64: Mazda MX-5 – a welcome reminder of what motoring should be like

Top 100 cars for 2020: Basic 1.5-litre version has, honestly, all the power you could ever possibly need

 

It’s now 30 years ago since Mazda created the original MX-5 and reminded us that the greatest of motoring achievements is to make a car that’s both fun and affordable.

In 2019, it’s still doing just that with the latest MX-5, arguably the best model since that far-off original. It’s still small, light, agile, and fun without ever needing to go all that fast.

The basic 1.5-litre version has, honestly, all the power you could ever possibly need. The extra grunt of the 2.0-litre version is welcome, of course, but we’re not entirely convinced that it’s worth the extra outlay.

Standard convertible version is the best (it even has a manual roof) but the RF (Retractable Fastback) version does turn the MX-5 into more of an all-weather machine.

Mind you, we drove a convertible to the North Cape of Norway in -15 degrees earlier this year, so maybe the solid roof is more of a placebo than anything. In a world of silly horsepower figures and rising kerb weights, the MX-5 is a welcome reminder of what motoring should be like.

Best model: MX-5 1.5 Roadster GT for €30,295

Price range: €28,195 to €37,095 Finance from €122 per month.

Co2 emissions: 138 to 156g/km

Sum up: None is more fun.

* A note on Co2 figures: For almost all the cars in the Top 100, we’ve quoted the stricter WLTP figures for Co2 emissions. A few are still quoted on their older NEDC2 figure, and that’s the number they’ll be taxed on. If you’re confused at all, just consult your local dealer for specific data for the make and model in which you’re interested