Mazda MX-5 Review


It’s amazing the different views people have about the MX-5 from Mazda. People generally take one of two view points on the car. The first view point is that this car is an actual masterpiece. That it’s a pure driver’s car that looks good, sounds great and keeps things very real. The other view point is that this is the ultimate in hairdresser’s car.

MX-5 Roof down

MX-5 Roof down

I tend to fall into the first opinion above, but after being in possession of this car for a full week I have to tell you that it was on more than one occasion that people commented on it being a hairdresser’s car. There are many reasons as to why I disagree with this. Firstly, what I’m talking about here is a convertible, which means that if you are a hairdresser you would want some very strong holding product to keep your head styled in the way you are accustomed to. You see, once you get a machine like this you start to fall in love with driving again. You yearn daily for an occasional break in the rain, even at -3o, just so you can take that roof down and feel the wind massaging your scalp. You want to be on the motorway at a quiet hour of the morning or evening so you can feel the 188Nm of torque at 5,000rpm and the 160 PS. You want to find somewhere that you can take the roof down and experience the 0-100km/h in 7.9 seconds. None of these things are what I would consider to be a hairdresser-friendly. The only things that would appeal to a hairdresser is the fact that you can put the roof up again, and that this car looks smoking hot.

MX-5 interior

MX-5 interior

No, the view point I’d have on this machine is that it’s a near-perfect driver’s car. This machine doesn’t offer all of the mod-cons. It offers a lot, but not too much, and it sticks to the basics in everything but power, where it is wonderful. And even if you put a figure on that power (188Nm torque @ 5,000rpm / 160PS / 0-100km/h 7.9 seconds) it doesn’t read that massive, but the car deals with the ability it has in an incredibly pleasing way.

MX-5 Roof up

MX-5 Roof up

Yes, I am a fan of this car. I have no problem admitting it. Sure it has a lot of things about it that wouldn’t appeal to your average driver, but nobody buys a Mazda MX-5 without knowing its flaws. In fact, what one would describe as “flaws” about this machine is probably what drives people to it. For example, most cars these days come with a rake of equipment, different drive modes and all of the bells and whistles, and while this car has relevant safety equipment like ABS and Traction Control, there is very little else.

Another thing which would and could be considered as a flaw by some people would be the outside noise getting in while the roof is closed. Potential owners and fans of this car would say that this is so you can hear the roar of the engine as it moves up the rev counter. Some may even complain about the serious lack of space in this car – I have news for anyone who thinks this though – this is a sports car, not a family wagon!

There probably are people who don’t like this car for the reasons mentioned above, but I think one thing is certain enough, people respect the MX-5. It’s been relatively untouched over the last 25 years and it’s managed to stay current. Even those of you who think it’s a hairdresser’s car wouldn’t say no to one. There’s a reason for the MX-5 being the flagship model from Mazda, and that’s because it’s border line iconic.

As I’ve said before, this car drives and revs like a sports car, so the fuel economy and CO2 emission figures won’t read amazingly. The Mazda MX-5 burns 181 g/km of CO2 and on paper it has a combined fuel economy of 7.8 litres per 100km or 36mpg – even this figure should be seen as being too generous because let’s face it, if you own one of these you’ll want to hear the engine growl and growling means more fuel use.

So, did I like the soon-to-be-outgoing Mazda MX-5? Well, if this photo doesn’t answer that question for you then you’re not reading between the lines! Would I buy one though? Probably not, I need the family wagon at the moment so I can think of better ways to spend my €32,995.

This is my shocked look - see what no roof does to the hair!

This is my happy-shocked look – see what no roof does to the hair!

Does this car appeal to the masses? Well, according to the Guinness World Records it does – the Mazda MX-5 is the best selling two seater sports car. Don’t believe me? Read it here – Guinness World Records. The video above shows MX-5 owners attempting to break another world record in 2013.


About Author

Daragh Ó Tuama

Daragh is Contributing Editor and founder of Past and present motoring ventures include presenting MotorMouth on Newstalk 106-108FM and MPH on TG4. Daragh was also editor for Car Buyers Guide and contributor for He set up the motors section on and can be heard regularly on Rónán Beo @3 on Raidió na Gaeltachta. He’s a regular contributor to The Sunday World’s Motor Mouth pages and he also regularly contributes motoring content for the Irish language online magazine,

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