Mazda MX-5 roadster (2005-2015)

"The Mazda MX-5 isn’t just one of the most fun-to-drive cars on the road, it’s also affordable and reliable."

Carbuyer Rating

4.2 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.3 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Super reliable
  • Loads of fun
  • Relatively affordable to run

Cons

  • Cramped interior
  • Very small boot
  • A bit dated

The Mazda MX-5 is perfect if you want an open-top two-seater that’s fun to drive and reasonably cheap to run. There's a new model on the way, which means Mazda is offering some very generous discounts on the current car, too. Many see the Mazda as offering the traditional thrills of a classic British sports car, combined with the reliability of a Japanese model.

Two versions are available, each with a different roof. As its name suggests, the MX-5 Soft Top has a folding fabric roof, but the MX-5 Roadster Coupe has a folding hard-top roof. As a result, the latter is a little quieter on the move, more secure and only marginally heavier.

And it’s that weight that explains the brilliance of the Mazda MX-5 on the move. Even though it’s been on sale for a long time, it’s still one of the most entertaining cars to drive you can buy – at any price. Couple that lightness with steering that responds immediately to your inputs, a wonderful manual gearbox and just enough power to make the most of the brilliant chassis, and it’s no surprise that across three generations, the MX-5 has become the world’s most popular roadster.

Buyers can choose between 1.8 and 2.0-litre petrol engines, which make the Mazda quick enough to be lots of fun on a twisty road. The Soft Top is only available with the 1.8-litre engine, but the Roadster Coupe offers the choice of both engines, plus the option of an automatic gearbox instead of the standard six-speed manual.

The Soft Top features two trim levels: SE and Sport Venture. All models have climate-control air-conditioning, electric windows and alloy wheels. Sport Venture models add heated leather seats and sat nav, and is well worth the additional £500 over the price of the Soft Top SE.

Roadster Coupe trims are slightly different, with SE, Sport Tech, Sport Tech Nav and Venture Edition offered. Here, the SE trim has the same kit as the Soft Top, but the Sport Tech adds Bilstein sports suspension, while Sport Tech Nav also features a sat-nav system and is our pick of the range.

The special-edition Sport Venture version of the Roadster Coupe is well priced and well equipped, but we’d recommend choosing the 2.0-litre engine for the extra performance is provides and the Sport Venture is sadly only available with the 1.8-litre.

All Roadster Coupe versions have an electrically operated roof. To retract the Soft Top’s roof, you’ll need to use some old-fashioned arm power.

Recommended

Mazda MX-5 roadster review
Mazda MX5
Mazda MX-5
4 Apr 2022

Mazda MX-5 roadster review

Best cheap sports cars 2022
Hero
Best cars
18 Feb 2022

Best cheap sports cars 2022

Top 9 best sports cars 2022
mazda mx-5
Best cars
2 Feb 2022

Top 9 best sports cars 2022

Top 10 best convertibles 2022
2021 MINI Convertible driving with roof down
Best cars
8 Sep 2021

Top 10 best convertibles 2022

Most Popular

Speed awareness course: how much does it cost, how long does it take and how do you do one online?
Police car - open boot
Tips and advice
19 May 2022

Speed awareness course: how much does it cost, how long does it take and how do you do one online?

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Fiat 500 deals
Deals
20 May 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

New car delivery times: how long will you have to wait?
Mazda3s at Bristol port
Car buying
17 May 2022

New car delivery times: how long will you have to wait?

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
25 Apr 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
3 Feb 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022