Mazda MX-5 review

Category: Convertible

Section: Performance & drive

Mazda MX-5 2022 rear cornering
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 front cornering
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 rear cornering
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 interior front seats
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 interior seats
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 interior infotainment
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 front right tracking
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 front cornering
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 right tracking
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 rear cornering
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 alloy wheel detail
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 headlight detail
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 rear light detail
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 interior detail
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 seat detail
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 front cornering
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 rear cornering
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 interior front seats
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 interior seats
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 interior infotainment
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 front right tracking
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 front cornering
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 right tracking
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 rear cornering
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 alloy wheel detail
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 headlight detail
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 rear light detail
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 interior detail
  • Mazda MX-5 2022 seat detail
What Car?’s MX-5 deals
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In this section:
  • Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
  • Suspension and ride comfort
  • Handling
  • Noise and vibration

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

You might be surprised to see that we only give the Mazda MX-5 two stars here, but it’s all a case of context. It occupies the same class as brutally powerful beasts including the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 – and they can happily dispatch a 0-62mph run in less than 4.0sec. In such company, the 130bhp 1.5-litre MX-5, which covers 0-62mph in 8.3sec, seems rather tame. 

That doesn’t mean it can’t still excite, though. You need to rev it hard to get the best from it, but stretching the engine to its 7000rpm redline before changing up a gear is a genuine pleasure, and it’s brisk enough to have fun. In fact, the 1.5 is our pick of the range, not least because of its excellent value.

The 2.0-litre Sport Tech and GT Sport Tech models get full-on sports suspension for a more focused handling set-up, and are firmer, but not uncomfortably so.

You'll notice rough surfaces and expansion joints more on the bigger 17in alloy wheels you get with those trim levels, though. For that reason, we reckon most buyers will prefer the standard set-up and 16in alloys that SE-L and regular Sport come fitted with (you can only have those with the 1.5-litre engine).

Mazda MX-5 2022 rear cornering

Handling

Handling is the MX-5’s trump card. The car is nimble and quick to change direction, with an accurate and light-footed feel. The steering is accurate and gives you the confidence to sweep the nose from one corner to the next with enthusiasm.

New car deals
Save up to £1,641
Target Price from £25,153
Save up to £1,641
or from £252pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £24,499
Leasing deals
From £314pm