Model observations and thoughts

Guys, so I’m looking almost everyday to find the car I’m after. I have seen a cracking little 15 plate (older than I wanted in truth) but low milage, and more important the OLDER shape.

I think the older shape and how the hood closes flat really appeal to my eye. The wheels look wider with the flared arches, and I like the twin exhaust one each side. They are also under my budget.

So is an older model very well cared for, better than say a model 2 years younger about the same milage. This car is stunning and looks mint, garaged and service history, but will not have a years warranty as Mazda brought cars give you. Is that peace of mind worth it? Thanks guys for baring with me. Richard.

Have you driven the “older” (NC3 runout model) and the “newer” (ND1)?

The NC3 is likely to have significant depreciation; its the lder model, but not so old to be seen as a classic. I wonder about the potential for “orphan” status of these very last NC models. The NC3 only lasted for barely 2 years, but had quite a few changes over the NC2. The rumour, unsubstantiated, was it was a fill-in model due to delays in the ND. The NC faced loss of type approval in Europe without retro fit of an active bonnet feature.

On the flip side, you are comparing the final development of the NC model versus the initial ND model.

Technologically, the NC model is inferior to the ND.

I would drive each before thinking about warranties. The MX5 is all about the driving experience, not really about what it looks like.

If its about £££, the NA still makes the best case. Not as cheap now as a NB, but the values are slightly appreciating (probably not at the 8% CAGR suggested by some). Even it it breaks, nothing on it is going to cost big bucks, and because of its classic status, its never going to be good money after bad. Of course, technologically, its light years behind the ND. The ND was pitching for a NA-like character (the NB is really a NA on steroids). The NC is a very different machine, arguably attracting a different sort of owner.

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Saz. I truly appreciate the reply, but much was over my head.

[quote=“saz9961, post:2, topic:118050”]
Technologically, the NC model is inferior to the ND.
[/quote] Could you explain this to me please, imagine i know little about cars please?

The NC MX5 is the 2005-2014 car, 3 different versions. You are looking at the final version of this series, and comparing it to the current version (of which to date, there has been one update, ie. ND1 and ND2).

The NC model is the older model.

The newer model is faster, more economical, less harmful to the environment, lighter. None of that though might matter to you though. The ND doesn’t have a glovebox though.

Looks are subjective, but I would say peak NC was the NC2. The NC3 gives the impression of being a bit lardy looking, a bit thick around the jowls.






The active bonnet system is a series of explosive bolts that activate if a pedestrian hits the car, reducing injuries. The system used in the NC3 was only used in a small number of cars. I’m not sure if it shares common parts with the ND1. There have been reports of these triggering after relatvely minor taps against things like kerbs. The cost of repairs has been known to write a car off. The legality of removing or inactivating this system is uncertain.

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It seems to me you’ve found the car you want to own. If you can see it before buying, that would be the question… When I saw my ND2 for the 1st time, I was pretty sure within seconds I’d own it.
Is the NC you are looking at being sold by a dealer or a private sale?
Condition is everything, especially if you intend keeping it long term, and you could go online, or get further advise here about buying your own warranty.
Hope this helps… Rob

A huge amount has been written about the ND since its launch and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the reviews. The link below is a review of the 2015 1.5 version which should give you a flavour of the ND1 and the key differences compared with the previous NC models. There’s some decent pictures too. The ND is quite a shift in looks compared to the NC and as beauty is in the eye of the beholder only you can judge if you like it or not. Both the NC and ND are great cars and neither will disappoint, but your own set of priorities should determine which one to go for.

I haven’t seen that review before. If you’re measuring your garage, the ND is 4 metres long, not 5 metres!

Thanks to you all, I’m changing my mine like a virgin at her 20th birthday party. I’m fortunate I’ll not be buying for a few weeks yet.

Good spot.

Disagree on most of those points but then again I have an nc3 which I bought precisely because it was a final run out and most of the problems which arose in the earlier nc had been ironed out. It is a reliable and comfortable car with some practicality and comfort for longer journeys, the folding roof is secure and more weather resistant for a car stored outside and the drivetrain and suspension have sufficient extra metal in them that they will not suffer early unwarranted failure.


Thanks Mate, nice to get another view too. What the radio/player like in that mode by the way please? I’m not one for car shoes and things, but I do live a good player of my cds on a journey.

Ive started asking a few dealers about warrenty and asking for the service history. I expect I’ll go for the most recent ND as it just makes sense to buy a car up to date with al the little extras. And its does seem a little dated form some angles. I’m sure I’ll get it right when the time comes. Cheers.

Like you I like the look of the ND, but I think the NC3 has more presence and looks even better for it.
I live by the coast and don’t have a garage, so I wanted a hard top, for safety, and because of the seagulls (constant s#itters).
The ND with the folding hard top is not a real convertible, so I went for an NC3 prht Venture Edition from 2013.
Yes it isn’t as up to date as the ND, and road tax is much higher even on my 1.8 engine, but economy is still good, it is roomier, and it costs a fair bit less.
Mine has a Sanyo integrated satnav unit, and after some tweaking on the equalizer, the sound if fine. You can always upgrade the speakers. Or choose a later NC3 model with the later satnav (from Alpine, I think it was).
You say you play cd’s, I do too, and happily on the NC3 the cd’s are loaded on the dashboard. On the ND they are loaded between the 2 seats, which is more inconvenient while driving.
If you, like me, think looks are important, and you prefer the looks of the NC3, you might well end up taking care of the car more if you fancy the pants of it.
The way they drive depends very much on the version you choose, but the ND has the edge when you push on.
However, a NC3 with a 2.0 litre engine, the Blistein dampers, the slip differential, and some 17" alloy wheels is a gem.


I love my NC - a 2011 2.0L Roadster Coupe. It is parked in my drive and I feel that it is more secure than the 2001 Isola 1.6L I owned previously. It is also quieter with the top up - although I lower it at every available opportunity. It has a Bose stereo - which isn’t bad but nowhere near as good as the DAB radio in my Skoda Yeti - and a CD player. (My Isola had a Radio/Cassette and a 10 CD player in the boot).
The NC averages about 39 mpg which is fine with me but the MVL is £265 p.a. This is a most unfair tax when you only do a maximum of 4000 miles p.a.


For what it’s worth, I agree with the others who have said beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I have an NC3 (Venture) which I absolutely fell in love with the second I saw her. Far as I’m concerned, she’s the most beautiful girl in the world and I would pick her over the ND which is also another beautiful car. If both vehicles are in similar condition, close in price, then I say go with your gut. If you’re like the rest of us, you’re going to be spending as much time as possible in your 5, make sure you’re happy.
Further to the stereo question, mine also came with the in-built Sanyo SatNav. Tbh, the first job I did when I got the car was to rip this out and replace it. Please note, the system was perfectly adequate and if CDs are your thing, the system will work great for you. For me, I just wanted to be able to Bluetooth my iPod for tunes. Just a wee side note; if you do ever decide to upgrade, you’ll have to spend a good amount of time pulling out the rats nest of cabling Mazda hooked up to install the Sanyo system in order to get it back to the standard connectors. Anyhoo, both are very fine cars, you won’t be disappointed with either so go with whichever model makes your heart beat a little faster!

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Any road tax is a rip off when you consider the state English roads are in. At least motorways are free.

Don’t know if running costs are important, but fuel economy on the ND reflects the lower RFL.
I get 10 mpg better on the 2.0 litre ND compared to my previous 2.0 litre NC2.

Quite a bit if you use the car a lot. Not such if its a weekend-er I suppose Clive?

I found the ND is slightly more difficult to get in (only a problem if you have a bad back and are getting on a bit).
I bought my NC3.75 just over a year ago and find second-hand prices have stabilised to increasing slightly.
The stereo (non Bose) is appalling as is the speaker performance. The Alpine satnav unit is also dire.
I didn’t want a cloth roof so the folding hardtop is superb, I also feel that the NC3 is the best looking of all the models. Be aware non of them are undersealed.


Good point. I got my 6-month-old ND rust-protected by MX5restorer soon after I bought it. The best value mod you can do on any MX-5 if you intend to keep it. I’ve seen low mileage 6 year old NC’s completely brown underneath.

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