What is the best MX5 to buy?

I have been mulling over an MX5 purchase for some time and due to the current inflationary used car prices I have postponed my purchase. However I came across this You Tube video from the US that compares old and new models and quite frankly I’m now confused as to what is the best model to purchase? SEE VIDEO ATTACHED.


What’s the best MX5? Depending who you ask you will get a variety of responses.

What’s important to you? If you have never owned an mx5 the older models have no sentimental value and to be honest as a stock car they are poor in regards to safety and performance if compared to an NC or ND.

However before buying anything I’d go for a test drive and figure out what you want yourself rather than taking someone else’s opinion.

Although I’d want to have popup headlights again the sensible in me would look the wallet and buy either an NC or ND.


The only reason to buy an MX5 is that the top comes off.

If this is your ‘driver’ then any of them will make you happy.

Which ever you decide on buy the best you can afford and start enjoying the fresh air.

Happy searching.


I have an NC 3.75 2.0L Sport Tech - 25th Anniversary. The basic design is almost 20 years old, and auto electronics have obviously moved on considerably since then.

I was interested in the ND and had a test drive in a 1.5L yesterday. The engine was plenty powerful enough for me and the newer gizmos were nice, including the DAB radio. It was in Soul Red with the tan interior and while the outside was great, I thought the inside made it look like it had previously been owned by a chain smoker!

I have heard others say that they don’t like the electric power steering on the ND and I was astonished to find that I agreed; I hadn’t expected to be so aware of the better steering feedback in the NC.

The ND was on sale at a main Mazda dealer for £15,000 with around 17,000 miles on the clock. The final thing that made me stick with my current car was that right next to the ND was an NC 25AE with again about 17,000 miles on sale for £16,200 and already sold!

Unless you want the nostalgia of the NA or NB, I am very happy (after yesterday) with my NC. You can add most of the modern stuff (DAB radio, parking camera / sensors, uprated headlight bulbs) for considerably less than the £5,000 they wanted for me to part-ex against the ND.

I have had mine undersealed by MX5Restorers. Check for rust on any car and get it undersealed, no matter how new it is.

I also couldn’t decide between the soft top ND and the RF. With the NC PRHT I have the best of both worlds!


I drove an NC and it left me cold. I drove an NB and I couldn’t stop smiling. I bought the NB! Your mileage will very…


I had a NB Roadster RS then bought the NC. I was disappointed at first, but a few tweaks to the suspension and it was a different car. I’ve now had it 10 years.


My favouriite is either a mk 1, mk 2, mk3, or a mk4…in no particular order.


I’ve had an NA the NB and now owned 2 NC’s. I’ve loved all of them but wouldn’t go back to the first two. I think mainly because I’m getting on in years now and I find the NC the comfiest with more refinement.
I’ve always wanted another Mk1 as a project car but I think I’ve passed that stage now of tinkering.

1 Like

We have only had one… an NA. We love it and certainly can’t see ourselves in anything else. That being said… I reckon the only thing that would tempt us away would be an ND.

The NB is too similar to the NA to be worth the hassle of changing (in our opinion).

The NC doesn’t quite stir us in the way that the other three models do.

ND is a great looking thing. Never driven one but based on everything we’ve seen, heard, read etc sounds the business.

Big decision with the ND is of course whether you go RF or not!

Going to be brave and rank them based on our opinion with some rationale…

  1. NA - pop up headlights. Nuff said.

  2. ND - possibly the best looking and driving thing on the road this side of six figures.

  3. NB - better than the NA in many ways but minus the headlights so gets marked down.

  4. NC - probably the best of the lot depending on what you are looking for, but if you want something a bit “raw” then the NC probably doesn’t quite hit that mark like the others? That being said, plenty more refinement on your average UK road than our NA I bet! :slight_smile:

The truth is of course that there is no such thing as a “bad one” and reckon that depending on priorities and personal taste you could reverse that ranking :slight_smile:

1 Like

Happy as a clam with my NB, but I do also have a Mazda6 Sport with all the bells and whistles.

I bought the five for the no frills top down roadster experience I had been promising myself from the days of friends’ MGBs and Spitfires of my youth back in the 60s. If that’s what you want a Mk1 or Mk2 has it in spades.

If you want something a bit more refined or for a daily driver, a Mk3 or 4 might suit you better. Having said that my NB pretty much is my daily driver, summer and winter, unless it’s absolutely bucketing down :grinning:

Horses for courses.


Without sounding biased, I’d say my 2000 Icon NB over on Cars & Classics is probably the best MX5 to buy. Having said that, if I had the storage space I’d never move it on, but needs must - I have recently bought a ND RF Launch Edition, and although I do like the modern bells & whistle tech stuff it doesn’t seem like it’d be a ‘classic’ (maybe one day when MX5’s become fully electric powered).


No ifs, no buts…, the Mk1 is the best. The purest driving experience.

The NB is a softer driivng experience, and suffers in various areas due to Ford having taken a very large shareholding in Mazda, their beancounters moved in, and quality suffered. The front chassis members design bodgery that has led to all the rust isses there … was only the beginning of their skinflinting.

The NC ? Really just a car for the middle age spread.

The ND ? An unimaginative, and slavish rendition of the Mazda design philosophy ( can’t recall its name ) that also sees expression in the Mazda 2, 3 and 6. And those are just the ones I can be bothered to look at. The ND looked dated from the day it was put on sale. Unlike the Fiat 124, that’s a classic, also from the day it was introduced.

Yes, the NA for me, and anyone of any discernment…


I’ve got an NA RS Limited, had it for years, wouldn’t change it.

I recently had a 184 ND as a company car. When the time came to change it, if I was given the choice to give up the NA and keep the ND it would have been a difficult decision.

Had an NC as a daily along with the NA and would still have it I’m sure if I didn’t have the company car.

A nice 10th Anniversary Edition NB came up for sale recently, if it was an easy swap I’d have considered changing my RS for that…

Go figure.

1 Like

Owned a number of NB MK2 & 2.5 as well as Mk3 and driven NA’s

The NC is nice and feels a lot more “premium” but isn’t as engaging as the earlier models. The NA is arguably the most of a “drivers” car but I personally prefer the NB. The updates it had over the NA make it for me a better car whilst still retaining the raw feeling of the earlier model.


Many thanks :+1:

Many thanks. :+1:

Thank you. :+1:

Many thanks :+1:.

That’s interesting. I sat in 2021 MX5 in a Mazda show room and it took me back to my 1972 mk3 GT6. It almost brought tears to my eyes as the Triumph was one of my first loves. I have to say I have been really impressed with the reaction from my post and its still a tough call.
Thank you for your feed back. :blush:

Excellent… I like your honesty. In fact the people on this website and club are really good… :+1: