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Cheap thrills from the Mazda MX-5

Cheap thrills from the new Japanese roadster.

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The Mazda MX-5 has always been one of those cars to ignite heated debate between car enthusiasts.

On one side of the table are the chaps who look for out and out power, strait line speed and naught to sixty is all that is known in their vocabulary, and the MX-5 to them is more of a posers car, for hairdressers, or a nice car for your wife to drive. On the other side of my hypothetical pub table is those who have a penchant for fast corners, track roads and enjoying the B-roads on journeys over the pace of the motorway, for these ladies and gentlemen the Mazda MX-5 could possibly be the ideal car?

There is no doubting that the little Japanese sports car has always been good. From its first model it was nippy and excellent around corners, truly a gem to drive. Over the years however Toyota have managed to carryout very subtle yet clear improvements on each model, the Japanese philosophy of kaizen seems to have been ever present in the minds of the Mazda MX-5’s creators, even if the creativity hasn’t been a mantra particularly embraced over the years.

This is a good thing though, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and Mazda certainly haven’t taken part in whole sale changes when it comes to aesthetics. The front end of the car see’s more angular new headlights, although in keeping with the previous flowing look as does the bumpers on both the nose and rear of the car. The wheel arches seem more flared and the side sills much more prominent than on the previous model however nothing near what could be called large scale changes.

Under the Mazda MX-5’s bonnet, the story is the same with minor changes being the order of the day. The two previous 1.8 and 2.0 litre engines give out slightly less emissions and travel slightly further than their previous engine’s.

Inside the cabin it is even more of a struggle to outline any real differences other than a new CD player, and a rather lovely brushed aluminium panel across the dash.

In terms of performance the Mazda MX-5 is still fantastic fun to drive, keeping the revs high to keep the power on requires a knack but is an absolute joy to behold when cornering, helped along with the real precision in the controls, and alert feeling of the rear drive chassis. Equally the car is quite happy to totter along when off to Tesco’s, but is more than content to turn up the heat into a sports car on weekend drives.

Simple changes to the car maybe, however they have merely improved on a very good car. A genuinely good fun car to drive so long as you don’t mind getting stick off your mates.

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