Pity the MX-5. As we froth over the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ twins for reintroducing drivers to the joys of front-engined, rear-drive, naturally aspirated, modestly tyred fun, the little Mazda has been muttering, “Er, guys? Been doing it for years. Anyone?”
OK, the MX-5 wraps its old-school charms in a two-seat cabrio body rather than the Toybaru’s two-and-a-bit-seater coupe form, but the principles remain: straightforward engineering, correct tyre-to-power balance, gentle propensity for slippery-roundabout oversteer. We have long approved of these principles.
In fact, so upset is the MX-5 at being overlooked that it’s developed Sad Mouth Syndrome. Look at it pouting. This is the most notable change of the MX-5’s marginal mid-life (OK, late-life) refresh, which also incorporates an active bonnet that pops up to reduce pedestrian impact, and a new top-spec Sport Tech trim with satnav as standard.
Such a negligible facelift can’t disguise that the MX-5 has been going for eight years. But if it’s rear-drive retro you need, the Mazda would like to remind you it’s still got its groove on…
1999cc, 4cyl, RWD, 158bhp, 139lb ft, 36.2mpg, 181g/km CO2, 0–62mph in 7.9secs, 136mph max, 1299kg