The MX-5 proves that sports cars dont need to be sophisticated, luxurious or expensive to be satisfying to drive. Indeed, Mazdas exceptional no-frills winner has taken this award for the past couple of years, thanks largely to its brilliant driving dynamics, low ownership costs and reliable mechanicals. In fact, its margin of victory this year is even bigger than it was in 2010.
Handling has always been the MX-5s great strength, so its no surprise to see that owners scored it higher than any other sports car for steering sharpness, stability through corners and responsive brakes.
The Mazda also did extremely well in less obvious areas in particular, its interior colour co-ordination, the reassuring thunk of its doors as they close, and the fine visibility from the drivers seat.
Owners were also impressed by the low costs of servicing and repairs, and by the reasonably priced insurance premiums.
The MX-5s fuel economy didnt receive quite such a glowing report, but the courtesy of service advisers at dealerships and the detailed explanations they gave to owners were much appreciated.
The Mazda pretty much avoided any serious criticism, but gripes did include a surprisingly high number of battery failures and a few instances of rust.
Many owners also moaned about the floor mats, which refused to stay in place.
Overall, though, despite tough new competition from the VW Scirocco, the Mazda was the clear winner once again.
Names Kath & Douglas McDermott
Ages 41 & 44
Jobs Teacher & tutor
Model 1.8i RC
Mileage with car 5000
Were delighted with our MX-5 and relish every journey in it!
Its brilliant to drive, and the steering is so alive it responds instantly to inputs. The engine does need to be revved beyond 4000rpm before it really gets going, but the performance is more than adequate, and having a sixth gear really helps with fuel economy on motorway journeys. The interior is well appointed, too. Sports and cabriolets league table
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