spot low-rent materials, too. But it’s a massive improvement overall.
In terms of how practical it is … well, what did you expect? It’s a two-seater sports car. That said, it is more usable than most rivals. It’s got a fair amount of interior space, the doors open wide for easy access, and the boot measures 130-litres. It’s not excessively big, but there’s enough room for a few weekend bags. It’s also pretty deep.
Other than that, storage space is few and far between. There isn’t even a glove box.
Equipment & Safety Of The Mazda MX-5 Convertible
Standard kit across the range is good. All models get a leather steering wheel, alloys, as well as LED headlights. Move up to the SE-L spec, and you get cruise and climate control, Bluetooth, and a touchscreen MZD infotainment system.
The Sport Nav model rounds the range off with a Bose stereo, sat nav and limited-slip differential which boosts grip.
An MX-5 Icon is available for a limited time only. Just 600 will be rolled out, and they come with rear parking sensors, heated leather seats and automatic lights and wipers.
Safety-wise, one or two buyers might be concerned that the MX-5 scored only 4/5 when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP. However it scored well for pedestrian protection (93%), and child and adult protection (80 and 84%).
Its safety kit is good too, and includes anti-lock brakes, airbag’s, as well as electronic stability control. Blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning are available with its i-ACTIVSENSE pack.
Costs Of The Mazda MX-5 Convertible
Prices for the new car start out from £20,500 and rise to £24,200. For more information on our leasing deals, check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the Mazda MX-5 benefits from SKYACTIV technology to keep running costs down. Combined with its slender frame, the lightweight Convertible can return 47.1mpg if you opt for the 1.5-litre petrol engine. Tax is just £130 a year.
The bigger 2.0-litre petrol engine averages 40.9mpg, and costs £180 a year to tax. Still not bad if your budget stretches far enough. In terms of insurance, the cheapest model sits in group 26, and the most expensive occupies group 29.
Pros and Cons of the Of The Mazda MX-5 Convertible
With prices starting out from just £20,500, the MX-5 Convertible is one of the most affordable ways to own a classic roadster.
Two seats and a lightweight frame – the MX-5 is designed for fun on the open road.
Mazda have improved the interior considerably. The plastics are brighter, the dash looks better, and there is more colour and overall quality all-round.
Low Rent Materials Here And There
The cabin is better. But look around you and you’ll spot flimsy materials, too.
Verdict Of Our 2017 Mazda MX-5 Convertible Review
Whether you’re convinced by the MX-5 will come down to whether you think £20,500 is worth spending on a roadster that takes a modest 7.3 seconds to do 0-62 (at best), and has a 130-litre boot – or whether you think that cash can be better used elsewhere.
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