Mazda MX-5 – A Cheap Sports Car?


The purchase of sports cars is a precarious business; there are so many factors to take into consideration before you hand over that (soon to be) maxed out credit card. For a start, cars of this nature have some of the harshest depreciation rates of all cars. You are likely to find that your prized, new vehicle loses almost half of its value as soon as its pristine-tuned engine elegantly pulls you away from the forecourt. Secondly, there are the age-specific dilemmas to take into consideration. We are all aware of the “mid-life crisis” tag that is (often) justly hung over the heads of the graying gentlemen who buy them. Amongst other sneers is the occasional jibe that a middle-aged man in a sports car looks like a Worm on a Diamond. Thirdly, there are the obvious cost implications. A high performance car that looks the part is going to set you back in a major way; in many cases you may just be paying over the odds for the badge on the front. 

So, what if you were able to buy a sports car that neatly avoided all three of these social faux pas in one handy and rather impressive, sporty little number? The answer is the Mazda MX-5; one of the most popular roadster sports cars in the world (including the USA’s Miata namesake).   

The Mazda MX-5 is currently in its third generation and enjoying a consistent and fully deserved level of popularity. But what keeps dragging the consumers in is the unbelievably low price. For less than £20,000 you can own a fully functional, stylish looking and high performing sports car. Best of all, you won’t get the jeering masses pointing at you as you drive through the town centres, accusing you of having some kind of breakdown. The question is; how does the sporty Mazda manage to be both cheap, mock-proof and maintain its value in the used car market? 

The answer is slightly depressing to the prospective Mazda MX-5 [] owner, but true nonetheless. The Mazda MX-5 is quite a common car. When I say “common” I don’t mean like your Cousin Jeanette who spends every Friday night at the working men’s clubs looking for a ‘victim’ for the night, but common in the sense that more than a few people have cottoned on to the benefits of owning a Mazda MX-5. The Mazda represents the meeting point between dreams and reality for a lot of drivers. It is achievable but not disappointing, which is probably the best that the largest proportion of the population can hope for in driving terms. 

In terms of performance, the Mazda MX-5 really states its case for being the world’s most popular sports car. It is one of the lowest cost cars you will be able to get rear wheel drive in and with the 0-60 of slightly over 7 seconds, you are looking at car with pretty serious power. The 2.0 Litre Petrol is my personal favourite of the two available engines (the other being a slightly limp 1.8 Petrol) with an impressive 158 BHP. In a car of this size, that amount of torque can feel as though you have a rocket strapped to your back when you put your foot down. 

It would be foolish to state that the Mazda MX-5 is the dream car for the sporty drivers amongst us, I think everyone would prefer a Porsche 911 or a Ferrari 599, but for the money you pay, the Mazda is a heck of a car!