What's the used Mazda MX-5 sports like?
It's rare for a car to reach iconic status, but the Mazda MX-5 is one of those that has. Since its introduction in 1989, it's charmed motorists the world over, sold by the bucketload and put a smile on the face of over one million owners.
This is the third generation car, which made its first appearance in 2005. Unlike previous MX-5s, this model is available in two different guises: to complement the traditional soft-top roadster, a Coupe Cabriolet was introduced. Its electrically powered folding hard top gives the refinement of a coupe, but allows you to get the wind in your hair at the touch of a button.
The MX-5 is one of the best-driving cars available, regardless of budget or badge. Both hard and soft-top models are impressively agile. The steering is precise and full of feel, while the rear-wheel-drive chassis offers fluid handling with bags of grip. The ride is comfortable and controlled over broken surfaces, especially in the hard-top coupe, which has slightly softer suspension settings.
A two-seater sportscar can never be described as practical, but the MX-5 is comfortable and reasonably roomy for two, while the boot provides a good usable space for smaller bags.
The good news is that the MX-5 won't cost a fortune to buy or to own, and used examples now look very attractive. It also has a good reputation for reliability and longevity, with many cars having been carefully looked after. This version has had two minor facelifts, in 2008 and 2013, mostly centred around minor styling updates. All in, if you're in the market for a little wind-in-the-hair fun it's a great purchase.