My MK 2 as got very rusty around the engine compartment. I am thinking of buying a mark 3. Looking around I found I could buy one for £5500 with a electric metal roof. However the car would be 15 years old and i would want to keep it for at least 5 years.Do these roofs work reliably when old. Do they cost a lot of money when they go wrong. I heard BMW wanted £16000 for a new roof. would I be safer/better to stick with a soft top

The folding hardtop’s made of composite material, not metal.

There have been a few reports on here of problems with electric folding roofs - I guess that, like the rest of the car, these can wear as the years pass by.

They can be fairly expensive to fix - cost dependent on the fault of course - but nowhere near the BMW price you’ve heard about.  Remember too that the soft-tops don’t last forever & a new fabric roof isn’t cheap either.

My opinion is that the electric roofs are generally very reliable with failures being the exception rather than the rule.  As I’ve said though, things do wear with use.

Would I go for another electric roof? Definitely!

For 5.5K you should be able to get one much younger than 15 years which would have to be one of the first ones produced,then I think it could only be14 years old at most 

The first folding hard top model was Autumn 2006 in the UK (I had one of the first registered) which would make the oldest car just 13

There have been many sold but very few failures I have read about or seen, so its a pretty safe bet with regard to purchase unless your really unlucky

I would also venture that any failures would be in parts that can these days be sourced from scrap yards by the independent Mazda people around the country and anyway for £16K you could have 3 spare working cars in reserve! 

Thanks for your replies. I think I will buy one. If the battery is flat or the motor stops working can you close the top back on manually.

Yes you can never done it seems a pain,you need a tool kit that should come with the car 

I have had several mk1’s and mk2’s all in red. I would now like to buy a red mk3. Looking round most mk3’s seem to be in a light orangy colour. What is this colour called. I would like a normal or metalic red. One with electric roof.Did they make them between 2005-2010.What do they call the colour.I recently drove 300 miles to view a mx5 on autotrader web site. On the lap top it looked a lovely light blue colour. When I got there it was a completly different blue. It is on autotrader now. 

Light orangey red i mean

I think from your description you’re talking about Copper Red, not sure if there were any other Red colours used.

As to lovely light blue, perhaps Ice Blue would be more your idea of a light blue which was one of the colours the Niseko had.

This is the copper red you mean.

Compared to the true red (mine) in the pic below, which is parked next to a copper red one.

They also do a velocity red which was a launch edition colour and later editions, see link below.



They had a True Red one in the showroom when I ordered mine, it looked really nice.

I have a 2008 with a metal folding hardtop and when I asked opinions before buying it, the consensus was that they are very reliable; certainly I’ve had no problems with mine.

Just for a cost comparison, I paid £4k for mine with just over 100k miles and it’s been, generally, faultless. The rear subframe is a little “light orangey red” (which, in my case is called “rust”) but apparently that’s very common and also not a problem.

There are a quite a few second hand complete roof assemblies with motors etc on ebay for much less than you can get a MK3 removable hardtop second hand.

As others have said i don’t think availability of parts will be an issue.

Certainly wouldn’t put me off buying one.



Hiya, have a read here,


As the author of that topic, I did wrack my (and others) brain trying to get it sorted. That was several months ago and it’s working perfect. I’ve owned both and really like the PRHT version. My repairs cost was  a similar amount to getting a new mohair soft top fitted.

As others have said, parts are cheap for any repairs ( 2nd hand) but not always easy to install. My experience would definitely not put me off buying another. Generally very reliable 


I know of a very low mileage 2.0 Red, 2007, for sale

Thank You I have put a deposit on a 1.8 red 2008 27.000 electric roof under sealed. Having a rac inspection 11/12/09. If car not in good order I will get back to you. Alan F

IanC Did not buy the car after rac inspection. Is the 2.0 red still for sale Alan F

OP in my opinion hold out for a 2.0

the mx5 is not a fast or powerful car, we find the 2.0 not only sells much easier it also holds better value.