Mazda MX-5

The first generation of the Mazda MX-5 was presented in 1989, and since then the model has developed quite the fan base around the world. Known in the US as the Mazda Miata, a name which has caught up with MX-5 enthusiasts around the world, it was revealed in 2014 to an extensive hype, to later be released in 2015. It was named UK Car of the Year in 2016, and has without doubt lived up to the MX-5 moniker. The Mazda Miata/MX5 is a lightweight and nimble roadster which suits you perfectly if you’re looking for a smaller convertible that is a guaranteed pleasure to drive.

The Mazda MX-5 can be had with a variety of engines depending on where you live, but all are either 1.5 or 2.0 liter. And while this may not sound like the biggest engine for a car that is supposed to be exhilarating behind the wheel, take into account that the Miata weighs as little as about a tonne. With the SKYACTIV-G 1.5 liter petrol engine, you get 131 horsepower and 150Nm of torque, mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The SKYACTIV-G 2.0 liter engine gives 160 horsepower and  totalt of 200Nm of torque, also with a 6-speed manual trans. In both cases the car is rear-wheel drive, and thanks to Mazda’s SKYACTIV technology which allows for greater fuel efficiency–and depending on how you equip the car–you can get a fuel economy as low as 6.0L/100km with the 1.5 liter engine, but never an average higher than 6.9L/100km despite opting for the bigger engine, according to Mazda’s spec sheets. With the Miata fitted for optimal performance, the car hops from 0-100 km/h in 7.3 seconds.

The roof of the Miata retracts and goes up manually, which might not seem like the ultimate luxury, but considering it can take as little as two seconds, it is rather a feature which is quite practical. On the inside of the MX-5 the design is simple and elegant. Everything is easy to operate, and has an obvious feel of quality to it, which we think is something that was missing in previous models. And although it is a small car, you will find that it is spacious on the inside. No matter if the roof is up or down, you get 130 liters of boot space. This may not be a lot, however we wouldn’t find the lack of storage capacity an issue, since the MX-5 isn’t really meant for week-long adventures.

In their test of the Mazda Miata, Top Gear praised it for its road capabilities. Driving it with the smaller 1.5 liter engine, they concluded that for this lightweight car, even the smaller engine is enough. And also that it handles difficult roads well, with a communicative chassis and joyful transmission.

Few would argue that Mazda hasn’t come up with yet another great MX-5. Something further proved by its numerous awards, amongst which is the win of 2016’s World Car Design of the Year award. While it may not be the most practical vehicle, it is hard to match this driving experience in any other vehicle for the same price. It is clear that this is a highly refined car, that can be enjoyed either when you’re looking to cruise in the sun, or when you’re attacking the road for an exhilirating driving experience.