Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Mazda MX-5 - 4th Report Update
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Our Fleet Test Drive: Mazda MX-5 - 4th Report Update

Date: 31 October 2007   |   Author:

It's turned cold hasn't it? Good job the Mazda'sequipped to cope ...

31 OCTOBER 2007
Mileage 7802
Forecast CPM 32.5p
Actual CPM 37.0p
With the first cold spell of the season we’re loving the fact this convertible’s got a hard-top roof and we’re also glad of the standard heated seats. Winter will be no chore in the Mazda.
1 OCTOBER 2007
Mileage 7211
Forecast CPM 32.5p
Actual CPM 37.0p
We’re still loving the MX-5’s looks – the many months of familiarity haven’t dimmed the feeling that Mazda got the more macho drop-top spot on, especially in our car’s Stormy Blue.

Mileage 6982
Forecast CPM 32.5p
Actual CPM 37.0p
Some of us less vertically challenged find the driver’s seat doesn’t slide back far enough to accommodate stilt-like limbs. We could all do with more lower back support too.

20 AUGUST 2007
Mileage 6215
Forecast CPM 32.5p
Actual CPM 37.0p
“Genius” said brother Brian as the MX-5 hard hood appeared in 12 seconds. He’s right, too – it doesn’t rob any of the 150-litre boot space, folding into the same space the soft-top would.

Main Report

I stole the MX-5 for what's rapidly becoming an annual pilgrimage to the Le Mans 24-hour race in France a few weeks back.

The boot was just about big enough for two people's weekend camping gear, though the minimalist interior could have done with an extra storage hole or two - the gubbins you need to keep handy on a long journey meant the footwell was full of maps, wallets, CDs, food etc.


Once we'd rolled off the train at the other end of the Eurotunnel for the 250-mile run to a campsite in central France, we decided to brave the elements roof-down, a decision we stuck with the whole way despite three rain showers. It turns out that as long as you keep the speed above 45mph, the car's aerodynamics keep the rain from entering the cabin, and you stay dry. The only problem came with a light soaking in the queue for a roundabout. But if we'd wanted to we could have flicked the roof up because it only takes 12 seconds. In a car like this, though, you have to be a little hardy sometimes, so we braved it.

The seats are far more comfortable than we expected, and at the end of a long high-speed motorway run I felt more refreshed than I had any right to be after a 6am start, though completing it with the wind blowing through the hair will have helped. The cabin doesn't get excessively noisy or windy at motorway speed either.

There are a couple of little flaws. It's a personal pet hate when cars don't have a boot release switch on the boot itself. With the MX-5 you have to either use the button on the key fob or the release switch in the cabin. However, we've had cars in the past where we've managed to lock the keys in the car by opening the boot with the fob and not unlocking the rest of the car, then laying the key inside the boot and closing it without realising. The Mazda leaves you open to that possibility.

The iPod connection isn't as useful as you'd think, too, and by the end of the weekend we decided we'd have preferred a straightforward auxiliary socket. The Mazda's lead means you can control the iPod with the steering wheel stereo controls, but it doesn't let you choose playlists or even shuffle the music collection, so you're stuck with whatever it selects.

Despite that the roadster has found another friend here. After a round trip of more than 700 miles, I'd be happy not seeing most cars for a few days. But that's not the case with the MX-5. Its favoured habitats are twisty country roads and urban streets, yet even on motorway runs this characterful, cracking little car was a joy to live with.