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.

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