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Mazda MX-5 One Minute Test

Date: 30 November 2015

Model tested: Mazda MX-5 1.5 Sport Nav
Price: £22,260

This is the lower-powered of the two engines in the new version of Mazda's iconic MX-5. The 1.5-litre offers 131hp and, as has always been the case with the MX-5, two-seat top-down motoring.

Why is it interesting?

Whether to choose the 1.5- or 2.0-litre version of the MX-5 will come down to an on-paper choice. The 1.5 is a little corker of an engine, but it's only £800 to move up to the 160hp 2.0 version. The running costs are very different because there's a 22g/km gap between the two, taking the 2.0 to a hefty 161g/km. Official cost per mile figures put the 1.5 as 4.4p per mile better than its more powerful sibling

How are the running costs?

Direct rivals are thin on the ground, with the Mini Convertible being the logical one when it launches early next year. In the meantime, the Mini three-door hatch is a decent benchmark, and is 34g/km more efficient at just 105g/km, plus has a much better residual than the Mazda's 36.3%

Any other business?

The pure driving experience of the MX-5, especially with the roof down, is undimmed and unlike anything else on sale. The 1.5 isn't the poor relation of its more powerful engine alternative.


The smaller of Mazda's two MX-5 engines is big on appeal