This MX-5 RF is the Launch Edition Model fitted with Black BBS alloy wheels, black door mirrors and a black rear spoiler, Added Safety Pack, Alcantara trim and Recaro seats, Heated Seats, Auto Lights and Wipers, Cruise Control, Traction Control, Touch Screen Media System with Sat Nav, Bluetooth, DAB radio and more.
Petrol 40.9 combined MPG
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|This car is priced||£1,470||below average market price|
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Limited Edition Mazda MX-5 RF Launch Edition - Limited to only 500 ever made!
CO2: 161 g/km
Emissions and Fuel
* Price does not include road fund license
Electric front windows/one touch facility, Rain sensing front wipers
ABS+Electronic Brake force Distribution, DSTC-Dynamic Stability and Traction Control
Cruise control + speed limiter, Hill hold assist, Lane departure warning system, PAS, Rear parking sensor
Engine start/stop button, Remote boot release
7" touchscreen with multimedia commander, BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert, Satellite navigation system, Trip computer, Water temperature gauge
Auto dimming rear view mirror, Electrically heated door mirrors, Piano black door mirrors
Alcantara dashboard inserts
Auxiliary input socket, Bose premium 9 speaker system, DAB Digital radio, MP3 compatible radio/single CD player, USB/iPod connection
Exterior Body Features
Black rear spoiler, Body colour bumpers, Dual exhaust pipes, Electrically operated retractable twin tone hard top, Special Metallic paint
Adaptive front lighting system, Automatic headlamp levelling, Coming/leaving home lighting function, Dusk sensitive headlamps, High beam assist, LED daytime running lights, LED Headlights
Climate control air conditioning
12V socket, Body coloured inner door trims, Centre console storage box, Cupholders, Front centre armrest, Leather gear knob, Leather handbrake lever, Leather steering wheel, Lockable rear storage box, Recaro alcantara/leather upholstery, Strut brace, Windblocker
3 point ELR front seatbelts with pretensioners, Dual front airbags, Fasten seatbelt reminder, Passenger airbag deactivation system, Side airbags, Tyre pressure monitor
Front head restraints, Heated front seats, Height adjustable front seats, ISOFIX front passenger seat child seat compliance, Tilt/slide reclining front seats
Deadlock, Remote central door locking, Smart keyless entry, Thatcham category 1 alarm+immobiliser
Limited slip differential
Wheels - Alloy
17" BBS alloy wheels
Wheels - Spare
Tyre puncture repair kit
|Badge Engine CC:||2.0|
|Based On ID:||77545|
|Coin Series:||Launch Edition|
|Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07:||30A|
|Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years:||12|
|Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years:||3|
|NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %:||N|
|NCAP Child Occupant Protection %:||N|
|NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09:||N|
|NCAP Pedestrian Protection %:||N|
|NCAP Safety Assist %:||N|
|Service Interval Frequency - Months:||12|
|Service Interval Mileage:||12500|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage:||60000|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Years:||3|
|Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months:||N|
|Timing Belt Interval Mileage:||N|
|Vehicle Homologation Class:||M1|
|Standard Euro Emissions:||EURO 6|
|Cylinders - Bore (mm):||83.5|
|Cylinders - Stroke (mm):||91.2|
|Engine Layout:||NORTH SOUTH|
|Fuel Delivery:||MULTI POINT FUEL INJECTION|
|Number of Valves:||16|
|EC Combined (mpg):||40.9|
|EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies:||True|
|EC Extra Urban (mpg):||51.4|
|EC Urban (mpg):||30.1|
|0 to 62 mph (secs):||7.4|
|Engine Power - BHP:||160|
|Engine Power - KW:||118|
|Engine Power - PS:||True|
|Engine Power - RPM:||6000|
|Engine Torque - LBS.FT:||148|
|Engine Torque - MKG:||20.4|
|Engine Torque - NM:||200|
|Engine Torque - RPM:||4600|
|Tyre Size Front:||205/45 R17|
|Tyre Size Rear:||205/45 R17|
|Tyre Size Spare:||TYRE REPAIR KIT|
|Wheel Type:||17" ALLOY|
|Height (including roof rails):||N|
|Width (including mirrors):||N|
|Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres):||45|
|Gross Vehicle Weight:||1295|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Down):||N|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Up):||127|
|Max. Loading Weight:||175|
|Max. Roof Load:||N|
|Max. Towing Weight - Braked:||N|
|Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked:||N|
|No. of Seats:||2|
|Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb:||10.4|
Mazda has boosted the appeal of its fourth-generation MX-5 roadster. Jonathan Crouch reports.
It's hard not to like the fourth generation Mazda MX-5 roadster, especially now that it's faster, safer and more efficient. As before, there are 1.5 and 2.0-litre petrol engine options and anything this car lacks in outright power, it more than makes up in agility and tactility.
Is there another car sold today that rivals the Mazda MX-5's legacy? The Porsche 911 is an icon and the Toyota GT86 might well become one. The Volkswagen Golf is a name most can identify with, but the MX-5 is special. It has rewritten the record books again and again for sports car sales and its recipe of light weight, driver focus and simple front engine/rear drive layout just has an inherent rightness about it that hasn't dated. But, as is the case with most cars, successive generations get bigger and heavier. The MX-5 hasn't been immune to this issue, customers demanding improved safety, more equipment and better quality as each successive generation has been developed. With this MK4 model though, originally launched back in 2015, Mazda drew a line in the sand and went back to the light, tactile approach that made the MX-5 so great in the first place. Now the company's added a touch of extra power and technology to the equation.
As before, this fourth generation MX-5 is offered with either a 1.5-litre unit or a 2.0-litre engine but both these normally aspirated petrol powerplants have been significantly worked upon. The 1.5 still puts out 132PS, but the 2.0-litre powerplant's original 160PS output has been now raised to 184PS at a heady 7,000rpm (up from 6,800rpm). You always did have to rev MX-5 engines hard to get the best from them.. Torque has risen slightly with the 2.0-litre, from 200 to 205Nm. Mazda says that this 'SKYACTIV-G' 2.0 unit is now higher-revving and acoustically-tuned. The rest to 62mph sprint time is now 0.8s faster at 6.5s. This improved fourth generation design continues to conform to five key criteria that Mazda claim define the MX-5 - rear drive with a front-mid engine layout, 50/50 weight distribution and an eagerness to change direction, plus a low kerb weight and an affordable price. All models get six-speed manual gearboxes. The MX-5 isn't about straight line pace, it's about agility and tactility. Because the engines are so small, they can be tucked down and back in the car. Mazda reckons the bonnet and overhang used here are the lowest and shortest of any production model. Weight has been pared back by using aluminium for the bonnet, boot and front wings, while the soft top hood is also very light, improving the centre of gravity. Much of the front suspension is aluminium, as is the gearbox casing, the differential casing and the bracing that runs down the car's backbone. The virtuous circle of weight saving means that the smaller wheels only need four bolts as opposed to five. Lower rotational masses mean that the brake assemblies can also be made smaller, simpler and lighter.
As before, there are two bodystyles on offer, the classic soft-topped roadster and the folding metal-roof RF variant. The shape of the MX-5 hasn't changed radically from generation to generation. This one's no exception, but there's a bit more aggression about the detailing, the car looking like a shrunken Jaguar F-Type roadster from the rear three-quarter. Some have thought there's something a bit fishy-looking about the front end but it'll probably grow on you. See one in the metal and you'll be amazed at just how tiny it is. It's fully 105mm shorter in overall length than the previous generation version, despite the wheelbase only being 15mm less. It also stands 20mm lower and 10mm wider. Lower and wider is always good for a roadster's stance. In another clever touch, the seat cushions are supported on netting instead of the usual metal springs, allowing Mazda to reduce weight and seat the driver's hip point closer to the road. A lower driver then means the windscreen header rail can shift backwards, in this case by 70mm, which in turn means the hood is shorter and lighter, and also easier to package when folded. See what we mean about that virtuous circle?
Prices for the soft-top version theoretically start at around £19,000 but you'll probably be paying between £21,000 and £23,000 for a 1.5-litre model if you want a nicer level of spec - and obviously even more for the 2.0-litre; think in terms of around £22,000-upwards for that variant. The standard trim levels are 'SE+', 'SE-L Nav+' and 'Sport Nav+', plus the usual special editions. The RF folding metal roof bodystyle isn't available with base 'SE' trim and demands an £1,800 premium over the soft top. Even base models come with alloy wheels, LED headlights, a leather steering wheel, plus a lightweight and sleek fabric hood. SE-L versions add LED daytime running lights, climate control air-conditioning, DAB radio, Bluetooth and cruise control, plus Mazda's MZD-Connect connectivity and infotainment system with 7-inch colour touch-screen display and Multimedia Commander. SE-L models with the 2.0-litre engine get gunmetal 17-inch alloy wheels and piano black door mirrors, as well as benefiting from a strut tower bar and limited slip differential. Navigation is optional. Step up to Sport trim and both the 1.5 and 2.0-litre cars feature rain sensing wipers, rear parking sensors, smart keyless entry, Premium Bose Surround-Sound and heated leather seats. With the 1.5-litre engine, Sport trim MX-5's come with 16-inch gunmetal alloy wheels and piano black door mirrors. Sport models with the 2.0-litre engine get sports suspension featuring Bilstein dampers, a limited slip differential and strut tower bar, and can be identified by their 17-inch alloy wheels and body coloured mirrors.
Stick with light weight and modest power outputs and this dictates a raft of affordable costs. The MX-5 has long been the exemplar of the affordable sports car and emissions are agreeably low, the 1.5-litre engine pegged at 143g/km, with 47.1mpg possible on the combined cycle. The 2.0-litre engine is rated at 156g/km. Owners can keep up to date with their car's maintenance schedule via the instrument binnacle trip computer screen and the 'Applications' section of the 'MZD-Connect' centre-dash monitor. To help you keep track of what work has been carried out, you can access a 'Digital Service Record' online and use a useful 'My Mazda App' to receive reminders about servicing, book your car in at your local dealership and access a digitally-stored record of your model's service history. Residual values ought to hold up well, with the MX-5 a favourite amongst used car buyers due to its relative simplicity, strong reliability and low cost to insure.
Weight is the enemy. Excess weight in a car dulls its responses, makes it harder to turn, stop and accelerate, ensures that it drinks more fuel and puts greater stresses on virtually every moving part, parts which then have to be beefed up and made heavier to cope. The Mazda MX-5 reverses that cycle, stripping weight off which in turn allows it to pare more weight back with other simple lightweight componentry. It's a brilliant piece of engineering. It also goes to show that you can probably have more fun with 1.5 litres worth of MX-5 than you can with some supercars. No, that's not hyperbole. Try it and you'll see. If you measure your cars in terms of smiles per mile, the MX-5 has to be right near the top of your shortlist.
BY ANDY ENRIGHT
Success can be a double-edged sword. While it's great to reap the financial rewards of huge sales, it can also make designing a replacement that much trickier. Still, as problems go, it's a nice one to have. Mazda were faced with just such a predicament when they came to replace the second generation MX-5. Although evergreen was a word often used to describe this car, all vehicles have a shelf life and the Japanese company couldn't afford for this one to overstay its welcome. The third generation car was a bit bigger, a whole lot smarter but still true to the original formula. A used buy remains one of the safest roadster purchases you can make.
Models Covered: Third Generation MX-5 - 2005-to date: 2 door roadster, 2 door roadster-coupe [1.8, 2.0-litre petrol (base, Sport, SE, Icon, ZSport)]
First a brief recap on the Mazda MX-5 to date. Introduced to rave reviews way back in 1991, the MX-5 rapidly became an institution, shamelessly aping classic British sports cars but without the flaky build quality. The second generation model arrived in April 1998. The pop-up headlamps were ditched in favour of fixed lights, the engines were made more powerful and the vinyl zip out rear window was upgraded to a proper glass item. Twin airbags were fitted and the S model received a Torsen limited slip differential. Somewhat unbelievably, a low fuel warning light wasn't fitted until 2002 when the range underwent a mild freshening. The third generation model debuted in September 2005 and although it was a little bigger and heavier, the styling rejuvenated the car, being a bit edgier than before, and the introduction in September 2006 of the Roadster-Coupe model with a folding hard top further broadened the appeal to customers who wanted the handling of the MX-5 but weren't enamoured of a fabric roof.
While the philosophy hasn't changed a great deal from the original car, the execution of this third-generation MX-5 is quite different. Gone are the curvy 'Coke-bottle' flanks of the old car, replaced instead by a cleaner, slabbier look. Viewed in profile, the differences aren't huge, but from front and rear, there are quite fundamental changes. The wheel arches are considerably beefier, allowing the fitment of big alloy wheels. To accentuate the tapering shapes of the body, the headlights and tail light are, somewhat unusually, mounted well inboard of the corners. One thing that didn't really need a lot of changing was the car's hood. Even now, there are plenty of prestige manufacturers who have never got anywhere close to the simplicity and elegance of design of the MX-5's original rag top and the latest car doesn't divert too far from that base. The Z-folding roof unclips with one central latch and is then throw down flush with the car's rear deck. It would have been sacrilege to burden the MX-5 with weighty folding tin top with a million and one electric motors to blunt performance but Mazda couldn't resist the modern trend for movable metal roofs entirely. Instead, they designed a folding hardtop that sets new standards for lightness and simplicity. That's why buyers who really don't want the cloth top MX-5 can turn to the MX-5 Roadster Coupe. One area where the MX-5 was starting to fall off the pace quite obviously was in terms of interior design. Roadster buyers want a little visual pizzazz and the acres of black plastic and low rent trim hamstrung the company in their bid to present ever more upmarket variants of the MX-5. The MK3 car is a whole lot smarter inside with a T-shaped dash layout housing a neat centre console, while the driver-focused dials feature metallic bezels to lift the ambience. The speakers, gear change gaiter, ventilation controls, air vents, main dials, cupholders and steering wheel boss all follow a circular theme. The quality of trim material is way higher than before with a high-gloss piano black finish across the fascia.
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With the MK2 MX-5, there were all sorts of pitfalls regarding parallel imports and ponied up used examples, problems that you tend not to have to look out for with the third-generation model. Just make sure that the car has been serviced on the button, hasn't been crassly modified and hasn't suffered accident damage. It's also quite easy to immolate a set of rear tyres if you know how to disable the stability control and have found a deserted airfield or benign roundabout, so make sure there's some tread on the rears. Otherwise just check the alloys for kerbing damage, the tyres for wear and the hood for signs of rips, damage or discolouration. The Roadster-Coupe roof mechanism should also work quickly with no need for manual alignment. Mazda raised the ride height of the MX-5 by 30mm to pass EU pedestrian crash tests. Apparently the car handles far better when returned to the factory ride height. Not that we would condone such antisocial behaviour.
(approx based on a 2006 MX-5 1.8i ex Vat) A clutch assembly is around £200 and an exchange alternator about £225 while a starter motor is around £150. A door mirror is about £125 and a windscreens just under £130.
Five basic requirements were defined to realise the third-generation MX-5 design criiteria. Firstly the car would be as light as possible while meeting global safety requirements. Next, the cockpit would comfortably accommodate two full stature occupants with no wasted space. The basic layout would continue with the original's front-engine rear-wheel drive configuration with the engine positioned ahead of the driver but behind the front axle for a 50:50 front to rear weight distribution. All four wheels would be attached by wishbone or multi-link suspension systems to maximize tyre performance, road grip and dynamic stability. Finally, the chassis would provide a solid connection between the engine and the rear mounted differential to sharpen throttle response. That the MK3 MX-5 scores in these departments is obvious from its basic details. The engine moved back fully 135mm for better weight distribution, while chassis torsional rigidity goes up by 47 per cent. Rather than concentrate on kilograms saved, Mazda insisted that every component would be weighed in grams. Take care of the grams and the kilos look after themselves. The 125bhp 1.8-litre alternative is far sweeter and rewards hard driving more vocally. With a 0-60mph acceleration time of 9.4s, there's plenty of scope to explore the 1.8-litre MX-5's potential without entering licence confiscation territory. The 2.0-litre unit is capable of 0-60mph in 7.9 seconds which is still fairly tame by today's standards. Neither car will trouble any of the top-line hot hatchbacks that are currently available in a traffic light face off. The entry level car has a 122mph top speed compared to 130mph in the range-topper.
Take a look at a used third generation MX-5 and ask yourself what a used Honda S2000 offers for £10,000 more. Yes, the Honda is a little faster but how often will you need to go that fast? The Mazda handles better and even feels better built. It's still one of the best used buys around. Some things don't change.
Mr Brian Boulton - 06/08/2018, owner of a Mazda MX-5 RF 2.0 Sport Nav 2dr Auto
User rating: 5/5
Mr Charles Massey - 17/04/2018, owner of a Mazda MX-5 RF 2.0 Sport Nav 2dr
User rating: 5/5
Mr Phil Hall - 27/04/2018, owner of a Mazda MX-5 RF 2.0 Sport Nav 2dr
User rating: 4.5/5