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Mazda MX-5 roadster (2005-2015) - Reliability & safety

Mazda MX-5 has no official safety rating, but reliability is first-rate

Carbuyer Rating

4.2 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Reliability & safety Rating

4.1 out of 5

Few brands have as strong a reputation for reliability as Mazda. So it comes as no surprise that the MX-5 is one of the best-built sports cars out there. As for crash safety, we may never know for sure, as the model hasn’t been tested by the experts at Euro NCAP – although Mazda will no doubt have done its own internal testing.

Mazda MX-5 reliability

It’s clear from our Driver Power 2014 owner satisfaction survey that age is catching up with the Mazda MX-5 – it dropped 49 places from last year to finish in 96th place out of 150 cars. Despite this, the Mazda still placed 10th for reliability and fourth for road handling. However, it was marked down for poor practicality – where it finished 138th – and high running costs (122nd).

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Mazda put in a strong showing in the manufacturer rankings, with an eighth-place finish out of 33 brands. That proves the MX-5’s reliability isn’t a one-off.

Mazda MX-5 safety

Euro NCAP has never crash-tested the MX-5, so it’s hard to say for sure how safe it is in comparison to rivals. It comes with plenty of safety equipment though, including rollover hoops behind the seats and a bonnet that pops up to protect pedestrians in the event of an impact.

Most of the rest of the Mazda MX-5’s safety kit is available on all models – only the tyre-pressure monitoring system is limited to Sport Tech models. This means that every version of the MX-5 has front and side airbags with a deactivation switch for the passenger side to allow a child seat to be fitted.

Other equipment includes grip-enhancing stability and traction control systems, anti-lock brakes and seatbelts that tighten in a crash to hold you in place more securely.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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