This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Mazda MX-5 review.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
  • Mazda MX-5 Mk3 (NC) improved practicality
  • Still a small car with small spaces to store things
  • Folding hard top is arguably the better day-to-day choice.

There are numerous little stowage compartments in the cabin, and four drinks holders, but the boot is small (although it’s eight litres larger than previously) so Mazda MX-5 practicality can’t be described as brilliant.

The fabric hood has to folded manually, but this is a straightforward and quick process. When the hood is raised there’s a deep, plastic-lined well behind the seats that can be used to store soft bags.

The RC model has a roof that folds in 12 seconds once you release a central lever and hit the button, but there’s no space behind the seats even with the roof up.

The efficiently-shaped boot will cope with a weekends worth of bags, while a luggage rack can be added too. The official Mazda luggage rack includes a high-level brake light and is still available new as a full kit from MX-5 Parts; it’s worth noting that the boot rack kit includes boot struts that provide extra strength so if you buy a car with a rack fitted, or add a third-party rack, you’ll want these to avoid the boot slamming.

Replacement boot struts are rated at 165N for soft-top MX-5s, 185N for the folding hard top model, and 240N with luggage rack.

Mazda MX-5 Mk3 (NC) safety

  • MX-5 Mk3 was not tested by Euro NCAP
  • Significant changes to structure over Mk 2/2.5 NB generation
  • At this age, safety ratings cannot be compared

The NB MX-5 scored four stars in the pre-2009 Euro NCAP crash tests, which are less stringent than modern tests and in this case, the rating applies to the 2002 Mk2.

It’s true that Mazda MX-5 safety levels aren’t high, however the NC – Mk3 – is a significant improvement over previous generations. A new body, chassis and structure not only add space around the occupants, a reinforced windscreen frame and integrated roll hoops add protection too. New on this model are side airbags to complement the driver and passenger airbags fitted previously.

A traction and stability control system fitted to 2.0-litre models curtails any unruly loss of control should you encounter slippery roads. It also has an Isofix child-seat anchor point on the passenger seat and the airbag can be disabled.

Roll-over protection is provided by the reinforced windscreen surround and rear roll hoops while an immobiliser with a key-based transponder and alarm provides the theft deterrent.

Basic equipment

The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the Mazda MX-5 (05-15).

  • ABS
  • Alarm
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Central locking
  • Driver`s airbag
  • Electric mirrors
  • Front electric windows
  • Heated mirrors
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • PAS
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Remote locking
  • Sports seats

Equipment by trim level

To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:

Equipment included on some trim levels
  • Air conditioning
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • CD
  • CD Multichanger
  • Climate control
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • DVD
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Side airbags
  • Steel wheels
  • Traction control

Standard Trim equipment

Standard Trim standard equipment
Same as basic equipment
Standard Trim optional equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • CD
  • CD Multichanger
  • Climate control
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Side airbags
  • Steel wheels
  • Traction control

20th Anniversary equipment

20th Anniversary standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • CD
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Front fog lights
20th Anniversary optional equipment
  • CD Multichanger
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Side airbags
  • Steel wheels
  • Traction control

25th Anniversary Limited Edition equipment

25th Anniversary Limited Edition standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • CD
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • DVD
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Sat Nav
  • Side airbags
  • Traction control
25th Anniversary Limited Edition optional equipment
  • CD Multichanger

Icon equipment

Icon standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • CD
  • Climate control
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Rear electric windows
Icon optional equipment
  • CD Multichanger
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Sat Nav
  • Side airbags
  • Steel wheels
  • Traction control

Kendo equipment

Kendo standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Climate control
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Traction control
Kendo optional equipment
  • CD
  • CD Multichanger
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Side airbags
  • Steel wheels

Kuro equipment

Kuro standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Climate control
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Traction control
Kuro optional equipment
  • CD
  • CD Multichanger
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Side airbags
  • Steel wheels

Launch Edition equipment

Launch Edition standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • CD Multichanger
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Rear electric windows
  • Side airbags
  • Traction control
Launch Edition optional equipment
  • CD
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Height adjustable drivers seat

Miyako equipment

Miyako standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • CD
  • Climate control
  • Front fog lights
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Traction control
Miyako optional equipment
  • Audio remote
  • CD Multichanger
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Heated seats
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
  • Side airbags
  • Steel wheels

Niseko equipment

Niseko standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • CD
  • Climate control
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Traction control
Niseko optional equipment
  • Rear electric windows
  • Side airbags

SE equipment

SE standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • CD
  • Climate control
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Traction control
SE optional equipment
  • Side airbags

Sport equipment

Sport standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Side airbags
  • Traction control
Sport optional equipment
  • CD
  • CD Multichanger
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Rear electric windows

Sport Black equipment

Sport Black standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • CD Multichanger
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Side airbags
  • Traction control
Sport Black optional equipment
  • CD
  • Rear electric windows

Sport Graphite equipment

Sport Graphite standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Metallic Paint
  • Sat Nav
  • Side airbags
  • Traction control
Sport Graphite optional equipment
  • CD
  • CD Multichanger
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Rear electric windows
  • Steel wheels

Sport Tech equipment

Sport Tech standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • CD Multichanger
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Sat Nav
  • Side airbags
  • Traction control
Sport Tech optional equipment
  • CD

Sport Venture Edition equipment

Sport Venture Edition standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • CD
  • Climate control
  • DVD
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Sat Nav
  • Traction control
Sport Venture Edition optional equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • CD Multichanger
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Cruise control
  • Rear electric windows
  • Side airbags
  • Steel wheels

Venture Edition equipment

Venture Edition standard equipment
  • Audio remote
  • CD
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Leather seat trim
  • Sat Nav
  • Traction control
Venture Edition optional equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • CD Multichanger
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Rear electric windows
  • Side airbags
  • Steel wheels

ZSport equipment

ZSport standard equipment
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • CD
  • Climate control
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Rear electric windows
  • Side airbags
  • Traction control
ZSport optional equipment
None available