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Car reviews - Mazda - MX-5 - Roadster Coupe convertible


Mazda's MX-5 is still the one. But is a self-shifting gearbox selling its soul?

31 Jul 2009

MAZDA not only provides the only truly affordable two-seater open sports car, but also offers a range of variants to suit differing needs as well as budgets. Case in point is the flagship Roadster Coupe Sports Activematic, combining the security of a retractable hardtop with the ease of an automatic gearbox. But the big question is, can a folding-roof automatic MX-5 stay true to the hallowed lightweight roadster philosophy of the others? We test the Series II facelift to find out.
Model release date: 1 March 2009 to 1 September 2012

Previous model

Mazda NC MX-5 Series 1

Released: Sep 2005
Ended: March 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.

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