Mazda MX-5

Mazda Mx5 Motability carA new MX-5 is due in the Autumn of 2015. This model no longer available.

In 1980 after 18 years of troubled production the Triumph Spitfire and MG-B, the two icons of affordable British soft top motoring, ceased production. In 1990, a whole decade later, arguably the the finest soft top sports car ever built arrived on our roads, 8 years in the planning and built to an astonishingly high standard the Mazda MX-5 with its pop up headlights, affordable price tag and no thrills design was the car MG should have made instead of the mid engined MG-F.

The MX-5 has a traditional front engined – rear wheel drive setup and near perfect 50-50 weight distribution making it a car that engages the driver fully, Jeremy Clarkson wrote of the MX-5:   The fact is that if you want a sports car, the MX-5 is perfect. Nothing on the road will give you better value. Nothing will give you so much fun. The only reason I’m giving it five stars is because I can’t give it 14.

 

Mazda MX-5 motability carThe present MX-5, the third series, has evolved; the pop up lights have been replaced with a traditional lighting unit and as a result the front end is rounded and  more friendly, but all that is good about the original car remains intact especially its driving credentials; nothing beats the wind in your hair on a sunny day in a sports car, not a convertible version of a hatchback but a good old fashioned soft top sports car.

The MX-5 is fitted with all the luxuries you could wish for: climate control air conditioning, front electric windows, front and side airbags, electric heated door mirrors, twin exhaust pipes, leather steering wheel and gearknob, CD/radio with steering wheel controls and anti roll bars that will keep your head attached to your shoulders should the unthinkable happen.

 

Mazda MX-5 motability car

The Mazda MX-5 has a 1.8 litre petrol engine that produces 126 brake horse power, which compared to the sports cars of yesteryear is terrifyingly powerful, but in today’s terms is a little underpowered, however with the top down and your seat only a few inches above the road surface the 9.9 second 0-62 time feels more than fast enough and it would take a braver person than me to reach the 123 miles per hour top speed, economy from the 5 speed manual gearbox is an acceptable 39.8 miles per gallon.

Two versions of the Mazda MX-5 are available to motability customers, the soft top and the Roadster, the soft top has the traditional fold away rag-top while the roadster has a electronic hard roof that stores itself away behind the seats in 12 seconds, you have to be stationary while the roof is operating but it does give you added protection in the winter months and if your mobility is limited is essential.

The MX-5 only has room for one agile passenger and two overnight bags and will prove a little tricky navigating through a British winter but it is excellent value and will provide the most fun you can have on a sunny day and a country lane.