This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Mazda MX-5 review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

You've got two to choose from: a 110bhp 1.6 and a 146bhp 1.8. If you just want cheap wind-in-the-hair fun then the 1.6 will do, but the bigger engine makes it more of a sportscar. Both are rev-happy and offer enough power to make the daily trip to work a lot more appealing. Sport version also gets a six-speed gearbox. The ratios are well-spaced, but it can be to easy to select the wrong gear at speed.

A stiff, rear-driven chassis makes for classic sportscar driving with lots of feedback through all the controls. It offers pure driving sensations rather than outright speed. MX-5's tight proportions makes it a breeze to park - either with the roof up or down - and it's easy to drive in town. Ride is good over most surfaces, comfortable on the motorway and only caught out by the biggest ruts and potholes.