The Mazda MX-5 is a unique proposition in the new car market, with the latest car continuing a proud tradition of sporty rear-wheel drive two-seaters. The combination of modest power outputs, nimble chassis and sublime manual gearbox mean it’s a great way to learn about car handling, but the everyday usability and stellar reliability mean it’s well capable of being more than a summertime plaything.

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Mazda’s claim that the latest MX-5 returns to the original car’s formula and offers a genuine sports car thrill still stands, but for buyers on a budget the MX-5 will be harder to justify as prices continue to climb year after year.

About the Mazda MX-5

The fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 fits the classic roadster template and has plenty of thrills to offer. It’s the planet’s best-selling two-seat sports car, and it has earned iconic status in its 25-year history, becoming as ubiquitous as the British sports cars it emulated when it first arrived in 1989.

The MX-5 Mk4 arrived towards the end of 2015, and was smaller, more efficient and more than 100kg lighter than its predecessor. The Mk4 was updated in 2018 but in typical Mazda fashion it was a small facelift as a result of customer feedback. Both 1.5 and 2.0-litre versions received a small hike in power and became WLTP compliant, more standard fit safety kit was fitted, as was a telescopic steering column for a more comfortable driving position. Further revisions were made in early 2020 with a realigned model line up and additional standard equipment.

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