Let your inner Formula 1 shine from time to time
In the April of 2016 over a million MX-5 units were sold worldwide and according to the infamous Jeremy Clarkson ‘it’s the cure for depression’ and ‘you can’t be in a bad mood driving it’. With such a big hype around it, the MX-5 (Mazda Experiment project number 5) has built an impressive name for itself. That because it accurately hit the sweet spot- it’s a spirted vehicle with a rousing drive and an attractive price tag which allowed it to become iconic.
It’s not only for the mid-life-crises man or lady with the obnoxiously large sunglasses and fluffy hair. It’s a vehicle for someone looking for something different from the norm but that won’t be inconvenienced in daily driving or won’t be paying a fortune for some light-hearted and free-spirited fun. This is exactly what this auto offers. Its absence of unnecessary bells and whistles means that is a clean-cut vehicle that will offer you genuine motoring excitement behind the wheel. It’s not for the pure-blooded petrol heads, but rather for someone who likes occasional speeds, spirited pull aways and bucket loads of envious gazes.
The targa-styled roadster is prominent with its distinctive physique and modern tailoring. Its short but curvy body is easily noticeable and definitely affords for a few double-takes. The retractable hard top offers versatility in the form of a zippy roadster as well as a lavish cruiser while a set of grey 17-inch alloys provides it with a characteristic sporty appeal. Skinny LED headlights are enhanced with an automatic on/off, an Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) and Daytime Running while the distinguishing taillights frame the MX-5 with its uniqueness and individuality. Dual exhausts also add to this athletic aesthetic without being blaringly obvious about it- it’s sporty but in a simplistic and humble manner which is something l adored as it is a great example of its minimalistic elegance.
The interior of the MX-5 is laid-out well and built of quality materials that give it a luxurious feel. Leather can be found on the gear lever, steering wheel, handbrake handle as well as on the seats while funky white inserts and red stitching provides it with a sporty and playful touch.
When looking at the vehicle’s compressed dimensions, it’s obvious that there would be a shortage of space. Inside consoles can hold keys and maybe some loose change for the ever-willing car guard but that’s about that- there’s no cubbyhole just a centre console and a cargo capacity behind the arm but it’s also limited. The boot is a meagre 127-litres which is good enough to fit a short shopping trip’s contents or your handbag and laptop bag when heading to the office. An advantage of this small boot is the fact that it makes airplane traveling much simpler- if you can fit your luggage in the boot, it will fit in the overhead compartment and, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to squeeze in an additional water bottle, and maybe even some lipstick if you know how to manoeuvre it in.
Its low riding position means that driving feels like cruising but this births the problem of getting in and out and, paired with the rake adjusting steering, you are sure to be working those core muscles. It is still good for a sports car so visibility isn’t that much hindered and it won’t feel as if you have to peak between other vehicle’s tyres to see what’s going on. What’s more, is that in a mere 13 seconds the top folds and allows you to feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your skin.
The 7-inch MZD Connect infotainment system is equipped with satellite navigation, Bluetooth Connectivity and a nine speaker BOSE sound system which is accessible via the steering wheel controls. The MX-5 is also fitted with powered windows, a rear parking sensor, Climate Control, Cruise Control, Smart advanced keyless entry and push-to-start functionality for convenience and comfort behind the wheel.
Driver and passenger airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), a burglar alarm system, child restraint anchor points, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Hill Launch Assist (HLA), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM), an engine immobilizer, Limited Slip Differential (LSD), remote central locking, a super lock system and a Traction Control System are all included for a safe and secure drive. Furthermore, it’s elevated with whiplash-minimising front seats and side impact door beams for utmost peace of mind on the road.
This 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G engine produces 118kW of power and 200Nm of torque. It has a fuel consumption of 6.7-litre per 100km which is rather impressive when considering it’s still a roadster and has notable outputs such as its ability to reach 100km/h in only 8.6 seconds. I must say I was sceptical about the vehicle simply because of its automatic transmission- surely that will compromise some of its adrenaline-pumping performance? But with further investigation I think Mazda made the right call in following the trend and installing it with a self-shifter- this makes for a more balanced drive that is still punchy but won’t be a headache to operate in day-to-day conditions, especially traffic. The Japanese have put their focus more on handling and fun-filled driving than red, hot speed which means it still houses a considerable amount of haste but it’s more financially accessible.
Although this self-shifting features mean that its drive is more disconnected and, yes, it has paddle shifters but they just don’t do it justice and surely aren’t a fulfilling substitute. Further, I couldn’t find anything to critique- it has a zesty drive due to its lightweight frame, handling is accurate and confident thanks to a weighted steering wheel and wind noise is evident but minimal. The suspension is more on the stiff side but still manageable to operate on normal driving conditions which means that minor road imperfections will easily be absorbed.
Where to find it
If this mesmerising MX has piqued your interest, visit www.mazda.co.za now to find out more about it.
#Womentorque #Coupe #Advanced_Technology #Performance #Fuel_Efficient #Safety #Affordable #Ground_Breaking
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Transcriber: Nita Stadler