20 Oct: Mazda MX-5

… Mazda MX-5 RF GT Sport Tech …

The Mazda MX-5 is the ideal car for the young and carefree, not so much for the growing family or the elderly. On the other hand it provides the perfect excuse for grandparents to avoid taking the weans out for a day trip with the resultant ice cream and jelly everywhere, crisp confetti and Irn Bru stains on the carpets.

There is one caveat for the elderly though, make sure you can get in and out of the thing before buying one. For sure getting in is easy, gravity is a big help, but getting out? That can be difficult at worst for the unfit or embarrassing at best. Mind you it’s worth the effort.

The MX-5 is an absolute hoot to drive. The view down the sculpted bonnet is sublime and it sticks like chewing gum to your best baffies. With the wind in your hair – or toorie-topped bald napper – there is nothing to beat it.

The steering is sensitively direct while the latest version of Mazda’s Skyactiv-G 2 litre engine delivers some 182 bhp. In a car weighing 1200 kgs that’s good for a nought to 60 time of just under 7 seconds with a top speed of 137 mph.

Of course, top speed means nothing in this speed limited, camera blighted nation, but that’s not what the MX-5 is about. With a sweet 6 speed gearbox and grip to spare, just swinging it through a series of bends on the open road is enough to stretch a smile across the face of a statue.

It’s also a very civilised car. Unlike those ‘good old’ British sports cars of the 70s and 80s, the MX-5 offers all the dry comforts of a closed saloon whilst the powered retractable hardtop offers up all the fresh air and natural smells of the countryside, and you can still hear the 9 speaker Bose sound system above the tyres and wind.

The cockpit is on the intimate side of claustrophobic and folding a six foot plus figure in takes a bit of practice, but if you leave the roof open, perhaps the more athletic could leap in and out!

Once ensconced, the ambience simply adds to the car’s appeal. There are three simple analogue dials ahead of the driver, none of this digital and flashing colours nonsense, and a stubby little gearstick which just wants to be grasped.

And to finish it all off, the test car featured Mazda’s rich Soul Red Crystal paint finish (£810 extra). Glorious, simply glorious.

It almost goes without saying, I love the car, but it’s a second or possibly a third car depending on a person’s needs and/or budget. The boot is not overly huge so camping holidays are out and sleeping in the car is impossible. But if you have a staid and sensible saloon car for domestic and business use then this alongside in the garage would provide the perfect antidote to dull and boring. And it provides the ideal excuse for getting away from things – on your own!

The ‘fit & finish’ on the car is exemplary, but it’s the ‘fit & finish’ of the driver that needs to be measured!

Regardless, this is one of life’s more enjoyable and desirable luxuries.

Mazda MX-5 RF GT Sport Tech
Review Date: 20 October 2021
Price: £32,570
Engine: 1998cc, 4 cylinder petrol with 182 bhp
Performance: 0-62 mph in 6.8 secs, flat out at 137 mph
Economy: 40.9 mpg (claimed)
Emissions: 155 g/km

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