Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

Miles per pound (mpp) Miles per pound (mpp)

Petrol engines 8.7 - 9.6 mpp
Low figures relate to the least economical version; high to the most economical. Based on WLTP combined fuel economy for versions of this car made since September 2017 only, and typical current fuel or electricity costs.

Fuel economy

Petrol engines 40.9 - 44.8 mpg
  • Entry-level 1.5-litre claims close to 45mpg
  • Even the 2.0-litre’s official figure is 40.9mpg
  • Other running costs are attractively low

The good news for the cost-conscious is that Mazda MX-5 running costs are likely lower than many of its rivals, especially if you opt for the 1.5-litre petrol engine, which claims 44.8mpg combined under the latest WLTP standards.

WLTP is supposed to better reflect real-world driving, and we're confident that you'll get close to this figure during regular drives. Just don't expect the car to be so frugal on a Sunday morning blast or sustained high-speed motorway runs.

Unsurprisingly, the 2.0-litre Mazda MX-5 is less economical, but its claimed combined fuel consumption of 40.9mpg is impressively the same under both the latest WLTP and the previous, supposedly less accurate, testing process. Again, we'd expect everyday driving to get reasonably close to this.

The WLTP figures are helped by the addition of a stop-start system. Shame this isn't particularly smooth in its operation.

Despite its sports car image, the MX-5 shouldn’t prove too costly to insure either and smaller (than usual) wheels will equate to cheaper tyre replacement costs, too.

Most people don’t buy a sports car in an effort to showcase their green credentials, but the Mazda MX-5 emissions ratings make for pleasant reading.

At launch in 2015, the 1.5-litre engine produced just 139g/km CO2. And while that's gone up to 142g/km under the latest WLTP testing standards, it's still a very clean car for something that's primarily designed to be fun. The lightweight design makes a big impact here.

Early 2.0-litre cars also impressed with 161g/km. But in late 2018 this actually improved under WLTP to 155g/km - thanks to the addition of stop-start technology for the first time.

Reliability a strong point

  • Owners love these popular roadsters
  • Many tried and trusted components
  • Mechanically simple but well-engineered

Like the rest of the Japanese marque’s range, Mazda MX-5 reliability should be nigh-on exemplary. After all, the brand prides itself on its engineering technology and depth.

Plus, in truth the MX-5 is a relatively simple car, and all the better for it, so there’s not as much to go wrong in this traditional sports car package.

Similar engines are found elsewhere in the Mazda range, and though they are tweaked for additional performance here, we expect them to prove robust and reliable in such a lightweight open-top car.

Talking of that top, you open and close it manually, so there are no complicated electrics to go wrong.

There have been reports of some gearbox issues with this model, but these have been in cars driven hard, often on racing circuits, and we aren't expecting any serious problems here in regular use.

Ongoing running costs

Road tax (12 months) £150 - £205
See tax rates for all versions
Insurance group 25 - 34
How much is it to insure?