Mk3 NC or Save more

Ok so sadly I had to part with my beloved Mk1 this week after 9 years of ownership and now the driveway has something missing.
So now I’m thinking that maybe I need something more modern and within my budget so I’m looking at the Mk3
and wanted to know a little more about these cars. I would prefer the version with the hardtop.
I’m torn over either to wait and save and hopefully get a Mk 4 but this might take a while so any advise on the Mk3 would help me to decide whether to blow the cash now or wait.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but I suspect this winter will affect the economy in ways that we’ve never seen or dreamt of.

If the fuel cap is increased in Oct to nearly £3800 (current predictions) this will push many individuals and businesses over the edge financially. Obviously there are many other factors at play including Covid, inflation and the Ukraine war, that could exacerbate the situation further.

So if I had to guess, and that’s all it is, I’d expect inflation to keep climbing….as well as accelerate. So you may not be able to save quick enough for a Mk4, depending on your personal circumstances.

But equally these factors could lead to a crash in various markets like housing and automotive. In which case waiting it out could prove prudent.

I doubt my answer helps you much, but unfortunately I don’t have that crystal ball.

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We have a couple of members who are lucky enough to have both a MK3 and a MK4. Both of them prefer driving the MK3

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Sorry to hear about the NA, another victim of tinworm I assume.
I’d suggest finding a Mazda dealership and asking to have a sit in a Mk 3, a Mk 4, and a Mk 4 RF - roof up and roof down. I’m 5’9" and have an NC2, and find it comfortable on short and long journeys, but I wouldn’t want to be much bigger - or the inside much smaller, especially roof-up (hey, it rains sometimes!). The Mk 4 is noted as feeling much smaller inside.

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I have heard that the ND is smaller inside, but my wife and I sat in one and we didn’t find that to be true (it might be that it looks that way). I had a test drive in an early 1.5 ND and was surprised at how much I didn’t like the electric power steering.

It all depends on your budget, but I would suggest you get the latest NC that you can. The PRHT gives you the best of both worlds - a hard top but also fully roof down.

The ND is physically much smaller inside. I’m 6’ 2" and can’t get into a ND to drive it at all. My NC 3.75 is OK to drive and I’ve driven 000’s of miles in it but I can’t sit in the passenger side for long as that is much smaller than the driver’s side.

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Apologies, I was thinking of width :wink:

Mk4 (early examples) are plagued with gearbox issues. I had budget for up to a 2015/2016 model ND. But not a single one of them seemed clear of the potential issues. So If you’re likely to ever see a track, I’d suggest ND is not the way to go.

Why not reconsider and reinvest in a Mk1. There are UK & import models that are totally free of the “tin worm” which you also have to consider lurks on the NB, NC & ND models. Reliability and inflation would be taken care of too.


I dont understand your logic here. Reliabilty isn’t a problem on the NC as for depreciation…I’ve had mine 10 years and it has lost about £1000


Did I say the NC was unreliable, I don’t think so, I simply said reliability and appreciation on a good example of the Mk1is assured and wouldn’t have dropped £1000 in ten years.

I have a nd2 rf. I love it, its a tad on the tight side but im 6 foot 3 and 17 stone.
Go to a dealer that has a nc and nd and try them on, its suprising how they fit.

When I was looking at NC’s last year good late, low mileage model prices were on a par with some of the earlier ND’s probably with higher mileages though.

I have a Mk3.5 2010, electric roof, best one out there, wouldn’t change it for anything! Love it!

I had this problem 2 or 3 years ago after selling on my mk 2.5
I too wanted a retractable hard top, and the thing that swung me away from the mk4 is that the retractable fast back isn’t really a proper convertable, more like a targa, whereas the roof of the mk3 folds away completely. Additionally, as has been said before, the mk3 is somewhat roomier inside, and to my taste, better looking (I have a mk 3.75)


I do like the looks of the RF, it’s as you say not a fully top down car, that I’d probably miss.

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Go and drive both.
The NC and the ND is personal preference.
There is only one person who can make the decision…
Don’t worry about returning to the showroom a few times for questions or test drives as money talks!

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The “ND is smaller inside “ is a myth . The lack of door pockets and glovebox and the lower sitting position means it’s more roomy

I loved my NC with self raising lid but the ND is a far far better car to drive . You could tweak an NC suspension I suppose . The one area where the NC was superior was the steering but even that is exaggerated.I find the ND easier to place accurately, it does lack feel but not a big deal .

The NC did appear to have a bigger boot

I probably am talking out of exhaust pipe but from what I can see… aren’t the NC and ND very similar in design and construction?

The ND has new clothes, improved heart/ lungs and a new nervous-system but underneath all that the muscular-skeletal system seems quite similar.

Someone needs to correct me if I am talking orchids, no offence will be taken.

The front and rear suspension is different but similar in design. The running gear is completely different but similar in design. The power plant frame looks the same, is it?
However it appears that many of the basic body shell parts are remarkably similar. I am convinced that the rear wheel inner arches are identical as the jack holding brackets and general shape in there is the same on NC and ND. The sill construction also looks very similar as well. But as always I could be wrong.