Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Mazda MX-5 sports?
Whether you're looking at a roadster or a Coupe Cabriolet, check the roof-folding mechanism, and that there are no signs of leaks, tears or damage. The Coupe Cabriolet's roof can stick half open, because of faulty position sensors.
Careless owners can leave the roof down in poor weather, so it's important to check for damp patches and water marks on seats and carpets. Some owners complain of a strange buzzing noise from near the gearlever when the car is accelerating. Mazda says it's nothing to worry about.
The wheels can be incorrectly aligned, so check for any signs of uneven tyre wear.
What are the most common problems with a used Mazda MX-5 sports?
The engines and the gearboxs of all MX-5s are generally strong, and there are few consistently reported problems, even in cars with above average mileages. It is worth checking that the oil changes have been performed on time, roughly every 10,000 miles, and that the timing belt has been changed regularly; every 60,000 miles is the recommended period.
Rust is the biggest issue with an old MX-5, and can affect many different areas of the bodywork, so it's vital to check carefully, especially around the wheel arches. Always test the folding hard-top to make sure it's smooth in operation.
Is a used Mazda MX-5 sports reliable?
Bullet-proof is the word normally used to describe the MX-5's 1.8 and 2.0-litre engines, so as long as they have been regularly maintained and the service history tallies up you should experience few problems. Build quality is excellent, too.
Mazda as a brand usually finishes in the top half of any customer satisfaction or reliability surveys, with the MX-5 always performing well.