Wanted, Loved and Cherishef MX5...How hard can that be?

As the title suggests I’m looking for another MX5, after I sold my Mk1 12 years ago.  I have looked at several supposedly very nice condition (so the sales person told me over the phone) 3-4 year old 2l Sport Navs from Mazda dealers and I must admit to being shocked at the condition of them, scuffs, scratches, kerbed alloys, little dents, damaged leather seats, worn through carpet, just to mention a few.  The one had only got 8k miles and it had scratches, scuffs and a kerbed alloy and it had already been through their workshop! Admittedly 2 of them had not yet gone through their workshop, but come on do people really treat their cars, especially MX5’s, this badly!  Am I being unreasonable expecting to buy a 3-4 year old MX5 from a Mazda dealer at what I consider a reasonable price (around £14k) and not have to expect all these issues?

I’ve a feeling we are seing more of an eclectic breed of late model 5 owners. 

Ranging from those who buy theirs on personal finance as many here, being dedicated previous marque enthusiasts, and treat their cars fastidiously.

Then we have the “3-year deal punters” who want to try the 5 experience for a bit, and for the first time and move onto something else. I personally suspect they number amongst “sorts” like my wife & I…the last of the Baby_Boomer lump sum retirees who have the cash (not so much with us!) to chuck at something of a “toy”, rag it, generally not give a toss, then trade it.

If I were you, I’d focus on the For Sale columns containing known Forum / Club cars (any “club” not just this one) and buy from a 5 owner who clearly appreciated the car. 

Before I SORNED my Mk1 awaiting it’s current restoration, I met a couple in their (dirty) ND at Tyndrum…who were clueless that my car and theirs were even related. 

I doubt that would have happended 10 years back. Dign of the times. 

So, buy from a 5-hard wired source.


Have to say that I found the same whilst trying to go through dealers.

Ended up just avoiding them and looking for the “right” kind of owner for a private purchase.

If anything, I put nearly as much effort into ensuring that they were the right previous owners as the car’s condition, based on the expectation that owners who love their cars and have the money to maintain then, tend to ensure that the right things happen, i.e. serviced on time, decent tyres etc.



On a positive note, the car that I now have was owner by a couple of 3 years and was in excellent condition.  They’d had the sills done, cambelt changed at 50k etc etc.

Hello Baggers200

Try Roddisons Motorsport Sheffield S9 1US 0114 244 5300 ask for Paul.

I bought my 2014 2 litre Sport Tech Recaro from Paul October 2017, well pleased.



You appear to be wanting a secondhand but “NEW” car.

Stop beating yourself up as newer MK3’s are overpriced every where.

Go into a Mazda dealer and pick up a basic new low spec Mk4 on a lease and give it back in say three years.

That way you get what you really want a “new car” for a reasonable price.

Most new cars these days are so well made that they shrug off three years of ownership by uniformed buffoons.


Unfortunately the MX5 is not a well made car.


I’ve never really come to terms with ill prepared cars on some dealer forecourts? To me, shows lack of care/neglect from previous owner and lack of interest from dealer, that’s only what you can see from a visual inspection, what else unseen might be going on? Is it that dealers don’t want to put money into the cars until a deal is struck (apart from what they paid for the car), how many folk walk away though, put off by a poorly presented car. There are good cars out there, it’s just finding one and possibly not from a dealers forecourt either!


I looked at around 4 cars (Mk3’s) at dealers and came to the conclusion they were clueless about the marque but I never expected them to be in the know so to speak.

As above really it’s just another car they want to punt, unprepared cars, missed matched tyres, badly knocked up alloys had me running away in disgust. They’ll never bend much in the way of discounts, especially if you’re offering up the full amount in cash, they want a credit + service/paint protection agreement out of you more so.

Have you tried “PVC” in Saffron Waldon?..nb I haven’t as yet, but they seem to have cornered the MX5 market in reasonable spec low mileage MX5’s, (were do they get them all from?)

We are about to start looking once our Mk2 is sold. A bit like you I am expecting a near perfect low mileage, high spec example, but from what you have said it looks like I may be disappointed!

I contacted our local Mazda dealer (Leominster), as they had what seemed like the perfect car, (reasonable spec, low mileage PHT). However after I had called them 3 times requesting a call back and more information, (which they promised they would do), they couldn’t even be bothered to reply so I assumed they are not really interested in selling their cars. 

However I may also consider a Mk4, (still can’t make my mind up?!). 

As per the above, I suppose the problem is people either buy them “for the experience” and then move them on and don’t particularly care about looking after them, or like our current one which we have owned from new and never really thought about selling until now!?

Good luck with your search, and please let us know how you get on…

Part of the problem is, whether the car is “loved and cherished” or not, if it’s been used on British roads it is more or less certain it will have collected a few stone chips, dings etc., and for the most part they are too insignificant, but expensive, to be dealt with immediately by most ordinary people.  If you want (near) perfection you’ll need new or a “garage queen” whose owner will expect a price nearing that of a new car.  Sadly expectation must be tempered by realism.  Good luck.

A few people on here have already swapped their Early ND for the newer uprated engine model. Doubtless more will be doing the same. Change the title of your thread to ‘Wanted ND 2.0 Sport Nav’ Something will come up soon.

I’ll admit I did the same without a result but it has worked for me in the past. I ended up with a dealer car but the previous owner was a club member and it was certainly loved and cherished. Still is.

Thanks for all your replies. 

I have forgotten how stressful it is looking for a used car, which is probably why I buy new for both of our other every day cars.  You speak to a sales person and they make this used car sound wonderful and be exactly what you are after and then you see it and your heart sinks.

As someone mentioned I think it is so easy now to get a new car that they essentially become disposable and not looked after.  Also people do not keep cars as long as they used to so there is no reason to look after them because it can sometimes be easier and cheaper to just get another new one.

Maybe my expectations are too high, but I have always maintained my previous cars to a high standard and I just wish I could find a car that has been looked after as well as I look after mine, but I’m quickly beginning to realise that’s likely not going to happen.

I am going to look at another one this weekend at a dealer and if that one doesn’t work out, then I might have to reconsider my options and possibly look for a new 1.5 SE-L NAV instead as i have seen some good offers for them for just under £18k at the moment, or even consider private which does tend to scare me with some of the horror stories you hear!

Just used Autotrader to get prices for my 3.5 year old 14k ND 2.0 Sport Nav. Here’s the results.

Dealer guide price £13,740 - £15,190

Private guide price £12,820

Part exchange guide price £11,650

That’s a gap from top price to bottom price of £3,540

Admittedly if you buy from a dealer you will get some sort of guarantee. Probably only 3 months or they will sell you a longer one.

I understand that maybe you are uneasy buying privately without warranty. Why not buy a warranty? I’ve got a quote for a comprehensive 12 month warranty for under £500. Buy privately and add a warranty and you will still be quids in.

You will find plenty of people posting on here saying they have changed their car. That’s too late for you, their old car will have been traded in already and advertised on the dealer site at a big mark up. Put the feelers out and a good one will come up soon.

The last seven times I’ve changed cars I’ve sold privately. I’ve always described them a damn sight more honestly than the majority of dealers.



Hi Roadie,
I thought you were offering me your no doubt lovely Sport Nav then and you was trying to negotiate a price! ??

Not for sale… yet! One day when I decide on my next MX-5 it will be though. A few years until I change again though.

My point is that if I was advertising now I would mention the single stone chip on the bonnet and the very minor kerbing on a couple of wheels that you can only see when you get very close up.

I’ve been in the same place as you regarding dealers. Went to look at a ‘lovely’ Audi A4 at a dealer or at least that was how it was described. The multiple stone chips were visible from around 20 feet away and the drivers side door mirror was badly damaged. I didn’t even look any closer than that and walked, sorry ran away.

Mine’s my 7th car in 35 years & my experience is that it’s the best made car I’ve owned - my previous 6 vehicles were a mix of Nissans, Fords & Vauxhalls -2 secondhand & 4 bought new.

The MX-5’s definitely (so far) given the fewest problems; the worst made car I’ve ever owned was a 2009 Fiesta, bought new & swapped after only 3 years /15,000 miles due to an ever-increasing list of build quality issues, some of which were evident on the day I took delivery while a host of others became apparent during my period of ownership.  One of these (cutting out at speed) was very dangerous & although it was still under warranty all the Ford dealers I approached for assistance were absolutely hopeless, so while the car, a 1.6 petrol, drove & handled very well - when it was working - I’d simply had enough, so got rid of it & treated myself to the Mazda.

I agree though that there’s one build quality issue - the MX-5’s corrosion protection isn’t up to modern standards, but I knew that when I ordered mine so had it professionally rustproofed as soon as I got it hence it’s still in A1 condition underneath.



Have you been driving my car Paul?  Oh no, yours is a 2.0l and mine’s a 1.5l, otherwise the blemishes are in the same places, but only 1 wheel in my case.


Whilst it is certainly lacking in the matter of under-body protection, the car is well put together, with it’s build quality among the best of mass produced cars, and even some “prestige” brands.

Sadly prestige cars no longer have such prestige build quality - particularly the German ones. Mercedes/BMW etc. have realised that built in obsolescence is to their advantage - The car just needs to survive the 3 year warranty to keep the punter coming back for the newer model with latest gizmos under another  PCP agreement (a huge increase in these over last few year with insufficient regulation creating a growing debt bubble) and gaining them much revenue from the subsequent high maintenance costs for the next buyer. My 2005 Toyota Previa has fantastic build quality and after 130,000 drives as well as new and fuel economy has actually slightly improved over the years - sadly I suspect that build quality of cars generally is now beginning to falter even with Toyota. I would love it if it were possible now to buy a brand new Mercedes E class from the early 90s, really look after it and drive it for 1 million miles and not worry about having to have the latest media interface!!