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Car of the Year Awards 2021: Best sports car for value

More than anything, sports cars need to thrill you. Acceleration is important, but it’s finesse and feel through corners that matter most. Sports cars are two-seaters or have rear seats that are...

Car of the Year Awards 2021: Best sports car for value

Mazda MX-5 1.5 SkyActiv-G SE L

What Car? Car of the Year 2021 logo with sponsor

Some ideas don’t stand the test of time, but others seem to stay relevant no matter how drastically the world around them changes. The MX-5 is most definitely in the latter camp. The basic concept hasn’t changed a bit in more than 30 years: two seats, a fabric roof, rear-wheel drive and very little weight to carry around.

The entry-level 1.5 petrol model is all you need. In traditional sports car fashion, it doesn’t have a turbocharger to give it extra urge, so it needs revving hard. But that’s part of the fun, as is feeling the wind in your hair as you spear this tiny roadster along any snaking stretch of road. Outright cornering grip isn’t huge, but that’s not the point, which is that you feel intrinsically involved in the process of driving, without risking your licence.

Mazda MX-5 2020 RHD seats

So, what did the MX-5 see off to win our Best for Value gong? Well, that’s just it; there isn’t another sports car that’s anywhere near as affordable. The closest thing is the Audi TT Roadster, and that costs around £12k more. It’s clear, then, that Mazda’s timeless classic is unbeatable value.

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