Mazda MX-5: new arrival

The MX-5 RC

Obviously one of the biggest differences between buying new and buying second hand is that you don't get to specify your dream car yourself. But given the amount of money you'll save this seems a small sacrifice to make.

We found a 2.0i Sport Roadster Coupe in Galaxy Grey Mica (a £375 option when new). It wouldn't have been my first choice of colour (I'd have gone for a brash red) but in the metal I think it looks great and gives the Mazda a sophisticated appearance.

The RC (short for Roadster Coupe) model comes with a metal folding roof rather than the fabric hood of the standard car. My first impressions are that the solid roof doesn't look as stylish as the soft top but on the plus side a larger rear screen enhances the view out the back. 

Well equipped

Our top of the range Sport model comes very well kitted out with essentials such as climate control, electric windows and traction control as standard. The Sport model also gets leather seats  - plus they're heated which will prove very useful on those cold winter mornings!

The only option fitted is a BOSE audio system fitted (an extra £555 when new), which is automatically equalised for top-up or top-down driving. Plus it features a system called AudioPilot noise compensation which cleverly overcomes the effects of unwanted  outside noise. I'm looking forward to testing it thoroughly with my CD collection!

My first drive in the Mazda was straight into a thunderstorm - not quite what you want in a convertible sports car! But it gave me a chance to experience how impressive the hard top was - and how good it is at insulating outside noise, while at higher speeds there's a satisfying absence of wind noise.

Current mileage: 1533

Average mpg: 34.3