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Mazda MX-5 (1998 - 2005)

Last updated 27 February 2019


Model Timeline

(Model designation NB.)

Revised in spring 1998 with heated glass rear window, fixed headlights, bigger boot that now takes two bags of golf clubs.

Further facelift in UK Spring 2001. The best-selling sportscar ever built (720,000 sold).

Power upped and prices dropped for 2002 model year. 110bhp 1.6 stayed at £14,995 (undercutting the quicker MGF 1.6 by £500), gets to sixty in 9.5 seconds and does 120mph. Combined fuel consumption is 34.9mpg. 1.8s all got a power boost to 146bhp at 7,000rpm and a torque hike to 124lb ft (168Nm) at 5,000rpm. Base five speeder cost £15,495 (same as the MGF 1.6), gets to sixty in 8.2 seconds and goes on to 127mph. Combined fuel consumption is 32.5mpg.

90PS 1.6s came on 14-inch wheels with185/60 R14s or 175/65 R14s or 25-inch wheels with 195/50 R15s.

All 1.8s fitted with limited slip diff. With a six-speed gearbox, 16 inch alloy wheels and 205/45R16 tyres, the £17,495 1.8 Sport gets to sixty in 8.1 seconds and goes on to 130mph. Combined fuel consumption is 31.7mpg. And to complete the range a UK official automatic MX5 1.8. Performance is severely compromised, though, with a zero to sixty of 10.7 seconds and a top speed of 118mph. Price was £16,495 and combined consumption 29.8mpg.

6-speed Sport pick of the bunch and even good fun on track days.

Apparently, engines are "non interference", so if the timing belt snaps or comes off valves don't hit pistons as long as the engine is running under 4,000rpm.

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