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Car reviews - Mazda - MX-5 - convertible


More performance and an extra gear extended the appeal of the NB MX-5 Series II

29 May 2001

MAZDA has played a canny game with its now 12 years old MX-5 by staying true to its original retro principles but managing to keep the car fresh at the same time. The biggest update was in 1998 when the car was given a major styling workover that involved scrapping the flip-up headlights. The company has also resisted the use of bigger, more powerful engines, choosing to retain the inline four-cylinder but progressively updating it, as it has with the latest variable valve timing system. The MX-5 remains a great driver's car and is still excellent value. Will it last forever?

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Model release date: 1 October 2000 to 1 December 2002

Previous model

Mazda MX-5

Released: March 1998
Ended: September 2000
Family Tree: MX-5

Introduced to Australia in October 1989, the MX-5 continued virtually unchanged, apart from a number of limited edition versions and a larger 1.8-litre engine in 1993, for almost eight years or until September 1997. Six months later, in March 1998, an all-new second-generation MX-5 appeared with totally new sheetmetal and no pop-up headlights. Traditionalists were furious but most agreed the new shape would continue to ensure the MX-5 remains a classic. Two and half years later, in October 2000, the MX-5 was given a new front bumper, bigger alloy wheels, numerous head/tail-light changes and a power increase courtesy of variable valve timing.

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