“Somedays nothing can match a really good drive, even better with the roof down and in an MX-5.”Drive.co.uk
Today in recognition of our love for the MX-5 and its daunting prowess on the road, Mazda have upgraded the top of the range 2.0-litre engine, lifting it from 160PS to 184PS…
Maggie Barry takes to the road in the latest more powerful Mazda MX-5.
…and then they generously gave it to a few of us to drive around the winding country roads of Ireland.
Now, I am a great believer in the MX-5. It is a car for anyone who loves driving and will suit the needs of most people especially with this latest burst of power.
For example, the practical among us will go for the MX-5 RF (Retractable Fastback) which is the hardtop that slides back into the boot at the touch of a button. If it is raining – as it was in Ireland – the hard top up is the perfect answer for sports car driving and I would imagine this driver would also opt for the easy life and the automatic version with the 2.0-litre engine.
The soft top has to be for the more romantic among us, the drivers who believe a roadster should stand up for old-fashioned ideas about putting the roof down no matter the temperature and as soon as the rain stops. Mazda makes it easy because the convertible can be put up or down with only one hand and this driver no doubt would go for the 2.0-litre manual with the gurgling noise that accompanies shifting up and down the gears.
We wafted through the Irish countryside in both versions moving from county to county, our way marked by the changing colours of the flags of the Irish Gaelic football teams hanging from the houses.
And what houses they were. Large and expansive like the Irish themselves with owners unhindered by a regiment of planning regulations and once these little palaces are finished, they paint them buttercup, pink, mint or any colour that takes their fancy.
For me, the Mazda MX-5 shines in Soul Red, its signature colour, a red that glistens and glitters whether you are driving in the sun, or as we were, in the rain.
The 2.0-litre engine in manual or automatic is a joy and makes short work of long straights where half the battle is getting past the ubiquitous lorries. (But then the MX-5 is not so big that you can’t get by). And on corners and bends, it is a legend, responsive to the lightest of touches, nimble and agile and so forgiving. It plants itself on the road and refuses to leave it.
Along with the new upgraded engine, Mazda have added a plethora of safety systems bringing the Mazda right up to date with all the latest technology.
For the moment the new tuned engine is only available in the top trim, the new GT Sport Nav+ with the SE-L Nav+ and the Sport Nav+ getting it later this year.
For MX-5 lovers – and there are many of them out there – this is going to be a must-have car and once driven they will be totally smitten.
The 1.5-litre is getting some tweaks too, but the new MX-5 2.0-litre is the one to watch if you can catch it as it flashes by.
Car reviewed: Mazda MX-5 2.0 SKYACTIV-G Petrol 184PS GT Sport Nav Manual Convertible – On the road £25,795 with options as tested £26,585 0-62mph 6.5 secs Top speed 136mph Fuel Economy combined 40.9mpg CO2 emissions 156g/km Engine 1998cc DOHC 4-cylinder unleaded EU6 Max Power Engine [email protected] Engine Torque [email protected] Transmission 6-speed manual
MX-5 the most reliable of sportscars
Best colour, Soul red metallic
Great fun, always
There's some competition. but...