MX-5 proves you

haven't lost your


Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe, front
Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe, front
Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe, side
Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe, rear
Mazda MX-5 RF, 2017, roof retraction, closed
Mazda MX-5 RF, 2017, interior

THERE are many reasons to think that as drivers we have lost our soul, mislaid our mojo, dropped the spice of life down the back of the sofa.

It is not true.

You can stuff as many crossovers up the family motoring junta as you want but the pulse can still quicken.

For instance, 4x4 wise, the Range Rover Velar is a splendid thing, the Bentley Bentayga a worthy addition to Wilmslow life but the twitter storm response to Suzuki's new Jimny was because here is sheer mucky pleasure.

You are not going to see a lot of them in Cheshire, plays havoc with polite society that sort of thing. Not at all madam. But next door in Derbyshire it's going to be climbing every mountain like a blazing goat.

An odd route to a two seater sports car review I'll grant you but despite it having little more kit then a bikini festival the Mazda MX-5 RF will also attract the attention of the fun police.

RF, by the way, stands for Retractable Fastback, so now you know.

Test cars come with a spec sheet. It would be excusable if Mazda had used double spacing on this one. You are not buying into a toy shop here but style and the joy of driving.

What you do get is leather seat trim, a navigator, automatic wipers and adaptive lights, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and lane departure warning.

The rest of this car's features arefor driving pleasure like the sports suspension with Bilstein dampers and others technical work to compensate for the extra 45kg the roof adds.

In recognition of the potential customer the MX-5 will attract there is a nine-speaker Bose sound system with two in the headrests. Simply add your choice of classic driving music via one of the USB ports on the fascia.

Thecabin is beautifully finished and the sit-in driving position encourages sharp cornering. There is no arguing that the MX has balance and poise to satisfy the enthusiastic.

As indeed does the 7.4 seconds to 62mph acceleration and throaty two-litre 158bhp normally aspirated engine driving the rear wheel.

The stuff of what used to be called 'motoring', nimble quick and inspired with the looks to kill.

Forty to the gallon is possible but then that would be missing the point. Gasses measure 161g/km of the naughty person scale.

This was the six-speed manual but you can have an automatic gearbox which in the world of two-seaters about as acceptable as three-legged racehorse.

Roof details reveal that it comes in three parts and folds away in 13 seconds at the touch of the button and while storage in the cabin is limited to a locking glove box between the seats the boot will take to travel suitcases roof folded or not, enough for anyone's weekend frolics.

It is a relatively refined ride through much of the acceleration to the legal limit after which you begin to understand that the roof has joints and joins in it. But then who buys into this sector with the intention of owning a limousine any more than choosing an MX-5 to tow their caravan?

At £26,000 the RF costs a couple of grand more than the soft top and those with a passion for open air motoring would probably go for the flapper while others see the premium worth it for extra security and refinement.

That is a bit of a toppy number, though.

I will make one negative observation: I'm too old for this sort of car. Twice I was asked when my next movie was out. Shrek 7, Curse of The Donkey's Arthritis.


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