Soft top or Hard top for rust!

Hi everyone, I am looking to purchase a mx5, i had a mx about 3 years ago but decided to sell ( what a mistake), The reason for my post is, Do the hard top suffer the same as the soft tops in the cill areas for rust?, I always liked the soft top apart from noise on the motorways, so I am considering the electric hard top version, thoughts please, Steve

In theory no but in practice, yes.
The hardtop, whether it be fixed or powered(MK3) keep water external to the car as opposed to softtop associated rainrail and internal drains behind the seats. It seems that for one reason or another softtop MX5s have a habit of getting water introduced into the sill and associated problems.
The only way water should get into the sills in any volume is condensation.

1 Like

I would think the PRHT MX5 would also channel water through the vehicle substructure, due to the various overlapping panels.


In addition, early days for NC rust. It seems they go generally rusty underneath rather than there being particular rust traps as for the NA and NB MX5s.

From looking at a lot of MK3’s on my lift, I find that cars from down south are no better than cars from up here in Aberdeenshire where you would expect more rust due to the longer salt on the road season due to longer winters we have due to our northern lattitude.

Also some of the really rusty cars shown have lived all their life down south.

My take is assume nothing about whethere it is a hard or soft top.

If you are going to buy one of these cars, get it up on a lift, especially if you have to pay a garage for that as there is no lazy way to inspect the car without getting under the car.

Thanks to everyone who replied. I will take all advice given and hopefully i get myself a car that is not a rusty piece off junk. thanks again. Steve

All the best for the purchase Steve!

Hi Everyone, just a update, i have now purchased a soft top mx5 mk 3 2009. I went out in both soft and hard tops but did not find much difference with noise , my reason for the soft top was i like the look better [my own preference] . I had a good look around and it looked good apart from the surface rust underneath, has anyone used the Barn in Driffield for under car treatment?, or should i do it myself [i know this will be very very messy] or any recommendations, hopefully not costing a small fortune, thanks, Steve

1 Like