Don't have a test drive in a new Mk4 MX5.......

…unless you intend to actually buy one!!

Long story short, a couple of years ago we had been thinking about changing our 2002 1.8 for a mk3/3.5, but then the mk4 came out and I really preferred the looks of the mk4. However not being able to afford a new one we thought we would wait a couple of years. However every time we get our mk 2 out for “the season”, (6 month summer car only) we decide it still drives like new and as it’s worth next to nothing lets keep it a bit longer.

Role forward to today and decided I would like a test drive in both the 1.5 and the 2.0 ltr version of the mk4…well I must admit to being totally blown away. I took the 1.5 for a spin first as I thought this would be a more suitable car for us, (+ the benefit of lower insurance and better mpg).

Even though it was an RF version it was plenty fast enough for me and I was wondering why anybody would actually need another 500cc? In fact it was that good I almost decided not to bother driving the 2.0 ltr… However, it was there…I was there so why not?..OK the 2.0 ltr does offer a noticeable improvement in “grunt”, but it also felt “heavy” compared to the 1.5, and I must admit I would be more than happy with a 1.5 for “real world” driving.

I was also impressed by how much better this car was compared to our mk2, (OK it is a 16 year old car). I have not felt much passion for cars over the last couple of decades  but my dilemma now is that I really want one!! (They really are a great drive). Trouble is is it really worth the £15k+ it is going to cost to change…???

…watch this space…and does anybody want a 1.8 mk 2.5 with 47k on the clock, one careful owner from new 



As the very happy owner of a ND (Mk.4) 1.5l SE-L Nav since 27 Aug 2015 I’d say the answer to your question is “YES”!

PS: I meant “YES” to getting a Mk.4 1.5l,“NO” I’m not interested in your Mk.2, sorry!

I’ve had a mk2 for three years then a 2007 mk3 for 3? Years and said I was not going to change.  Now have a. 1.5 nd4 sat nav and enjoy even more 

I would be interested to hear your comments regarding mk 3 v mk4?

I have only recently driven a mk3 (2.0 ltr) as a friend has just brought one. Nice car, and quick (sport model), but after my test drive today I prefer the mk4.

More modern but both enjoyable. But now love the 1.5

Only driven the mk4 so nothing to compare against, but enjoy mine although feel more power is needed having come from more powerful cars.

…yes more power…one reason I was thinking about not trying the 2.0 ltr. as normally I love “grunt” and would then find the 1.5 too low powered. However I found the 1.5 perfectly adequate and it seems to love revs and has a really sweet gearbox. (seems a lot lighter than our Mk2). Equally it seems content to “trundle” at relatively low revs but then you just need to remember to drop the gears if you need to “hustle”. The Mk4 is definitely a step up the evolutionary step ladder…makes me wonder what the Mk5 will be like!!! (hopefully I will get a Mk4 before they put the next one out as I will probably want that one instead!   

I know exactly what you mean OP. I worked for Mazda when the Nd was launched and fell in love st the launch event. had a sport nav 2.0 as my company car for 3 months and then when I left I missed it so much I bought one. 2 years later I stupidly decided to sell it as it wasn’t getting used and was heammoraging money and now I miss it like a lost limb. I no longer am in the position to buy one so have pacified my lust with A stunning 10th anniversary edition, but it just doesn’t compare to the joy the ND gave me. i need another in my life!

Oh good. Not just me then. I went into Mazda in Shirley to get my illuminated gear knob sorted out and came out with a second hand mk4! I should never have sat in the one in the showroom! You can really notice the difference in size between the two. My mk 3.75 is positively massive compared to the newer model and if I’d been an inch over 6 foot, I think I would have had to leave the new car. The difference in width in the cabin is very noticeable too.






Well I suppose I will be the lone voice of dissent. Mk4? please, no. Horrible car. The smooth curved lines of the Mk1, 2 and 3 have been traded for an angular design to give it a more aggressive look. Not what the MX5 is about IMHO. Also, for me, when I test drove it it was just not nearly as much fun as either my Mk3 or previous Mk2. Too refined and modern plus it felt cramped in the cockpit and I couldn’t find a comfortable position for the seat.

I’ll take my Mk3 over the Mk4 any day of the week and twice at weekends! The only redeeming feature of the Mk4 is that the prices for secondhand ones are reducing faster than the UK’s prospects post-B-r-e-x-it so in another year or two you will probably be able to trade in a Mk3 for a Mk4 and get change!

I’ve just bought a Mk 3 (2010 so may be a 3.5) having tried the Mk 4 and much prefer the visibility over the bonnet in the Mk 3. Having said that, I’m vertically challenged and drive like Mr Magoo with the seat raised and pulled forward. In the Mk 4, I couldn’t see over the bonnet bulge or the raised wings/arches so would be driving by touch. Mind you, I have just come from a Daihatsu Copen.

I’ve had a Eunos (still have it in spirit, its now an Exocet) 2x Mk3 and 2x Mk4

I traded up from the 1.5 ND to the 2.0 ND last year as I missed the acceleration at the top end with the 1.5 but the 1.5 was definitely more fun around the country roads as its much freeing revving and I found it easier to get the power down.

Unfortunately I can no longer justify have 2x 2 seaters so my 2.0 Sport Nav ND goes back next week to be replaced with a Mazda 3 Sport Nav!!   So anyone looking for a 17 plate. 2.0 Soul Red Sport Nav (one careful owner with 10K on the clock),  head to Hendy Eastleigh.


…I guess its each to their own. To be honest the only time I would be unhappy is if we didn’t have an MX5 at all as any model is better than none….

I would love to have another go in a Mk1 as we sold ours 16 years ago when we got the Mk2 and it would be interesting to see if the Mk1 is as good as I remembered it!

(I once had a GT6, and years later a work colleague got one and gave me a go…and it was truly awful. Just shows how times / cars / memory changes over time!!)

Having finished “proper” work recently I now find I don’t need to “rush” anywhere, so I now hardly ever exceed 50mph, (…its great to hold lorries up after so many years of being held up by them), so economy and handling is more of a priority than acceleration / speed.



Now having driven Mk2, Mk3 and a Mk 4 all in the last month I know the Mk4 is the one for me…(but I accept that’s just me…and yes the only downside to the mk4 is the almost total lack of interior storage space. Getting older I need somewhere to store all those little things that older people can’t live without!)





Come to think of it, a late Mk2 Jasper Conran “Silver” weighed in at 24k back in the day when fuel was 75/80p a litre.

You see plenty 2ltr dealer-registered NDs for much less! 

So, three & a half generations down the road and nearly 2 decades, a new 5 is either roughly the same dosh…or cheaper.

Got to hand it to Mazda. Cheap is chips open top fun at Pound Shop prices. Relatively speaking.

Yep…we paid about £16k for our Mk2 Phoenix (new) 16 years ago…not sure what that would be in todays money, but certainly a lot more than a current mk4…(probably with a much higher spec).


Don’t worry, there’s plenty of room in the cubby between the seats for your spare specs, inhalers, pills etc.!  How do I know?   Personal experience as I’m one of the “Older Generation”!

The MK4 is cracking value for money, you won’t find a better drivers car for the price, as noted in the posts above year on year you are getting more for less.

I‘m not going to get into storage wars however if that’s the most important part of your motoring experience ahead of how the car drives here’s a link…

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We’ve got one of those too:)

The most half-baked thing, in the same vein I admit, is the cupholders.

We displayed our Mk4 at a local Classics show last weekend along with several Mk1s, 2s & 3s.  Ours was the only Mk4 and attracted far more attention than I expected.  What I didn’t expect is that two visitors separately commented on the cupholders.

One said “Did you make those yourself?”.  The other asked if they were standard or an aftermarket accessory.

Frankly they are awful (and they get in the way) but there just isn’t anywhere else to put the drinks!