This is the rear-wheel-drive MX-5’s trump card. It’s nimble, quick to change direction, and feels accurate and generally light-footed. The steering is accurate and well weighted, too, letting you sweep the nose from one bend to the next with total confidence. That’s also helped by the grip you get, so you don’t feel afraid to use all its performance on the road. Compared with most of the front-wheel drive hot hatches that are similarly priced, it’s a much more involving, playful-feeling car.
The only quibble we’ve got is that the soft suspension can result in quite pronounced body lean through corners, but it’s not something that’ll bother most, and it’s a small price to pay, because as you’ll read later, it rides well, too.
Sport models with the 2.0-litre engine receive stiffer suspension that keeps roll under much tighter control and also makes the MX-5 feel keener to turn in to corners. These also give better traction out of corners thanks to a standard limited slip differential.