Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
The Mazda MX-5 is the only two-seat sports car you can buy at this price level, and its bigger and more powerful rivals all cost much more. The 1.5-litre models are more temptingly priced than the 2.0-litre versions, but all versions cost significantly less than an entry-level Audi TT Roadster.
Whichever engine you go for, the MX-5 is very cheap to run by sports car standards. It's a relatively light car, and both the petrol engines are fairly efficient, managing more than 40mpg in WLTP tests and our own real-world testing. In our True MPG tests, the 2.0-litre returned an impressive 45.1mpg – which is even better than the official figure.
For the 2.0-litre, you have a choice of two other trims. Sport Tech adds a reversing camera, 17in wheels, sports suspension and a limited-slip differential (LSD). If you want the 2.0-litre engine, that’s the trim to go for. We'd say top-spec GT Sport Tech models aren't worth the extra because they only add a few cosmetic tweaks, including BBS alloy wheels and nappa leather seats.
The MX-5 is often available with a special or limited edition model which you’ll be able to read about in our versions and specs section.
The MX-5 was rated towards the bottom of the table in the sports car class in the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey. Mazda as a brand did much better, coming eighth out of 30 manufacturers. That puts it ahead of Audi, but behind Mini and Toyota.