Where pricing is concerned, the MX-5 sits largely in its own orbit and remains a car with few direct rivals.

A 2.0-litre BMW Z4 is considerably dearer but is a much plusher and more refined car than the back-to-basics approach adopted by the Mazda.

Matt Burt

Matt Burt

Executive Editor, Autocar
The 2.0-litre Mazda should return an acceptable 30mpg in day-to-day use

A Lotus Elise 1.6 is also considerably more money, and leans towards the more hardcore end of the market, where Caterham sits.

Alternatively, there are a whole host of cropped hatchbacks which come closer to the Mazda, but none can hold a candle to its dynamic finesse or sporting appeal. Even the £25,000 Toyota GT86 is substantially more expensive.

The 2.0i Sport seems a little pricey, although you do get air-con, a limited-slip differential, a six-speed gearbox, the bespoke Bilstein dampers and a cross-brace, heated seats, a Bose sound system and cruise control.

Thanks to Mazda’s famed build quality and reliability (don’t worry, this MX-5’s no exception), the MX-5 won’t cost the earth to run.

In the standard roadster, the 1.8-litre unit will return 39.8mpg and the 2.0-litre 36.2mpg. Automatic ‘Powershift’ models see fuel economy drop to 35.3mpg, while CO2 emissions stand at 167g/km for the 1.8, 181g/km for the 2.0 and 188g/km for the auto.

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Insurance groups range between 21 for the entry-level 1.8 Roadster Coupé, and 26 for the soft-top 2.0 Sport model.

One thing that might trouble some, however, is the absence of a spare wheel – and no provision for the fitment of one. You're either going to have to come up with your own solution, or rely on your breakdown cover or the supplied tyre sealant system.

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