Your first oversteer car - Mazda MX-5 buying guide
What to look for, and how much to pay when buying an MX-5.
The original MX-5 of 1990 was an instant hit, with its Lotus Elan-aping styling, 115bhp 1.6-litre twin-cam (joined in 1994 by a 1.8), double-wishbone suspension and classic ragtop vibe. It was replaced in 1998 by the slightly bigger, heavier and more refined mk2 (without the original’s pop-up lights). Pick of the mk2s were the 1.8iS, with 146bhp and an LSD, and the six-speed Sport. A facelift in 2001 (known as the mk2.5) preceded the mk3 in 2005.
HOW MUCH TO RUN ONE?
Tatty mk1s start at a grand, mk2s at £1500, while late high-spec mk2s can fetch up to £6000. But there are plenty of LSD-equipped 1.8iS and Sport models from £2000.
MX-5s rust around sills and rear wheelarches, so check that these are either original and sound, or have been repaired and protected with cavity wax. Also check the hood – drain holes should be clear. Engine rattles should disappear quickly from a cold start, and gear changes should be smooth and precise. Avoid excessively lowered cars and those without PAS. Find out more at www.mx5nutz.com
TYRES (two rear, fitted): £200
EXHAUST (fitted, cat-back): £157
ROAD TAX (12 months): £270
FUEL** (10,000 miles): £1574
* Insurance based on a 30-year-old male, two years’ NCD, living in Stamford, office worker, no accidents or convictions. Quotes from Adrian Flux (adrianflux.co.uk).
** Fuel cost based on official ‘combined’ mpg and unleaded at £1.35 per litre
|Mazda MX-5 (Mk2)|
|Engine In-line 4-cyl, 1839cc|
|Max power 146bhp @ 7000rpm|
|Max torque 124lb ft @ 5000rpm|
|Weight (kerb) 1065kg|
|0-60mph 8.6sec (claimed)|
|Top speed 123mph (claimed)|
|Price when new £18,000 (2004)|
|Price today £2000-£4000|