03 July 2018 - 11:00 AM
Owned For: 3 months
Engine Size: 1.8
Good Points: Pretty much everything
Bad Points: 6th gear & cruise control would be nice
To me a logical move after a run of MG-TF's. The MX5 is everything the MG should have become sadly. My last (Chinese owner of company) TF was better screwed together than earlier Uk models but hadn't moved the benchmark on. I have a soft spot for MG's if you couldn't tell and had a TF as a company car when they first came out when I was at Rover.
Getting into the MX5 was a revelation and whilst not an expensive car per se the fit and finish and quality of materials is really good for what it is and the price point.
I'd looked at a few MX5's and preferred the soft-top to the metal folding hard-top. Think it is more 'rustic' and in keeping of the ethos of a small convertible or 'sports car'.
Finding mine with black paintwork and the tobacco hood/interior was 'perfect' for me.
It's a 2013 1.8 Venture Edition and had a bit too much aftermarket chrome bling added for my taste; rear light bezels, roll hoop covers, high stop lamp cover, seat belt turret covers and steering wheel spokes. That has all now been removed and I much prefer it that way.
First impressions are the lack of rattles and better ergonomics of the switch gear and controls. Sit a bit lower than the MG's I think and its a nice place to sit and you feel 'in' the car.
Power is adequate, similar to the MG and performance is similar. It's smart off the line and easy to carry speed into and out of a corner to maintain progress. Handles great, the grip into a corner and holding a tight line on a curve/island, etc. instils confidence. I drive it fairly enthusiastically, not silly speeds though, and am seeing a fairly consistent 37-38mpg showing which, whilst not a key issue for me, is not bad at all I reckon.
Gearbox is a little bit 'notchy', especially 2nd to 3rd and 4th to 5th, think it may be my car specifically as have driven a friends 2.0 MX5 and that is much smoother. The 6th gear of the 2.0 would be nice to have as we do drive quite long distances and it would drop the revs a bit. Similarly cruise control is the thing I miss most, use it extensively in my other cars for speed control, relaxed driving and helps economy I find too.
I'm right on limit of 'fitting' at just a tad under 6'2", seat another inch lower would be perfect (hood up or down) and I've seen a seat runner mod that steps the rear of seat down I may investigate but I can live with it 'as is'
Hood takes a second to get down and I can lift it back up from the drivers seat in maybe 6-7 seconds if needs be (bit of an awkward process to pull release lever, fold wind-deflector and lift hood but you get a knack quickly).
Car lives under cover all year round at home and is a fair-weather only third vehicle to me but I often use it for work if weather forecast is good as just enjoying driving it.
I have some plans for a few things to do;
Remove the aftermarket stainless steel front lower grille fitted and either paint it black or replace with OE or similar style black one
Sort out the ICE system. The Venture has a double DIN Tom-Tom unit with bluetooth phone, CD, etc.and is fine but doesn't support later model iPhone/iPod for music streaming.
May upgrade speakers at same time, are adequate but new head-unit likely to be more powerful too so will review at the time.
May try and release a bit more power from the engine through 'simple' options such as air-filter kit and maybe better exhaust system - may be too cost prohibitive for the latter?
The sales blurb of the period states my car should have 'piano black' interior trim but mine are 'satin aluminium' (seen plenty similar so think later models may have switched to satin?). Have considered doing these in an 'accent colour' along with exterior mirror caps, roll hoop covers, fog lamp bezels, rear number plate mount panel, etc.
Need to find somewhere for servicing as out of warranty in a couple of months and Mazda dealer costs are way too much for 'simple' car, mostly through exaggerated consumable costs more than labour charges. My, low mileage, car has been serviced by mileage not annually in it's past (I'm happy with that) so technically isn't FSH anyway.
Any work/expenditure is TBC as for not much more I can 'upgrade' to a very late model Mk3 with 2.0 litre, six speed box and few more whistles and bells for not a lot and even Mk4's now appearing at reasonable prices so I may hold fire 12 months or so yet.
So as a summary, absolutely no regrets of getting an MX5, totally 'get it' as a fun, easy to drive and fun convertible car. Am expecting total reliability and running costs seem very reasonable so far. Would definitely get another and see this as an ideal sun/fun weekend car for us.