Mazda MX-5 roadster - Reliability & safety
Mazda has a long record of producing dependable and safe cars and the new Mazda MX-5 should be no different
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 didn’t appear in our 2021 or 2022 lists.
Mazda as a brand was ranked a respectable seventh out of nearly 30 marques in the 2022 manufacturer rankings, which is another impressive result and indicates that Mazda buyers are generally satisfied with their purchase. A reasonable 25.3% of owners reported a fault within the first 12 months across all models, but we suspect this number was lower for the MX-5.
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.