Mazda MX-5 2.0 SE-L


Mazda MX-5, front action 2
Mazda MX-5, static trees
Mazda MX-5 2015, front
Mazda MX-5 2015, front, static
Mazda MX-5 2015, front, action
Mazda MX-5 2015, nose, action
Mazda MX-5 2015, front, track
Mazda MX-5 2015, side, action
Mazda MX-5 2015, rear
Mazda MX-5 2015, rear, hood up
Mazda MX-5 2015, interior
Mazda MX-5 2.0 Sport Nav, boot

MY daughter often asks me if I won the lottery what car would I buy?

The answer is of course several - that I would have different cars for different things - maybe a Ferrari for the sheer hell of it, along with something like a Range Rover offering a sublime mixture of luxury, comfort and practicality.

Depending on how long the list would get there's a very good chance a Mazda MX-5 would on it somewhere too.

Sure, there are far more extravagant, expensive and way more powerful two-seaters out there but there's something about the simplicity and purity of the MX-5 that makes it so appealing.

A few decades ago there were oodles of roadsters around, in fact British car-makers excelled at creating cars which delivered what to many was the purest driving experience one could wish for.

What could be better than whizzing around winding British B-roads with the roof down and the wind in your hair.

Sadly roadsters have become something of an endangered species - even MG don't make them any more - despite the Midland car maker's recent revival under Chinese ownership.

However, one could argue that perhaps one of the reasons roadsters no longer proliferate as they once did is down to the fact the Mazda MX-5 is just so good and has been for quite some time.

The MX-5 has been around in some form or other since 1989 and has always been much loved in the UK.

Although it's had a number of incarnations in that time, it's stayed true to the concept of being a small, light and fun to drive convertible.

The latest model is very much recognisable as an MX-5 though the traditional rounded styling has been replaced by a sharper and slightly more aggressive look.

The dimensions have also been altered slightly and it's shorter, lower and wider than its predecessor.

On the inside it has a more modern feel with a dash and instrumentation that are very contemporary though also nod to traditional roadster simplicity.

As is often the case these days there's a wide choice of models with ten versions available to UK buyers.

There are two engines - a 129bhp 1.5-litre or a 157bhp 2.0-litre unit - and five trim levels available.

This 2.0-litre SE-L Nav model sits roughly in the middle of the range - prices start at £18,500 and top out at £24,295.

The altered dimensions give the MX-5 even more of a go-kart feel than before. Sit in and you really do feel as if you are just a few inches off the ground.

While there isn't huge room for manoeuvre in terms of seat adjustment the cabin still feels reasonably open and comfortable and I found it a pleasant place to be for pretty much any kind of journey - long or short.

While the MX-5 has never gone down the fancy automatic folding metal roof route operating its canvas roof is an absolute breeze and it takes just a few seconds to put it up or down - and it can be easily done from the driver's or passenger's seat.

So, what's it like to drive and how does it perform.

The MX-5 is as agile and spirited as ever and offers an even more fun and exhilarating drive than its predecessor.

It's sharper, swifter and seems to go around the bends at speed with increased ease.

While a 1.5-litre powerplant no doubt makes for a fun drive, the extra potency of the 2.0-litre gives the MX-5 a bit of added bite that means it really can show a turn of pace and given the fact you're so close to the road heightens the thrill factor even more.


Mazda MX-5 2.0 SE-L Nav

Price: £21,645

Mechanical: 160ps, 1,998cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 133mph

0-62mph: 7.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 41

Insurance Group: 29

C02 emissions: 161g/km

Bik rating: 27%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles


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