This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Mazda MX-5 review.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

There are two engine choices available to meter out Mazda MX-5 performance - a 1.8-litre with 126bhp and a 2.0-litre unit with 160bhp. Neither is outrageously quick but both are nippy and rev freely - although you do have to work them quite hard to get meaningful performance. The 2.0-litre sprints from 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds compared to 9.4 seconds for the 1.8-litre. The folding hard top on Roadster Coupe models adds 37kg of extra weight but this doesn't affect performance. The 1.8-litre is only available with a five-speed gearbox whereas the 2.0-litre engine comes with a five-speed or a six-speed 'box on the Sport model. Both transmissions are a delight to use thanks to a slick and positive action.

In 2011 a six-speed automatic gearbox was added, only available with the 2.0-litre engine. It means a sprint from 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds.

Mazda engineers have benchmarked the MX-5 against cars like the Porsche Boxster and this is evident on the move. It's agile, nimble and great fun - helped further by the fact the MX-5 is rear-wheel drive.

The new body is stiffer than before and this means that even with the roof down there's no wobble or vibration. It's composed on poor surfaces and makes a surprisingly good motorway cruiser. Some may argue that it's not as much fun as its predecessors but there's no denying it is hugely enjoyable and rewarding to drive.