Mazda MX-5 2.0 GT Sport Tech 2022 UK review Car News

What is that?

Here it is, folks: the £30,000 Mazda MX-5. “That’s not what an MX-5 is,” our photographer remarked.

The price is rather surprising, but in Mazda’s defense this is a top-spec 2.0-litre Sport Tech GT, and you can have a 1.5-litre car for ‘just’ £24,775 . It’s more a mark of how car prices have gone crazy in general than any particular greed on Mazda’s part.

The MX-5 is still a unique offering in the new-car market: a reasonably sized two-seat sports car with a naturally aspirated engine, manual gearbox, limited-slip differential and vaguely affordable rear-wheel-drive. The Toyota GR86 should do the same when it arrives later this year, but you can’t remove the roof from this one.

The reason we’re driving an MX-5 again, other than to remind ourselves that it’s brilliant (spoiler alert), is that Mazda tends to do model year updates on top of the facelift casual. New for 2022 is the Platinum Quartz Metallic paint, a kind of metallic champagne. Luckily, Mazda sent us a Polymetal Gray one.

The MX-5 also gained cinematic posture control. It’s basically smooth torque vectoring through braking that’s supposed to reduce body roll as well. Without riding this MX-5 back-to-back with an old one, it’s hard to tell if that’s the case. Even this top model on its sports suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers drives more than you would expect from a modern sports car.

What does it look like?

If that bothers you, there’s no shortage of companies offering stiffer springs, anti-roll bars and just about anything else you might want to modify on your MX-5. The body movement, however, adds to the deliciously old-school vibe. No car at this price is as interactive as the MX-5, with nice steering, a manual gearbox that slips through the gears and the option of delicious little slides out of tight corners.

The low driving position and long hood are an event every time, and if you love open-air motoring, the manual hood, which you can raise or lower in less than 10 seconds, is a perfect example of “less it’s more”. For around £2,000 extra, the Mazda MX-5 RF still offers a folding metal roof.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-10 23:01:23

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