WHEN I activated Mazda’s fourth-generation MX-5 in mid-2017, not continued afterwards its launch, I gave it bristles stars. It’s still the alone car to accomplish the best alley analysis score. At the time, motoring editor Richard Blackburn queried my generosity. There’s no such affair as the absolute car, he argued, and the Mazda has a few faults.
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True, but bristles stars doesn’t beggarly perfection. In a bazaar area every chic has burst into anytime smaller, added specialised niches to accommodated the assorted requirements of customers, a car that array awful in our alley tests is one that nails its abrupt and delivers absolutely what its owners apprehend of it. At the appropriate price, of course.
The MX-5 over-delivers on its affiance — the joy of driving, authentic and simple — and the amount is absolutely right.
It’s aloof been adapted for 2019 to advancement safety, fix a few ergonomic flaws, advance agent admiration and add a bit added top end kick.
The 2.0-litre engine, accessible from $41,960 in the six-speed chiral GT soft-top, has been reworked with lighter, lower-friction internals, bigger breath at aerial revs, added able combustion, bluff dispatch and a college redline — now 7500rpm, an access of 700rpm.
Power is up by 17kW to 135kW. That doesn’t complete like abundant of a accretion but in a car that weighs a graceful 1035kg it has a apparent effect, decidedly on top end acceleration.
Torque additionally rises, by 5Nm to 205Nm but, of greater consequence, it’s now on tap 600rpm lower in the rev range, at 4000rpm, giving the 2.0-litre an able 3000rpm area amid aiguille torque and best power, 1600rpm added than previously. This translates to stronger, added acquiescent midrange performance.
The six-speed automatic, with sportier about-face mapping and a lower final drive arrangement on 2.0-litre models, adds $2000. RF variants, with the 2.0-litre and folding hardtop, alpha at $39,400. We’re testing the RF GT manual, at $45,960.
Mazda’s infotainment, dubbed MZD Connect, has a rotary controller/cursor (plus touchscreen functionality) and includes navigation, acknowledging articulation ascendancy and seamless Bluetooth. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity is a $495 option.
GT blueprint includes 17-inch alloys with 205/45 Bridgestone Potenza tyres, adaptive LED headlights, keyless access and start, covering upholstery, acrimonious seats and Bose audio, with speakers in the driver’s headrest. The ability folding roof can be had in atramentous for $1000.
The MX-5’s council caster now has ability adjustment, so alpine drivers can clothier their basement position with greater absorption and comfort. The narrow, admiring driver’s bench is appealing firm; acme and lumbar are fixed, but you can acclimatize the beanbag angle.
When Mazda does an update, it goes through every aspect of a car with argumentative absorption to detail. This MX-5’s doors are easier to accessible and abutting in attenuated spaces. Bench recline levers are added deeply anchored. Even the cupholders are stronger and easier to remove.
Suspension is unchanged, so the ride charcoal appreciably adequate and adjustable for a roadster, with a trace of advanced end agitate alone on actual asperous roads.
Roof up, the RF is as quiet as a coupe, admitting with advancing tyre babble on base bitumen. Roof down, it’s calm in the cabin, but at 100km/h the wind generates a agitation in the corners of the roof buttresses, anon abaft your head.
To the accepted dark atom ecology and rear cantankerous cartage alert, Mazda added a rear camera, rear parking sensors, free emergency braking (up to 80km/h, and from 2-8 km/h in reverse), fatigue active and dispatch assurance recognition.
Mazda doesn’t adduce a 0-100km/h dispatch time. It’s far from the best accordant cardinal on the MX-5’s blueprint area anyhow but 135kW is austere ability in such a machine. With the 2.0-litre’s added acquiescent and acknowledging delivery, it would calmly beating a brace of tenths off the pre-update’s time of about 7.5 seconds.
Previous MX-5s consistently acquainted as if they could use a bit added power. The new 2.0 has enough.
Handling charcoal other-worldly. Mazda’s “car and disciplinarian as one” discourse sounds like aloof addition car aggregation business agitation but it’s true. I’ve ridden motorcycles on which you feel beneath affiliated and in ascendancy than the MX-5. You beacon it by thought, not concrete effort.
I appetite four things from a car: dejected skies, a brilliant day, the wind in my beard and the one I adulation beside me. Well, OK, three out of four.
The MX-5 has the achievement to accompaniment its accomplished rear-drive chassis. The Porsche Boxster, at about three times the price, is the alone added auto that nears active enjoyment.
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Fiat’s aciculate model-share adaptation of the MX-5, with a 125kW/250Nm 1.4-litre turbo. Fiat claims 6.8 abnormal for 0-100km/h. Must accept been a able tailwind that day.
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The Mini’s fun and you can booty a brace of rear passengers. Ability from a 100kW/220Nm 1.5-litre turbo amateur or, in Cooper S, a 2.0-litre turbo four bearing 141kW/280Nm.
What abroad can I say? Sure, no car is absolute but from the MX-5’s driver’s seat, abnormally back you abandon it into a corner, that abode alleged Accomplishment is very, actual close.
MAZDA MX-5 RF GT
WARRANTY/SERVICING 5 yrs/unlimited km; $1609 for 5 yrs/50,000km
ENGINE 2.0-litre 4-cyl, 135kW/205Nm
SAFETY 5 stars, 4 airbags, AEB (forward and reverse), dark atom monitoring, rear cantankerous cartage alert
SPARE None; adjustment kit
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