We have to admit to being long-standing enthusiasts of the MX-5.
After test-driving one for a day back in 1996, we decided that we had to have one. Several years on (after I got motorcycling out of my system - nearly) we bought an Icon 1.8.
Top-down driving is great and the 1.8 engine really starts coming on song after 4000 rpm. Its handling is very different from conventional FF layout cars with the steering giving plenty of feedback, but with none of the torque steer.
The gear change is tight and slick and the onset of oversteer is well communicated to the seat of your pants.
The build quality is good, but the real benefit comes from Mazda's reliability (after owning several Mazdas, we still struggle to remember anything going wrong with them). The reservations expressed by the motoring press (lack of steering/seat adjustment) do not present us with difficulties.
If you are in any doubt, test-drive one, then work out how you will live without it!
I have owned a 1.8 S MX5 for four years. It is seven years old with 80,000 miles and has not given me a day of trouble. You get in it turn the key and enjoy the ride.
The only issues I would have are: the slightly off-set steering position. On longer journeys this can cause a problem and slight discomfort.
There's also the minor issue of the back end coming alive on damp or wet roads. You just have to be sensible.
The boot is small, but what did you expect? But you can get a full set of golf clubs in it.
I upgraded the standard CD player. The speakers are fine, but the standard system is a bit poor.
I would buy another one tomorrow, but sadly it's time to get a car with four seats and a boot!
This is a fantastic car, which does exactly what it is meant to do. It handles better than any of the other low-cost convertibles and has solid build quality.
I have owned a 1.8 Sport for almost three years from new. It's purely a "fun" car, me and the missus are out in it every weekend, usually on long runs in the Peak District.
We both love the car - it gives a real feel-good factor. It's fun, handles great, and gives reasonable fuel econonmy and performance (a little more oomph wouldn't go amiss though!).
The gearchange took some getting used to, a bit notchy, but as time has gone, it does seem slicker - probably just a question of getting the revs right.
I find its roominess adequate, being 6' tall and "x- large" build. The windscreen could do with being that bit taller though, as my view of the horizon can be restricted.
I agree with other reviews about the handling when wet or icy. Take it steady, or it can get scary!
I say it's purely a fun car, however, a trip out is often accomapanied by a visit to the supermarket. With skillful packing, the boot copes easliy with a family shop for four, but if it's struggling there's also a vast amount of space for larger, light items behind the headrests. My only other criticism is the standard radio /CD. It's poor. Harsh and tinny. But most of the time in-car entertainment is somewhat surplus to requirements.
I can see me and the missus riding into the sunset in this car in our twilight years (will it last another 30 - 40 years - it probably will) - unless the new one later this year proves too good to resist, and our bank balance improves!
I own a 2005 year model 1.8 L, with a six-speed gearbox, ABS, LSD, a soft top and 205/45/16/83W 6.5J alloys
The car handles just great. It remindes me of my youth days with a Triumph Spitfire Mk3 in the 70's.
Unlike your test results, I find the car quiet and soft-riding in town and on the highway with the top closed.
The car is very simple mechanicaly, no gudgets at all, everything that I have expected of a true roadster. Driveability at its pure state!
The car has covered 13,000km and it is still hard to change gear when cold. It will grind from 1st to 2nd and from 2nd to 3rd when changed too fast. It gets better and slick when the oil in the gearbox is hot.
It is characteristic of the six-speed gearbox.
Bridgstone Turenza ER30 tyres are good for all year touring.
Order a brochure, find your nearest dealer or book a test drive
Amazing car, once driven, never forgotton, forget all the pretenders like BMW Z4 and Mercedes SLK, they will never have the passion of a Porsche
I love this car! Handling is great, its fun to drive and even reasonably practical!