I suppose this ought to be some kind of car review. I’ve written for a few mags now but I’ve never written a car review before as I’m rubbish at them. Plus, I don’t see the point. Would you spend £18k on some random writer’s say so? Probably not. But you might be intrigued enough to try the MK3.75 MX-5 for yourself. I hope so because it is very good. I am not going to bore you with the stats and facts for two reasons. One, you can get them straight off Mazda’s MX-5 website here, and two, no-one ever buys an MX-5 for it’s MPH/BHP/MPG/VED anyway. You buy cars like this for how they make you feel and equipped with just a keyboard and some pictures from my new Canon Eos M compact I’m not sure I can convey all that zoom-zoom feeling. I’ll have a go at a little review then…

We’ll start with some visual comparisons. The MK3.75 looks much more butch than my dainty MK1 and purists/geeks [delete as applicable] might question the purpose of the muscular arches and overly aggressive face of the new car. Comparing 18 grand’s worth of new car to my old rotbox isn’t fair though. The MK3.75 looks butch compared to the MK1 but sat next to it’s contemporary rivals it’s still a compact and delicately drawn thing. I like that. People will let you out at lights, passers by will smile, and those in the know will compliment you on what a good car this is. Just like they do in the original. Frankly, who cares about aesthetics anyway, it’s about how it drives that matters.

Mazda MX-5 3.5

This car has the 1.8 litre engine and considering that the MX-5 is about fun, not drag racing, there’s not much point in the 2.0 model. The gearbox has just 5 ratios and retains all the snickety niceness of the original, it’s plenty quick enough with a pliant ride on modestly sized wheels. The obvious build quality and Mazda reliability are a welcome bonus, the cabin has AC, a 3mm jack to input your tunes, PAS with plenty of feedback and a traction control system that lets you chuck the car about without hurting yourself. The boot is big enough to hold every “hairdresser’s car” joke you’ve ever heard. It’s a car you look for excuses to use and doesn’t demand anything from you in return for serving up simple, reliable, RWD fun. It corners flat and steers true with a hint of wiggle from the back in the wet. The engine is silent on tickover yet delivers enough raspy punch to propel you down b-roads as you’d like. Perfect. What other new car offers this? I can’t explain why all this makes me smile when I drive it, but it does. The MX-5 still has that unique mix of fun and practicality and you can bet that Mazda won’t change this winning recipe when the all-new MK4 is launched later this year.

See? I told you I wasn’t very good at reviews. Go and try the car for yourself.

Rich Duisberg

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