Mazda MX-5 2.0 Z-Sport (Price, as tested, £25,610)


IT'S Mazda's evergreen roadster and on this occasion we got our hands on a limited edition.

The Northern Echo:


EVERYONE should be granted a period in their lifetime where they get to drive an MX-5. I'm fortunate enough to have driven the two-seater roadster on several occasions.

This distinctive limited edition Z-Sport comes with a dark cherry roof and machine grey body and is shod with 17ins gunmetal BBS alloys - a hairdressers' car this is not.

The 2.0 litre engine puts out 158bhp and due to its lightweight construction it goes from nought to 62mph in 7.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 133mph.

You have to work the engine, but to my mind that's all part of the enjoyment of owning a car such as this. It's a flashback to the past in a car that's very much of the day.

A six-speed automatic gearbox is standard. Going up and down the gate provides real driving satisfaction and when I hit the sweet spot between 4,000 and 5,000 revs I couldn't stop the smile spreading across my face.

Precise steering, allied to sharp handling makes this a car you just can't wait to drive.

The Northern Echo:


CARS like this are more about the driving experience than interior comfort and ambience, but the MX-5 does strike a good balance. Our car's leather seats and stitching gave an air of quality and cockpit has a mature and contemporary design.

I liked the chunky steering wheel and switchgear and everything is within easy reach, allowing the driver to concentrate on, well, driving.


OUR car came with sand leather seats, Z-Sport scuff plates, floor mats and interior badge, auto-dimming rear view mirror, leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, deep cherry soft top roof, 17ins BBS alloys, adaptive front lighting system, dusk sensing lights, rear parking sensors, LED headlights and daytime running lights, power operated, heated body coloured mirrors, twin exhausts, sports suspension with Bilstein dampers, Bose sound system with nine speakers, DAB radio, 7ins colour touch screen, multi-media commander, integrated sat nav, Bluetooth, cruise control, climate control air conditioning, rain-sensing front wipers, smart keyless entry, heated seats, engine start-stop button, limited slip differential, lane departure warning system, hill hold assist, front and side airbags and tyre pressure monitoring system.

The Northern Echo:


I'M average height and build so didn't have any issues, but it's fair to say the MX-5 is on the cosy side. There was enough room to stretch my legs out and I had decent headroom, but I imagine those six foot plus might have more of an issue. The same can be said of the width, rubbing elbows could be a very real possibility for some.

Instead of a glovebox, the MX-5 has a small amount of lockable storage space behind the driver's right shoulder. There are also two cupholders, again behind the occupants, which was a bit problematic at times.

The roof is manually operated, but it is simplicity itself to put up and down. Pull a button back at the top of the windscreen and it pops clear, push it back behind you and secure with a click. Reversing the operation requires pulling a handle and then dragging the roof over your head and clamping into place. Both take a matter of seconds.

The boot pops open with the push of a button on the keyfob or a release button quite far down on the car's rear end. It is large enough for a couple of weekend bags or some light shopping.

Vision is good out of the front, but I had problems reversing, finding it difficult to judge exactly where I was.


MAZDA say it should be possible to get 40.9mpg on the combined cycle. I managed 37.5mpg. CO2 emissions are 161g/km.


A CLASSIC that shows no sign of waning


FIAT 124 Spider