Mazda MX-5 long-term test review: final report
Source : Mazda MX-5 long-term test review: final report
We know which’s a beguiling weekend car for enthusiasts, however what has which been like to live with every day for the past year?
For a clear indication of just how much fun the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 has been to live with over the past year, just look at which bill for tyres: £860 for eight of the blooming things.
We just couldn’t stop driving which hard, because which was a car which demanded to be discovered, compared, questioned, explored along with enjoyed at every opportunity.
The brief for the Mk4 MX-5, launched last summer, can be well known – not which ‘tyre-shredder’ was in which. along with which isn’t a tyre-shredder, of course, because which was all our doing. however more on which in a moment.
Mazda’s brief, then, was to make the MX-5 smaller along with lighter while keeping which fun along with affordable. The MX-5 kept the classic front-engined, rear-wheel-drive roadster structure along with at which point looks even better with Mazda’s lovely Kodo design language.
With such a formula to work with along having a track record like Mazda’s of producing such a car, which hasn’t truly been a surprise which our year inside latest MX-5 has been a not bad ’un.
To jump straight into the dissection of the oily bits, you can have your MX-5 with one of two brand new normally aspirated engines: a 1.5 along having a 2.0. We went for the larger unit, so we had the MX-5 at its most powerful however, admittedly, not its absolute purest.
In an era dominated by downsized turbocharged engines, which has been refreshing to drive a motor which goes against the trend. Mazda instead calls which ‘right-sizing’, offering the right-sized engine for a car with the right amount of power, rather than relying on a turbocharger to do all the work. which leads to a much nicer along with more progressive driving experience, the engine smooth along with linear throughout the rev range while coming alive at the top end.
What’s more, fuel economy never dropped below 40mpg, no matter how hard which was driven on the road. I bet the same won’t be said of the 1.4-litre turbo which Fiat can be putting inside MX-5’s sister car, the 124 Spider.
The engine came hooked up to a six-speed manual gearbox. The gearlever can be nice along with stubby, the knob sitting snugly in your hand, along with the action through the gate can be slick. however I did struggle a bit with coming off the clutch when changing coming from first to second, smoothness in which shift proving beyond the ability of my agricultural left foot.
There was nothing agricultural about the chassis, which was perhaps the sweetest part of all about life with the Mazda. All MX-5s with the 158bhp 2.0-litre engine have a limited-slip differential, strut tower bar along with 17in alloy wheels. coming from there, you have a choice of mid-range SE-L trim with normal suspension or the range-topping Sport trim with sports suspension along with Bilstein dampers. Having sacrificed purity with the engine, we went for the standard set-up, which proved to be a fine choice for everday use.
The MX-5 rides very well along with steers along with handles ever better. Although I have a fairly dull 25-mile commute on main roads in each direction every day, I found the MX-5 one of the most enjoyable things in which to do which because which was such an interactive along with involving driving experience.
The MX-5 can be the kind of car which tells you what which’s doing. The steering can be precise, with nearperfect weighting for the level for performance. Every part of the automobile which you interact with feels tuned along with set up by someone who knows what they’re doing along with who likes driving. A true MX-5, then.
On circuit, where the Mazda frequently found itself, there was more roll along with slightly less sharp handling than having a Sport design, however I found which altogether more endearing. You could still explore the automobile’s limits, along with adjust which while which was there, however the automobile was as much fun to drive at seven-tenths as which was in all-out attack mode, such was the sweetness along with delicacy of which all.
which was which track use which did for a lot of the tyres. Two fronts along with two rears were seen off at different times due to extended circuit use, which prompted a switch to winter tyres all round at one point. which softened the drive even more along with some testers even preferred the more buttery everyday usability. Admittedly, others hated which on winter rubber.
As not bad as which was on a circuit along with on shorter trips, the MX-5 had its limitations on longer journeys. Although 100-milers were fine, 0-milers were less so. The cabin’s shrink-wrapped size began to grate on such journeys along with which felt even more cramped having a passenger. The limited padding inside seat also led to, as the French say, a numb arse.
Opening the roof always helped, though. The MX-5’s roof can be manual along having a doddle to fling back along with store in one swoop of the arm. The speed at which you could do which all depends on your strength. You might be able to battle the wind resistance along with do which at 100mph if you’re a Russian athlete.
Problems? Surprisingly for a Japanese car with only 15,000 miles on the odometer, there were a couple. The stitching on one of the seats came unpicked. The tyre pressure monitoring system randomly turned itself on a few times before a check along having a reset threw up no problems. along with after a service which resulted in a software update for the infotainment system, the DAB radio reception became patchy.
On the subject of which infotainment system, the MZD-Connect set-up having a 7.0in screen can be a lovely thing to use, chiefly because which doesn’t have a blasted touchscreen along with you can control which having a nice big rotary wheel. Also, the few buttons around which are easy to learn along with locate, producing for a safe, intuitive drive.
Intuitive: at which point which’s a not bad word to describe the MX-5 as a whole. You look at which, hear the name along with think: involving, fun-to-drive sports car. Mazda hasn’t disappointed. In fact, which’s better than ever, which can be no mean feat in an era where we’re increasingly seeing car makers mess up their driving icons (Renault Sport Clio, silly dual-clutch automatic gearbox; Porsche 718 Cayman along with Boxster, silly turbocharged engine). The MX-5 remains an MX-5, along having a better MX-5 at which.
We’ll miss which. Well, I will, however Steve Cropley won’t. He’s just bought the thing.
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