Which used Mazda MX-5 sports should I buy?
There are just three models to pick from. The range starts with a 1.6i, which is fine, if a little slow, but most MX-5s have the 1.8 engine, which is a fair bit quicker, and comes in standard and Sport models. For us, it's the range-topping 1.8 Sport that is the ultimate MX-5 in every sense, so make sure that's the car you have on the top of your shortlist.
They all have remote locking and electric windows and mirrors, twin front airbags and anti-lock brakes, but the Sport adds leather seats and alloy wheels - both very desirable. The standard models make do with steel wheels, although it's quite possible alloys were fitted as options when the car was new.
In fact, you can expect almost all the used MX-5s on sale to be unique. The list of factory-fitted and aftermarket extras is endless, and many MX-5s have drilled pedals, add-on steering wheels, upgraded stereos and modified exhausts. So, be prepared to shop around to find exactly what you want.
Mazda also marketed a succession of special editions, all of which are rightly popular second-hand. Otherwise, Japan-market cars are available, most of which have been imported second-hand and have high specifications at low price. They usually lack service history, however, which is a big drawback.