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Mazda MX-5 Powershift: Test Drive Review

Date: 01 July 2009   |   Author: Tristan Young

Category: Sports
P11D price: £20,045
Key rival: BMW Z4

Mazda has revised the MX-5 for the model's twentieth anniversary and made it more fleet friendly and added an automatic gearbox for the first time in the UK.

Although subtle the exterior tweaks that mark the revised car out include new front bumper and lights, new side skirts and new rear lights.

The changes not only distinguish the new car from the previous model, but also improve aerodynamics which in turn help the car's efficiency. Coupled to changes to the car's gearboxes and engine management systems the cars are now have improved CO2 and fuel figures.

The changes bring the 1.8-litre MX-5 down to 167g/km and the six-speed manual to 181g/km. However, it's the Powershift automatic that's impressive and adds just 7g/km over the six-speed manual 2.0-litre car.

Using the same technology that's recently been added, by former sister firm Ford, to the Focus range, Mazda has given the MX-5 an automatic gearbox without harming the two-seater's sports car credentials.

The Powershift gearbox adds just £500 to the price of the equivalent manual version and comes with a paddle-shift system that gives great control over the vehicle.

The driving experience is as good as ever with direct steering, excellent turn-in with little body roll. The ride is also good for such a sporty car.

While few fleets allow cars with CO2 outputs above 160g/km or two seat convertibles, the Mazda MX-5 has always done well in business sales thanks to it's great price and strong residual values. The new car will only improve on those traditions.

Mazda MX-5 2.0i Sport Powershift
P11D price£20,045
Model price range£16,345-£21,195
Fuel consumption35.8mpg
CO2 (tax) 188g/km (25%)
BIK 20/40% per month£83/£167
Service interval12,500mls
Insurancegroup 13
Boot space150 litres
Engine size/power1999cc/160PS
Top speed/0-62mph119mph/8.5secs
On sale now
VerdictPowershift auto’
suits on of fleet’s
favourite sports cars