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Convertible grey Mazda MX-5 from the side with roof down

Mazda redefined the sports car with the MX-5’s release. It debuted at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show and was marketed as the next phase of sporty cars after the Italian and British roadsters of the ‘50s and ‘60s. By 2016, more than one million MX-5s had been produced – making this car one of the most popular two-door sports convertibles created to date.

Mazda MX-5 updates and facelifts

Convertible grey Mazda MX-5 from the side with close up on alloy and tyre

The MX-5’s iconic visuals were styled after the Lotus Elan of the 1960s, with distinctive pop-up headlights. With 1.5 and 2.0-litre petrol engines in the fourth generation, the two-door MX-5 is agile and bold. Its short gear shift makes changing gears snappy and tactile, while its 50/50 weight ratio and central seating position make the MX-5 a well-controlled thrill through corners.

With the release of the Mk2, Mk3 and Mk4 in 1998, 2005 and 2015 respectively, Mazda shaved off weight even as they added new features. The MX-5 has always stayed around the one tonne mark, keeping it light and nimble even with the addition of more sophisticated tech.

In 2016, the MX-5 won Best Roadster at the Auto Express New Car awards. In the same year, it also picked up the World Car of the Year award. With notable awards under its belt, the Mazda MX-5 certainly deserves its accolade as the best-selling two-seater sports car in the world.

The Mazda MX-5 has been given a number of facelifts over the course of its four generations. The Mk2 (also known as the NB) was introduced in 1998 and replaced the iconic retractable headlights with fixed ones for safety reasons. A facelift followed in 2001, bringing a slightly remodelled interior with redesigned centre console and more supportive seats. An extremely limited run of an MX-5 SP version was released in 2002, too, with 100 vehicles offering 200 bhp and 280Nm of torque. The SP is, to date, the most powerful MX-5 ever produced.

The Mk3 (NC) came along in 2005. It was the first MX-5 with a retractable hardtop option and, while appearing similar in design, the Mk3 underwent a complete redesign. The 2008 facelift changed the front, with a larger grille and refreshed headlights. Other notable changes included more legroom inside thanks to redesigned door pockets.

The Mk4 (ND) Mazda MX-5, was launched in 2015. Mazda made the Mk4 shorter and lighter to improve handling and performance, giving this generation the sportiest driving experience yet. As standard, the Mk4 comes with a manual roof but the MX-5 RF was launched in 2016 as a coupé-style alternative to the classic soft-top style, complete with an automatically-controlled roof.

Practicality and style of the car

Convertible grey Mazda MX-5 from the side with close up on alloy and tyre

The Mazda MX-5 punches above its weight in features, considering its compact size. The 130-litre boot is surprisingly accessible thanks to its shape, and with clever packing, you can squeeze in more than you might think. Some MX-5s may come with an optional extra boot rack (or it can be purchased), which easily clamps on and can carry up to 35kg.

The retractable fabric roof doesn't impact the boot space when it's down and can be conveniently lifted into position from the comfort of the driving seat in seconds.

Inside convertible Mazda MX-5 boot

Running costs

Many used Mazda MX-5s sell for less than £20,000, bringing the often-pricey world of quality sports cars to a more accessible price range. The cost of running an MX-5 is relatively reasonable for a performance-focused car, falling between insurance groups 24 and 30 (out of a possible 50).

The car sits between tax brackets E and H, depending on your model’s age, meaning you'll be paying an average of £230 per year. The Mk3 1.8i, for example, costs £290 to tax annually, while the Mk4 1.5l Sport trim costs £180.

For comparison, the Toyota GT86 is insured between groups 29 and 35, with road tax of up to £365.

How a used Mazda MX-5 drives

Convertible grey Mazda MX-5 from the side with roof up

The Mk4 Mazda MX-5 comes with either a 1.5 or 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, delivering 129bhp and 180bhp respectively. The smaller 1.5-litre engine goes from 0 to 62mph in 8.7 seconds and reaches 126mph, while the 2.0-litre MX-5 achieves 62mph in 6.8 seconds on the way to its maximum speed of 137mph.

2017's 2.0-litre MX-5 RF comes with the option for a six-speed automatic gearbox, reaching 62mph in around 8 seconds. Otherwise, all Mk4 MX-5s come with a six-speed manual gearbox with a short-shift gear lever for fast gear changes.

The Mazda returns between 39.2 and 47.1mpg, and generates 138g/km of CO2 emissions from the 1.5-litre engine, with the 2.0-litre generating 156g/km.

Engines and official MPG

Please refer to the table below for a comprehensive list of engines and their official mpg figures.

2015 - onwards

Engine Official NEDC MPG Official WLTP MPG
1.5i 131 47.1 mpg -
1.5i 131 RF 46.3 mpg -
1.5i 132 44.8 mpg 44.8 mpg
1.5i 132 RF 46.3 mpg 44.8 mpg
2.0i 160 40.9 mpg -
2.0i 160 Automatic RF 39.2 mpg -
2.0i 160 RF 40.9 mpg -
2.0i 184 40.9 mpg 40.9–44.8 mpg
2.0i 184 RF 39.2–40.9 mpg 37.2–40.9 mpg

Features you can expect in a Mazda MX-5


Mazda MX-5 leather upholstered steering wheel and mounted controls, handbrake, dashboard and infotainment screen

A defining feature of the MX-5 since the Mk1 has been its small form factor, measuring under four metres in length (3,915mm) and 1,735mm wide with the door mirrors out. Even so, the Mk4 can comfortably accommodate drivers a little over six feet tall, making this compact and sporty car for a wider range of people. If you’re seeking a fun and nippy car for two, the MX-5 won’t disappoint.

The interior has seen an overhaul, too, with certain trims including features like Android Auto and Apple Car Play functionality on the seven-inch touchscreen display, allowing you to make full use of your smart device while on the go. Keyless entry and keyless start make getting in and firing up the engine a breeze, while climate control takes the edge off when the weather gets too hot or cold.


Mazda MX-5 infotainment screen displaying DAB Digital Radio

At their core, all generations of the MX-5 are very similar to the Mk1, with a front-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive and 50/50 balance. There are just two seats, the cockpit is centrally placed and most trims come complete with a fabric soft-top roof. When the Mk4 arrived in 2014, it came with a significant aesthetic redesign. Its sleek angles cut a determined shape and the larger front grille gives a more imposing image.

LED headlights provide great efficiency and visibility, and blind-spot monitoring gives you eyes on those hard-to-see places, making parking easier. Assistive features like lane keep assist and autonomous emergency braking help keep you safe on the road, and the mirrors have helpful functions too: the rear mirror auto-dims and the door mirrors fold in electronically.

If you opt for a trim with sports suspension with Bilstein dampeners, you'll get a much firmer ride. These features massively reduce any roll in the corners, making handling feel snappier and more responsive than ever.


Mazda MX-5 air-con and airbag controls on the dash

Euro NCAP scored the MX-5 four out of a possible five stars and rated it best in its class (roadster sports) for 2015. It scored an adult occupancy protection rating of 84% and a child occupancy rating of 80% and beat the rivalling Audi TT (81% and 68% respectively) and BMW Z4 (69% and 61% respectively).

Trims available on the Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 Prime-Line

The Mazda MX-5 Prime-Line is the Mk4's entry-level trim. Heated seats make for a warm drive on chilly days, and climate control helps cool you down during hot weather. The centrally mounted seven-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto makes full use of your smartphone. Hill launch assist and cruise control come as standard, making setting off and driving for long distances that much easier. Black cloth upholstery adds a timeless look to the inside, matching the appearance of the black cloth roof. LED lights and twin exhaust pipes complete the sporty appearance.

Mazda MX-5 Exclusive-Line

The Exclusive-Line comes with both the 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre options. With the 1.5-litre version, the MX-5 enjoys leather seats for added comfort. The nine-speaker Bose audio system delivers an impressive sound. If the rain sneaks up on you, the Exclusive-Line's automatic wipers help your visibility. When you get home, parking is made easier by the inclusion of rear parking sensors.

The 2.0-litre version of the Exclusive-Line upgrades you to 17-inch wheels. The rear parking sensor is joined by a reversing camera for extra reassurance when backing into spaces. On the road, adaptive LED headlights mean you don't need to worry about switching your main beam on and off. The bigger wheels are less likely to slide thanks to the limited slip differential, while the firmer suspension keeps things feeling nimble through the corners. For a little extra fun, there's also a Sports mode.

Mazda MX-5 Homura

The Homura is the top-spec trim for the current generation of MX-5 and comes with the 2.0-litre engine. It also enjoys heated door mirrors to help keep them clear in bad weather. The MX-5 has always been a visually defining car, and the Homura leans into that. Red Brembo brake callipers create a stylish image from within the gunmetal 17-inch alloy wheels. Inside, the seats are finished with light stone Nappa leather.

Whether you’re looking to finance a Mazda MX-5 or purchase one, we have a wide range of Mazda MX-5 cars available to buy online safely with Click & Collect and home delivery options available.

Search our stock of used Mazda MX-5 cars for sale.

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Frequently asked questions

Q. How much does a used Mazda MX-5 cost?

A. We have 48 used Mazda MX-5 cars in stock ranging from £10,498 to £28,998.

Q. How many MPG does the Mazda MX-5 get?

A. The Mazda MX-5 MPG varies from 36 mpg to 47 mpg.

Q. How much is car tax for a used Mazda MX-5?

A. The Mazda MX-5 car tax ranges from £180 to £320 per year for the models in stock.

Q. What is the average mileage on a used Mazda MX-5?

A. The average mileage on a used Mazda MX-5 in stock is 9207 miles.

Q. Which transmission options are available with the Mazda MX-5?

A. Currently in stock, the Mazda MX-5 is available in Automatic, Manual.

Q. What different fuel types are available for the Mazda MX-5?

A. Of the Mazda MX-5 used cars in stock, they are available in the following fuel types: Petrol.

Q. What are the most popular engine sizes in the Mazda MX-5?

A. The most popular engine sizes in the Mazda MX-5 we have in stock are 1.5 litres, 2.0 litres.

Q. What are the most popular colours in the Mazda MX-5 range?

A. The Mazda MX-5 is available in various colours. The most popular we have in stock are Grey, Blue, Black

Q. Is the Mazda MX-5 a good car?

A. Car & Driving rate the Mazda MX-5 3.64 stars (out of 5).

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Representative example
Monthly Payment £259.60
Deposit £249
Term (Months) 48
Cash Price £14498
Credit Amount £14249.0
Completion Fee £1
Total Amount Payable £18,908
Fixed Interest Rate 5.6%
Representative APR 10.9%
Arnold Clark Automobiles Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (308092) for general insurance and consumer credit purposes. We act as a credit broker sourcing credit to assist with your purchase from a carefully selected panel of lenders. Lenders will pay us a fee for these introductions (click here for details including our panel of lenders and disclosure statement). Offers subject to status, terms and conditions.
* MPG figures are obtained in laboratory testing and intended for comparisons between vehicles. Please be aware they’re not intended to represent real world efficiency.