I observe, from the passing scene, and from the OC forum, that a substantial minority of NC purchasers are ‘more mature’ citizens who wish to enjoy the delights of MX5 driving. Some of us, having experience of other car brands, are disappointed by MX5 ‘idiosyncracies’ eg road noise and clunky gear changes. As with the ‘Emperors new clothes’ there seems a general reluctance to acknowledge that MX5’s do have their faults, and some of these could have, and should have, been eliminated by better design, or quality control during manufacture (without great cost penalty)
I suggest that the OC consider a sub forum to focus on the needs of owners who seek to maximise travelling comfort and drivability,( rather than hairy-chested performance), specifically in order to share knowledge of solutions found for such issues ?
Lest anyone think I am an effete dilettante - I cut my driving teeth in the era of the great British Leyland automotive horrors;the attendant freezing garages and bleeding knuckles; and still have oily- thumbed manuals to prove it !
I had to read the OP a number of times and still don’t think I understand.
One of the main raseons I love the 5 is it’s character whether it be a mk 1, 2,or 3. It’s not just a metal can out of the factory, they are fun.
My feeling is if you don’t like the MX 5 go buy something else…
I am a self-described middle aged geezer, so probably fit into the more mature age group, and I love my NC with all its quirks. Road noise is definitely not an issue for me as I am always listening to the rather nice exhaust note from my new exhaust. I have the six speed box, and it is a little notchy when cold but is as easy as pie when it warms up. Part of me suspects that this may be a deliberate feature by Mazda as a sort of homage to the sports cars of old which inspired the 5. It encourages you to take things just a little more carefully until everything reaches its optimum temperature.
I should add that the car I sold to buy the MX5 was a Westfield, and compared the that, the 5 is the very height of luxury and refinement!
Ok we own a MK2 (NB) not an NC. I am a bit disappointed by the clunky gear change, but wouldn’t consider it a reason to change cars. As for excessive road noise, there is none. I did have a serious road noise issue on another car that I own, which turned out to be the tyres not a car characteristic.
I too got down and dirty with some fine British Leyland products and look forward to doing the same on the MX5!
I want to thank all those who were stimulated/provoked into a response, and especially those who suggested alternative forms of transport which might suit me - my electric bathchair is on order now, even as we speak. Seriously, I love driving my MX5, and look for every excuse to take it for a spin. However, I would not love it any less if it had a slick gearchange! I remain puzzled that such a key attribute of a performance sports car is so unrefined. I would gladly sacrifice heated seats, satnav and multiple remote boot lid controls in exchange for a decent gearchange.
One of the best gearchanges I ever experienced was on a 1938 MG VA (partially restored) - so it ain’t rocket science. I don’t think a crunchy gearchange is an unavoidable aspect of the MX5 - hence my wish to collate any and all wisdom on how it can be improved.
At the risk of a tongue lashing I agree that we all view our cars through rose coloured glasses and they are far from perfect , I can live with most things on my car however the rate at which they rust ( sills , arches and chassis ends ) is unforgivable on relatively new cars , how Mazda escaped a VOSA safety recall is beyond me.
Mechanically the cars are superb however they are badly let down by their rapidly dissolving bodies !
I have a 2013 6 speed 2.0 l Sport Venture Tech, where I recently had the gearbox oil changed to Castrol Syntrans GL4 (after 8 months of nursing it through the gear changes) I then drove it for 1500 miles around Scotland and conclude that the replacement oil has improved the gear change overall; it becomes progressively better as things warm up. However it is not the dramatic improvement I had hoped The change from 1st to 2nd is still ludicrously baulky and feels like sloppy gate geometry.
I am starting to think about clutch drag, and if the clutch action has enough oomph, early enough, to release the synchro cones and dogs to ensure a smooth change. I feel that an MX5 should be capable of a near racing gear change up thro the box without me wincing at the sensation of dogs and plungers reluctantly engaging under protest.