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Mazda’s MX-5 makeover improves the world’s only affordable two-seater RWD roadster
18 Mar 2009
IF you want a rear-drive two-seater convertible sports car under $80,000, only Mazda obliges, with the iconic MX-5. Now in its 20th year, the loveable roadster receives a facelift of debatable merit. But there is no denying that a more flexible engine, combined with slightly higher dynamics and improved refinement levels, is welcome, proving that the recently independent Japanese carmaker is not resting too much on its laurels.
Model release date: 1 March 2009 to 1 September 2012
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Mazda MX-5Released: September 2005
Ended: February 2009
Family Tree: MX-5
A LANDMARK achievement, the third-generation rear-drive two-seater roadster managed to right the previous model’s few wrongs – namely packaging space, refinement and comfort – in a timelessly handsome shape. Performance from the 118kW/188Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder twin-cam petrol unit is strong and economical to boot, while the six-speed Activematic automatic gearbox finally introduced a viable alternative to the fine six-speed manual item. Purists reeled in horror when a retractable hardtop model known as the Roadster Coupe was released in mid-2006, but what it lacks in overall beauty it makes up for in security and (slightly better) refinement. Either way, the NC MX-5 is a real and dedicated sportscar experience.
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