Mazda MX-5 Quick Guide

MAZDA MX-5 QUICK GUIDE

In 1989, the Japanese reminded us what a British sportscar should be all about. Huge fun to drive with a rorty exhaust note. Japanese reliability is a boon, but problems remain as with any classic choice. The Mk1 had a 1.6 or 1.8-litre engine and pop-up lamps. Softer Mk2 ran from 1998 to 2005 with fixed headlamps and a new glazed-window hood.

WHY YOU WANT ONE:

  • Classic driving experience with fewer downsides than some
  • Great for daily use – mileage no issue if cared for
  • Serious value at the moment – some creeping below £1000
  • Superb club and parts support already for this burgeoning classic
  • Not bad for DIY unlike many moderns

Mazda's MX5 of 1989 put the sports car firmly back on the agenda

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

  • Corrosion, especially in the sill/rear wheelarch area
  • Accident damage – some have been thrashed
  • Seized rear brake calipers
  • Japanese-market Eunos not to be feared – check insurance first
  • Cheap tyres, lack of service history

RIVALS FOR YOUR AFFECTION

  • MGB
  • Fiat Barchetta
  • Toyota MR2
  • BMW Z3

SPECIFICATION

Engine 1.6 or 1.8 litre, four-cylinder, DOHC
Power 89bhp, 115bhp (1.6) 131bp, 133bhp (1.8). Second figure from 1996
Top Speed 130mph
0-60mph 7.7seconds
Economy 30-36mpg
Gearbox 5-speed manual

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