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Expert Rating

Mazda MX-5

(2015 - present)

Expert Rating

New car score:

67
%
B

Used car score:

68
%
B

Expert Rating report card

Media Rating:

84
%
A

Safety Rating:

57
%
D

Eco Rating:

61
%
B

Reliability Rating:

79
%
C

Running Costs:

52
%
D

How are our Expert Rating scores calculated?

Expert Rating

New car score:

67
%
B

Used car score:

68
%
B

Expert Rating report card

Media Rating:

84
%
A

Safety Rating:

57
%
D

Eco Rating:

61
%
B

Reliability Rating:

79
%
C

Running Costs:

52
%
D

Summary


The Mazda MX-5 is a small two-seat roadster, available with a traditional convertible soft top or a targa-style hard top (called the RF). The current fourth-generation model was launched in 2015 (soft top) and 2017 (hard top), and received updated engines and a few other updates in late 2018.

The MX-5 has been universally acclaimed by the UK and international motoring media, with many outstanding review scores and multiple award wins every year since it was launched – including the World Car of the Year award in 2016. At The Car Expert’s inaugural Car of the Year awards in 2021, it was awarded Class Champion for convertibles, as the highest-rated convertible according to our Expert Ratings.

The Mazda MX-5 has received widespread praise for its driving dynamics, light weight and uncompromised sports car experience. The only real criticisms relate to its lack of space and inevitably poor practicality.

As of January 2024, the fourth generation of the Mazda MX-5 holds a New Car Expert Rating of B with a score of 67%.

Key specifications


Body style: Two-door convertible (soft-top or hard-top)
Engine: petrol, 1.5-litre or 2.0-litre
Price: From £24,355 on-road

Launched: Summer 2015
Last updated: Autumn 2018
Replacement due: TBA


Media reviews


Reviews, road tests and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

The Car Expert

+

Auto Express

+

Autocar

+

Car

+

Car Keys

+

Carbuyer

+

Carwow

+

Daily Mail

+

Daily Mirror

+

Evo

+

Green Car Guide

+

Honest John

+

Parkers

+

The Sun

+

The Sunday Times

+

The Telegraph

+

Top Gear

+

What Car?

+

Safety rating


Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

Overall score: 4 stars
Date tested: October 2015
Read the full Euro NCAP review

Adult protection: 84%
Child protection: 80%
Vulnerable road users: 93%
Safety assist: 64%

Eco rating


Independent economy and emissions ratings from Green NCAP

No eco rating

As of January 2024, the Mazda MX-5 has not been lab tested by Green NCAP.

Reliability rating

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Reliability data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by MotorEasy

All data based on MotorEasy average workshop costs for extended car warranty claims

The Mazda MX-5 has an above average reliability score, according to warranty claim data provided by our partner MotorEasy. This data refers to these fourth-generation models, and previous (pre-2015) versions.

While MotorEasy warranty holders haven’t submitted many MX-5 claims, it is clear to see that braking system issues are the most common. While braking system faults are likely to cost around £230 to correct, engine issues, which are also rather common, have a average repair fee of over £2,200.

If you’re looking at a used Mazda MX-5, make sure any extended warranty cover you purchase covers all of these potential problem areas.

Running cost rating

Clear Vehicle Data logo close crop

Monthly cost of ownership data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by Clear Vehicle Data

Fuel consumptionAverageScoreVariationScore
Petrol models42 mpgD37 – 45 mpgC – D
CO₂ outputAverageScoreVariationScore
Petrol models152 g/kmB142 – 171 g/kmB – C
Insurance groupAverageScoreVariationScore
All models29C25 – 33B – C
Service and maintenanceCostScore
Year 1£194A
Year 2£513B
Year 3£798A
Year 4£1,031B
Year 5£1,423B
Overall£3,959B

The Mazda MX-5 is a mixed bag when it comes to running costs, according to whole-life cost numbers provided exclusively to The Car Expert by our data partner, Clear Vehicle Data.

The car’s average fuel economy of 42 mpg is lower than the average car, and insurance costs sit at around the market average. Service and maintenance costs should be affordable over the first five years of ownership though.

Awards


Trophies, prizes and awards that the Mazda MX-5 has received

2022

  • Carbuyer Awards – Best Used Sports Car
  • Company Car Today CCT100 Awards – Best Perk Car

2021

2020

  • Auto Express Driver Power – Best Sports Car
  • Auto Trader Awards – Most Fun Car to Drive
  • Autocar Awards – Best Affordable Driver’s Car
  • Autocar Britain’s Best Car Awards – Best Fun Car
  • Carbuyer Awards – Best Sports Car
  • Company Car Today CCT100 Awards – Best Sports Car
  • What Car? Awards – Best Sports Car under £30,000

2019

  • UK Car of the Year Awards – Best Cabriolet
  • Auto Express Awards – Best Roadster
  • Auto Express Driver Power – Best Roadster
  • Auto Trader Awards – Most Loved Car
  • Company Car Today CCT100 Awards – Best Sports Car
  • What Car? Awards – Best Sports Car under £30,000

2018

  • Auto Express Awards – Best Roadster
  • Company Car Today CCT100 Awards – Best Sports Car
  • Honest John Awards – Most Popular Convertible
  • What Car? Awards – Best Convertible

2017

  • Auto Express Awards – Best Roadster
  • Auto Express Driver Power – Gold Award (Roadster + Ride and Handling), Bronze Award (Infotainment, Connectivity and Electrics)
  • Carbuyer Best Car Awards – Best Sports Car
  • Honest John Awards – Most Popular Convertible
  • Red Dot Design Awards – Best of the Best Award
  • Scottish Car of the Year Awards – Best Drop Top
  • What Car? Awards – Best Convertible

2016

  • World Car of the Year + World Car Design of the Year
  • UK Car of the Year + Best Open Top Car
  • Auto Express Awards – Best Roadster
  • Autocar Awards – Best Real-World Driver’s Car
  • Sunday Times Top 100 Cars – Best Roadster and Spider
  • What Car? Awards – Best Convertible

2015

  • Auto Express Awards – Best Roadster

2014

  • Honest John Awards – Convertible Award

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the Mazda MX-5, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Abarth 124 Spider | Alpine A110 | Audi TT | BMW Z4 | Fiat 124 Spider | Mercedes-Benz SLC | Mini Convertible | Toyota GT86


More news, reviews and information about the Mazda MX-5 at The Car Expert

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The Mazda MX-5 has been universally acclaimed by the UK motoring media, with many outstanding review scores and award wins every year since it was launched.Mazda MX-5