Used Mazda MX-5 long-term test: report 3

The Mazda MX-5 is a firm favourite with those who want fun in the sun, but what’s a used one like as your only car? We have four months to find out...

Long term Mazda MX-5 side

The car 2019 Mazda MX-5 2.0 184ps GT Sport Nav+ Run by Max Adams, Used cars reporter

Why it’s here To find out if a two-seater sports car is a help or hindrance in everyday life.

Needs to Provide maximum smiles-per-mile without breaking the bank.

Mileage 2974 List price new (2019) £26,095 Price new with options £26,885 Value now £21,078 Options fitted metallic paint £790 Test economy 38.8mpg Official economy 40.9mpg (WLTP) 

12 September 2020 – how best to miss the rain with your top off

The elephant in the room when it comes to driving a convertible is whether or not you’ll make it to your destination without being rained upon. You’re exposed enough as it is with the roof down, but to then also be faced with the ridicule of passers by for being that person that has to pull over at the first sign of drizzle is embarrassing to say the least. Science, it turns out, has an answer to this: drive faster.

Before we get carried away here, I’m absolutely not condoning driving at the Mazda MX-5’s alleged top speed of 136mph just to spare your Barnet Fair from getting soaked. It turns out, you really only need to keep it to around 45mph to remain dry. 

You see, the steep rake of the windscreen of the MX-5 helps to deflect the high-speed airflow over the bonnet of the car upwards and over you inside the car. It does a pretty good job of keeping you sheltered with the side windows up, even at this relatively low speed. I’ve even tested this out inadvertently when I was caught out by a small shower on the motorway and I managed to remain dry at the legal limit despite spray from trucks. 

You will still experience some turbulence from behind your head because the tiny removable plastic wind deflector between the headrests and rollover hoops in this Mazda isn’t as effective as some of the bigger pop-up mesh alternatives in rivals, or the neat Aircap system with its mesh screen that rises from the top of the windscreen of some Mercedes soft-top convertibles. 

Alternative convertible wind deflectors - Mercedes SL and Mercedes C-Class

However, these are all features you’d expect to find on pricier (and heavier) sports cars. And to be fair, you don’t really buy an open-top car not to experience the breeze at speed, so I’d argue the MX-5 strikes a good balance between fresh air in your face, with the option for a bit of sanctuary from the elements when you need it.

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