he Mazda MX-5 has become the blueprint for the small, affordable roadster, and it delivers so much more than the sum of its parts.
All versions are great fun, thanks to light-footed, assured handling, yet the MX-5 copes admirably with the daily grind of normal driving. There's plenty of space in the cabin, comfortable seats and even a reasonable boot.
Performance and economy are both reasonable thanks to the light weight. We reckon the 1.8 gives you all the power you need, although it's easy to see the appeal of the 2.0's extra grunt.
You can keep costs down by choosing the basic models, but you miss out on basics like air-conditioning and side airbags. Sport Tech models have stiffer suspension for sharper handling, but the ride is rather firm.
If you plan to buy and MX-5, keep an eye on Mazda’s website – the firm is always offering high-value special editions.