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Mazda MX-5 review: 2.0-litre ‘Sport Tech’ tested (2012-2013)

£21,405 when new
7/10
Road test score

Car specifications

Budget
£21,405
Brake horsepower
160bhp
Fuel consumption
36.2mpg
0–62 mph
7.60s
CO2
181g/km
Max speed
132Mph
Insurance Group
27E

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Pity the Mazda 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… 

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