Contemplating moving from mk1 to a Mk4

Cheers RR, I knew it existed but being very old means sometimes the brain is reluctant to part with information.

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In the interest of fairness I thought I’d scratch an itch I’ve had for a while now so I went to see a 2.7 986 Boxster today and test drive it… I can safely say that unless this was a complete lemon that Boxsters are firmly off the list ! The car itself was very nice and I definitely fit fine in a Boxster. I’ve only sat in a Boxster once before and I remember the clutch in that one being really stiff, same with this one. The steering and gearchange are nothing like as nice as the MX5, it drives like a normal car, a bit like my Golf only with a heavier clutch. People say that Boxsters don’t suffer form scuttle shake, and whilst it’s x10 less than an early MX5 there is still some present.

Also the gearing was really long so to hear the engine sing you had to be doing silly speeds, or drive everywhere in 1st gear which kind of misses the point !

I’m sure it’s a great motorway mile muncher but I struggle to see what the fuss is about on normal roads!

Next stop the Mazda dealers to test drive a mk4


I have had 3 Boxsters - the last one being the 6 cylinder before they moved to the 4 cylinder turbos. They are great cars and I know the driving experience is far better than a “normal” car. However as you say they are not an MX5. I did not use my Boxster and the servicing costs were high - the last service inc brakes was £2,500. This is money that you will never see again. The performance is such that you have to be really travelling to get the fun out of it, which is difficult in most circumstances. I bought a Mk1 MX5 and it is soooo much better. you get the benefit of interaction with the car even at town speeds and for me this is the point. i have used the MX5 far more than the Boxster and am having more fun. also unless you have to do bodywork etc, which you won’t in a Mk4, the costs are really cheap.

In summary, the reason for a sports car is interacting with the car at all speeds - even my Mk1 1.6 is faster than most modern regular cars and when you rev it you feel everything. Therefore an MX5 is a far better choice. I believe that the MK4 takes all the benefits from the MK1 but in an everyday usable format. I do look at them and think that I may change from my MK1 to a MK4. so find one, buy it and enjoy it…


Sounds like you’re on a similar journey to me, I’ve had older Porsches, Elise, Cobra etc. but I’m on my 3rd MX5 and considering another one!

I read somewhere that you don’t ‘buy’ a Porsche, you support one


To update this thread I managed to get to a Mazda dealer today (there’s none near me hence taken a while) and sat in a brand new sport. Interestingly I remember sitting in one when they came out and wasn’t sure I fitted. Anyway it dawned on me I might have been wearing big boots at the time (yes I know!) so today I made sure I had my Converse on that I drive my mk1 in.
So I sat in the new sport and was completely able to move my clutch foot, plenty of room to see out of the screen, blimey I thought all these years assuming it doesn’t fit and it was just the wrong flippin shoes!
Anyway, better not get my hopes up too much as this is a new car with reach steering column and I can’t afford one of these…

It was then I noticed that the column was all the way in not out! :rofl: pulled the column out and there’s even more room! what a plonker.
Also sat in a used 2018 with the fixed column and that was fine, I wonder if the new adjustable column at it’s shortest extension is the same or less than the old one. Anyway the only disappointment was that both cars were sold so I couldn’t test drive either so will need to find another garage that actually has one I can drive!

I started with a NA, then a NC and now have an ND2 SC+ 1.5. I was very fond of both the earlier cars, but now that I have gotten used to it, I’d say the ND is head and shoulders the best of the bunch. Interior room is tight, but so long as you are comfortable with it, I’m sure you’d love it.

I’m also an advocate of the 1.5, especially in stripped bare SE version, as it gives fantastic value for money, both to buy and to run. The 1.5 is just fast enough that you can pretty much use 100% of what it offers without endangering your life and licence. In that regard it is the closest to an original NA.

This is the reason I ended my 20 years run of Porsches, culminating in a new 2.7 Cayman which I ran for 11 years. Fantastic car, but got very maintenance intensive as it grew older. I looked at the current crop, but they were all overpriced, overpowered and overgeared. Driven at real world speeds they were simply boring, try using 100% of what they offered and you’d end in jail. They had mutated into status symbols rather than cars you could sensibly enjoy on the roads, so I cut my losses and bought the MX5 ND. It is every bit as well engineered and built as a modern Porsche, but on a useable scale.

Sometimes, less is more!


I’ve got a 2015 ND 1.5l and a 2019 2.0l and if it came to a choice between them I’d keep the 1.5l, it’s just so much FUN! :smiley: :+1:

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Really? can I ask why - is the 2.0 the new higher power output engine. How is the 1.5 on the motorway and long journeys I am reading a lot that says the 1.5 seems the better fun at least from the older 2.0 engines

The 1.5 surprises me on the motorway, as it keeps up with no problem, indeed it is easy to travel too fast. Mine is admittedly the revised ND2 engine with 6 speed box, but I don’t think it differs too much from the original ND1.

Note. If you are trying a new demo car with no miles on the clock, be aware that the engine improves noticeably with 5,000 miles under its belt, in particular it runs more sweetly in 6th gear at lower rpm.

Did you test drive the older 2.0 before you bought the 1.5?

Nope. I only ever wanted the 1.5.

I had a long drive in one at the launch event back in 2015 and made my mind up then and there that it was the car I wanted.

I bought the 1.5 over the 2.0 in 2015, absolutely amazing engine, lower with eibach springs and get the alignment done and you can throw it at the scenery like nothing else.

I wasn’t planning on changing however I test drove the ND2 2.0l and now I have one.

The ND2 is fast for an MX-5, the fastest out of the box of any MX-5 without any tweaking, and it returns 45-46 to the gallon.

The bilstein suspension and limited slip differential on the 2.0l give it the traction and handling edge over the 1.5 and the overtake/take off options in 4th gear are somewhat addictive :sunglasses:

I’d be happy with either.


I’ve been offered a quite good deal on a 2017 2.0 sport nav, same price as a similar age 1.5 SEL nav. I definitely like the heated leather interior, LSD, etc. of the 2.0 but a lot of the reviews seem to say that the 2.0 engine wasn’t as fun as the 1.5 until they uprated the 2.0 to the latest power this year (which is not in my budget)
Although there’s always the icon which looks quite nice…

I drove the 1.5 and 2l at Mazda’s launch event and felt that 1.5 was the better car for everyday A and B road driving. It did need to be revved to get the best from it. The 2l was underwhelming. The car was intended to replace our mini Cooper S convertible, but as the kids were still small (ish) and just about squeezed in the back, we kept the mini.
Test driving the ND2 2l when that came out, was an entirely different experience. The uprated power and torque transformed the car, imo. I love mine.

Hi. Carl. To answer your two questions:-

  1. I don’t do motorway driving to any great extent currently , but when I did I was using cars with lower power than the 1.5l and managed OK. But if you do a lot yourself then obviously the 2.0l is less stressful for long motorway journeys.
  2. I pre-ordered my 1.5l on 7/3/2015 and it arrived on 12/8/2015, so I didn’t have the chance to test drive either, I looked at the spec. and decided the 1.5l was exactly right for me. I’m glad I did, the original 2.0l was not what people hoped it would be. So why have I got a car with the new 2.0l? Well it is a 30AE so it is just a little bit special
  3. As far as I can recall my 1.5l has 130bhp, the original 2.0l had about 152bhp and the new 2.0l has 184bhp
    Hope this helps you in some way.
    PS: A friend and I did many, many miles through and around France and Spain, over the Pyrenees, in a 95bhp, 3 speed automatic Ford Orion that was packed with two tents, camping gear, hill walking gear, photographic equipment plus the usual holiday gear and it managed without a hiccup, So I reckon a lighter car that can’t carry as much gear and has a 6 speed manual box and 35bhp more should find it a doddle.

Thanks for the comments guys, I’m definitely keen on trying the 1.5 if this video is anything to go by then the 1.5 certainly isn’t lacking!

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Quite fancy an icon:

I bought a grey Icon the early part of February and I love it, but I’ve never driven a 2.0L so what do I know :blush: I changed it from a 2017 Mini Cooper and on paper the performance is very similar but to drive the Mazda feels sooo much quicker especially when it easily revs to 7500rpm, whereas the 3 cyl 1.5 Turbo felt like you were redlining for the sake of it and it had got through it’s power band when it hit 6000rpm.

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I managed to try out a mk4 yesterday, albeit briefly before the test drive got cut short. The car was a 1.5 sport and drove very nicely, driving position was fine but I was conscious that there was less room than my mk1 (which I have an Elise seat & steering wheel spacer) ride was nice and smooth but seemed to crash over ridges in the road which I was surprised about but it felt like the garage had over inflated the tyres. Engine was nice and responsive but again not as eager as the RS engine in my mk1. Cabin quality is definitely world’s apart and it looked like a lovely place to spend long drives in. Didn’t get a chance to try the car with the roof up because the a/c wasn’t working and it was 34 degrees! chassis was much more rigid than the NA and felt like a more solid car.

Overall impressions - I see why people compare these to the mk1 as it has some of the eager puppy feel about it. Is it good? yes, but is it £10,000 more than my mk1 good? I’d have to say no.

Even typing this now I didn’t think I would come to this conclusion, if it was £5k more than my NA then maybe I’d have a different answer…

Perhaps I need to look at an NC 3.5, I had a very early 2.0 sport 14 yrs ago and remember being unimpressed by the boat like handling after my mk2 at the time.