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Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 Published: 3rd May 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Mazda MX-5
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Hailed as the ‘new’ MGB that’s become almost a default choice classic sportster

Why buy?

 

If you’re in the market for a serious sports car that’s also easy going and with modern conveniences and safety standards topped by utter 24-7 reliability and usability, there’s no better car than Mazda’s MX-5 that’s rightly hailed as the successor to our MGB.

Driving

 

Mazda got the basics so right, from the cockpit to the chassis and it shows although the handling can catch the unwary out on greasy roads, particularly the Mk1. Some Eunos grey imports have a limited slip differential fitted which simply adds to the sideways fun. The Mk3 is arguably more suited to those who want rather than appreciate what MX-5s are really all about.

What to pay

 

You can nab one for £1000 but will be ratty; a grand more will secure a safer example while top Mk1s can sell for £5000. Mk2 values vary, starting for less than £3000 and topping £4500 and this amount can get you a nice Mk3 so consider your options.

General

 

Know what you are buying: genuine MX-5 chassis numbers begin with JMZN, Eunos Roadsters start NA. Values are not necessarily too dissimilar these days. Special Editions abound but may not be worth more – condition is the main factor.

Body and chassis

 

Early cars tended to bubble up below the sill tread plates and at the rear of the sills, and can lead to an MoT failure. Rear arch panels now available but MX-5s can rust badly.

Engine

 

Exhaust manifolds can crack. Repairs are acceptable, but replacement best. All came with a cat. If this rattles, then it will need replacing. The engine is tough enough but can leak oil from rocker covers, front crank oil seals, cam oil seals, timing assembly.

Running gear

If the handbrake has excessive travel or does not work too well, that part of the rear callipers may have seized and require replacements. Over wide tyres usually impairs the handling.

Best model?

1.8s

Worst model?

Poor imports

Budget buy?

Mk3

Ok for unleaded?

Yes

Spares situation?

Excellent

Diy ease?

Ok for a modern

Club support?

Excellent

Appreciating asset?

Mk1s starting to pick up



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