Mazda MX-5 review

Category: Convertible

Section: Costs & verdict

Mazda MX-5 2021 interior infotainment
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 front tracking
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 rear cornering
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 interior dashboard
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 interior seats
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 interior infotainment
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 front right static
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 right static
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 rear left static
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 rear tracking
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 rear right tracking
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 roof up detail
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 roof down detail
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 alloy wheel detail
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 seat detail
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 front tracking
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 rear cornering
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 interior dashboard
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 interior seats
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 interior infotainment
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 front right static
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 right static
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 rear left static
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 rear tracking
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 rear right tracking
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 roof up detail
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 roof down detail
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 alloy wheel detail
  • Mazda MX-5 2021 seat detail
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In this section:
  • Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
  • Equipment, options and extras
  • Reliability
  • Safety and security

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. Its bigger and more powerful rivals all cost vast amounts more. The 1.5-litre models are more temptingly priced than the 2.0-litre versions, though, as they get surprisingly close to the cost of an entry-level Audi TT Roadster.

Whichever engine you go for, the MX-5 is very cheap to run by sports car standards because it's relatively light and has fairly efficient engines. The 1.5 and 2.0-litre both promise to return more than 40mpg under WLTP testing, and we've regularly experienced similar results in real-world testing. In our True MPG tests, the 2.0-litre returned an impressive 45.1mpg – exceeding the official figures.

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.

Mazda MX-5 2021 interior infotainment

Reliability

Overview

The Mazda MX-5 is a terrific two-seat convertible that's great to drive and won't cost a fortune to buy or own. It might not offer the blood and thunder acceleration of the more expensive machines in the sports car class, but with its free-revving engines, sweet gearbox and nimble handling, it’s difficult to beat for pure driving enjoyment.

  • Outstanding ride and handling balance
  • Performance suited to UK roads
  • Low running costs
  • Not much head room for tall drivers
  • Limited storage
  • Driving position would benefit from greater range of adjustment