At one time, Mazda was accused of being a one-car company and the MX-5 was that one car.

Nowadays, the rest of the range has risen closer to its excellence, but the lithe roadster is characterful enough to remain the jewel in the manufacturer's crown.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Few cars retain a distinguishable link to their ancestor, but the MX-5 remains a happy slave to its 80s ethos

The new MX-5 is roomier, quieter, safer and better equipped than its predecessor.

Driven hard, it rewards the driver with thrills at licence-friendly speeds, and it will improve your skills more in a week than a hot hatch would in a year.

It’s not without its drawbacks though. The interior is feeling its age and its refinement is lacking by the standards of its admittedly more expensive rivals.

These days there are few cars that trade power and speed for entertainment, but the MX-5 is one of them.

It’s also a more practical proposition than the old Mazda MX-5, although you’ll still struggle to fit more than a single suitcase in the boot.

That’s not a reason not to buy one, and there are many reasons why you should.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • DS 3 Crossback 2019 road test review - hero front
    19 July 2019
    Car review
    French premium brand gets PSA’s new supermini platform first. Does it deliver...
  • BMW 318d front three quarters on the road
    18 July 2019
    First Drive
    Entry-level diesel is likeable addition to range but doesn't live up to...
  • MG ZS EV 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    17 July 2019
    First Drive
    Cheap, spacious and all-round endearing electric version of MG's ZS soft...

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • DS 3 Crossback 2019 road test review - hero front
    19 July 2019
    Car review
    French premium brand gets PSA’s new supermini platform first. Does it deliver...
  • BMW 318d front three quarters on the road
    18 July 2019
    First Drive
    Entry-level diesel is likeable addition to range but doesn't live up to...
  • MG ZS EV 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    17 July 2019
    First Drive
    Cheap, spacious and all-round endearing electric version of MG's ZS soft...