When an invite popped into my inbox to drive the new Mazda MX-5 convertible in Barcelona I had donned the Grace Kelly scarf and the oversized shades before I had time to hit the return button writes Geraldine Herbert
What is it? In our unquenchable thirst for sunshine and the open road, convertibles are the epitome of cool and since the first generation’s arrival in 1989 the MX-5 has attracted a loyal following for its smart styling, beguiling character and affordable cost and it has become the world’s best selling sports car. The new fourth generation MX-5 is the lightest version since the iconic original weighing nearly 100kg lighter and is shorter, lower and wider.
First impressions of the new Mazda-MX5? With its sharper and aggressive silhouette, large gaping grille and slim headlamp clusters it’s a really striking car and a serious head-turner. Even with the roof closed its elegant modern lines garners attention from all directions and let’s be honest, isn’t everyone who opts for a convertible an attention seeker at heart?
What about the interior? Inside you’ll find MZD Connect, Mazda’s advanced infotainment system, with a seven-inch touch screen operated by a centrally located commander control. Quality throughout is much improved and it is far more comfortable to sit in for long journeys than before, although, taller passengers may find space a little restrictive.
The boot can handle a couple of small carry-on luggage bags so you’ll need to travel light and it is 20 litres smaller than the previous one. It is however well shaped so it’s a little more usable than you might expect.
Mazda MX-5 on road? On the road it handles beautifully and is perfectly balanced with sharply honed steering. A really nice feature is the new short-throw sporty manual gearbox that is fantastically slick. The 96kW (129bhp) model is sufficiently potent and the mountainous roads around Barcelona were negotiated with reassuring ease while the gorgeous husky engine note contributes to your satisfied smile. Also crucially for those sudden downpours the newly designed soft top roof is a fast and easy to operate and can be opened or closed in less than five seconds.
How much? Two variants are available when it goes on sale next month – Roadster and Roadster GT and will cost from €27,995 and €29,995 respectively.
Will it break the bank? The MX-5 also has a lighter all-aluminium body and gives better economy than the outgoing model with official figures of six litres per 100km (47mpg) and emissions of 139g/km.
How safe? There is also a host of new active safety technology available for the first time on the MX-5 including a blind spot monitoring system and a rear cross traffic alert
What about my options? Standard features include Bluetooth, MZD Connect, LED lights, cruise control, seven-inch touch-screen display and USB connectivity. The GT version adds a BOSE sound system, parking sensors, heated seats, lane departure warning and “Smart Keyless Entry”.
3 words to describe the Mazda MX-5? Pure; Balanced; Muscular
For more information check out Mazda.ie , the Mazda Ireland Facebook page or follow them on twitter here
1st September, 2015