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Car of the Year Awards 2023: 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...

Best sports car for value

Mazda MX-5 1.5 Skyactiv-G Exclusive-Line

Car of the Year 2023 main logo

It’s one thing for a car to have a cult following, but it’s another for it to keep that following throughout multiple generations. And key to the Mazda MX-5’s enduring popularity is this: there’s nothing else for this kind of money that gives you the true sports car experience.

Following the same tried and tested formula since 1989, the MX-5 puts you in control of a peppy, responsive little engine that’s attached to one of the nicest manual gearboxes in the business.

Mazda MX-5 2022 interior front seats

The highlight of the MX-5, though, is most definitely its handling. True, it won’t go around corners as quickly as the much more powerful Porsche Cayman, but it still promises its driver a whale of a time, thanks to well-weighted steering that serves up lots of feedback, and suspension that’s firm enough for tidy cornering but won’t break your back when you’re ambling along.

That means it’s easy to live with whether you’re in the mood for fun or not (you will be).

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