The highly successful and widely adored car known as the Mazda MX-5 is a great car…but not that great. Known as the best-selling two seat convertible sports car in history, this little toy is definitely a big deal, but we think that the reputation of this roadster has become a little over-inflated.
We’re here to tell you exactly why the Mazda MX-5 has become an overrated set of wheels. Don’t get us wrong though, it’s a fantastic car if you’re looking for a cheap convertible motor to add colour to your Sunday drives, but at the same time, it’s not a flawless masterpiece that trumps all other affordable convertibles available. So, let’s get into it.
A toothless smile.
As well as a grinning newborn baby, it also shares similarities to Tubby Toast from the Teletubbies and that expression a child makes as they enter a sweet shop. No matter how you dress the car up, give it new wheels, lower the suspension, tint the windows, you will always be stuck with that absurd face on the front of your car and that is one of its major shortcomings for many.
This toothless smile is a “feature” of all of the MX-5s and it seems that Mazda have chosen it to be a signature component of the MX-5 name. We can’t say that this hasn’t improved since the release of 4th gen MX-5s, but now instead of looking like a happy baby, it just looks like a catfish.
Yes it’s quick, but it’s nothing crazy.
The MX-5 is a whole world of fun to drive, but sometimes it can feel like the fun is just a distraction from the fact that the car’s engine is actually nothing spectacular. Of course, it handles incredibly well around tight turns with the ultra-responsive steering and fine balancing it’s known for, but that doesn’t mean it’s powerful.
With most models hovering around 150 bhp and with 0-60 mph times averaging around 7.5 – 9.5 seconds, the stats are not usually worth bragging about. To put that into perspective, the Ford S-MAX, Nissan Juke and Volvo V40 are all capable of achieving 0-60 mph in under 9 seconds and these are by no means considered as “sports cars”.
Of course, there are models out there capable of sub-7 second 0-60 times, but for the most part, MX-5s are around the 7-8 seconds region. Sure it handles well, but for many, that’s just not enough.
They have a certain…reputation.
You shouldn’t care what other people think of the car you drive, especially if you love it. However, having to deal with your friends, family and coworkers constantly questioning your purchase is annoying, and this is certainly bound to happen to anyone who’s bought an old MX-5.
Not only will you be questioned as to why you bought the impractical and unusual-looking Miata, you will probably be ridiculed as well. As confirmed by many other MX-5 owners, it is often found that your so-called friends will cease every opportunity to make fun of you.
Whether it’s calling you a hairdresser, saying you’re a girl (if you’re male, of course) or just straight up laughing at you, you’re going to be on the receiving end of quite a few jokes, so be prepared.
There are loads of cool alternatives to choose from.
If you’re just looking for a well-priced, fun convertible to put the enjoyment back into driving, there are a handful of great alternative options to the MX-5. The Honda S2000 is another great, Japanese-made convertible sports car which showcases a slightly sleeker and less round design, although it is slightly more costly.
On the other hand, for around the same price as a MX-5, you could buy a BMW Z3, which again, offers a less “smiley” look as well as great performance.
Another western alternative is the Mercedes-Benz SLK which features a hardtop convertible roof as well as a much faster 0-60 time. However, if you’re looking to spend less money but get a similar experience, the Toyota MR2 is another great alternative that can be easily picked up for under £2,000.
The only thing it excels in is being “good”.
Mazda’s MX-5 is a very good car. Granted, the handling is actually where it excels, but other than that, what else is there? The build quality is good, the round and smooth appearance isn’t exactly going to turn heads and when you put your foot down at the lights, you’re not going to astonish anyone.
The interior is classic 90s plastic and the front and rear lights are especially plain in any of the previous models. You could argue the same could be said for most cars, however, they probably don’t have the over exaggerated reputation that the MX-5 carries.
Yes, it’s good, but it’s not as good as some say it is. In our opinion, it doesn’t really excel at being a 2 seater convertible sports car at all, it’s just good at doing its job and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Let us know your thoughts on the topic in the comments below!