Mazda MX-5 30th Edition Roadster

Hugh Maguire: on a 'superb little roadster' t both fun and totally reliable. I loved it.

Mazda MX-5 30th Edition Roadster

I know its December and not an ideal month in which to road test a drop top roadster, but despite the chill in the air and days of rain I did manage to drive the new Mazda MX-5 30th Edition with the roof down and the heater cranked to full on one or two days this week.

The Mazda MX-5 first launched back in 1989 and since then well over 1 million have been sold. The simple formula of a compact two seat roadster with rear wheel drive and a nippy petrol engine ensured its success.

The car I am road testing this week is a special edition built to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this lovely roadster.

Just 3,000 will be built worldwide with Ireland getting just 10 cars all of which are snapped up I guess.

So has it any street cred?

The styling is muscular and all the better for that. The whole car looks substantial and purposeful. Its gorgeous! Its only available in the exclusive Flame red paintwork of my test car and with gorgeous black alloy wheels, its a real eye-catcher.

What’s it like inside?

The two seat cabin is very well finished with high grade trim and materials throughout. The driver and passenger sit low and well back giving you a feeling of really being an integral part of the car. There is an adequate amount of storage space for a roadster with extra stowage available behind both seats. The boot is reasonable and would fit about two cabin sized overnight bags.

There are plenty of goodies too, such as heated seats, keyless entry, a Bose sound system, lane departure warning, Leather and Alcantara trim, LED headlights, Front and rear Smart City brake, Driver attention alert, Apple car play, Android Auto to name but some, so the new MX-5 30th Edition lacks nothing really on the specification list.

What is under the bonnet?

Powered by Mazda’s SkyActive 2.0 litre 4 cylinder petrol mated to a lovely 6-speed manual gearbox with a power output of 184 bhp this little roadster has plenty of pep in its step. Theres a nice growl from the engine when worked and I found overall performance to be good.

Its quite frugal too burning 6.6 litres per 100km over my road test. Road tax is €300.00 for a year.

What’s it like to drive?

With rear wheel drive, a limited slip differential, Brembo brakes, the engine up front and near 50/50 weight distribution the MX-5 is a drivers delight. The 2.0 litre is potent enough to thrill without ending up in licence loosing territory. You don’t have to be driving the MX-5 quickly to extract pleasure from the way it rides and handles and this is one of the key virtues that has made it such a success. Its just a great fun roadster.

Trundling along with the roof down, listening to the sounds around you is just another aspect of roof down motoring to be enjoyed yet it handles with aplomb and will delight the enthusiastic driver on a twisty country road.

The MX-5 is not about huge performance figures, but it delivers huge fun!


The latest Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition is worthy limited edition of this truly excellent car. Its a superb little roadster that will prove both fun and totally reliable. I loved it.

That roof is well insulated for Irish rainy days and when the sun does appear you can drop it in seconds and enjoy wind in the hair motoring. The MX-5 range starts at €28,195. This rather special Anniversary edition costs €40,995.