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In-depth reviews

Mazda MX-5 - Reliability & safety

“Mazda has a long record of producing dependable and safe cars and the new Mazda MX-5 should be no different”

Carbuyer Rating

4.2 out of 5

Owners Rating

5.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Reliability & safety Rating

4.0 out of 5

One of the chief attractions of the Mazda MX-5 ever since the original model launched has been its reliability. Many sports cars offer thrilling performance that has to be balanced against high running costs or questionable reliability, but the little Mazda has always been no more complex than your average family hatchback – and as a result it has an excellent record for dependability.

Mazda MX-5 reliability

Mazda has always tended to do well in our Driver Power owner satisfaction survey and the MX-5 was rated 26th out of 75 cars in the 2020 edition – the top ranking achieved by a sports car. However, it hasn’t appeared in the list since.

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Mazda as a brand was ranked a respectable seventh out of 32 marques in the 2023 manufacturer rankings, which is another impressive result and indicates that Mazda buyers are generally satisfied with their purchase. A middling 25% of owners reported a fault within the first 12 months across all models, but we suspect this number was lower for the MX-5.

Safety

Independent crash safety experts Euro NCAP awarded the Mazda MX-5 four stars out of a possible five when it went through their demanding tests in 2015. Adult protection was rated at 84% and for child protection the car scored 80%. Pedestrian protection, though, was an impressive 93%, thanks to a deployable bonnet. Note that a four-star score from 2015 isn’t comparable with a more recent score because Euro NCAP has since made the test tougher.

The MX-5 has all the safety equipment you’d expect, like airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control, but Mazda also offers its i-ACTIVSENSE active safety technology, as seen on the Mazda3 hatchback and Mazda6 saloon. These systems include lane-departure warning and blind-spot monitoring.

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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