Mazda, in contrast with Toyota’s overzealous positioning of the GT86, has kept the MX-5’s affordability front and centre.

Available in the firm’s SE, SE-L, SE-L Nav, Sport and Sport Nav trim levels, the £18,495 starting price for the 1.5-litre version is about where fast superminis begin, rivalling options such as the Abarth 595C and drastically undercutting a Volkswagen Golf convertible.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
SE-L Nav trim delivers most of everything that you could expect

The sparsely kitted SE has limited appeal, but our SE-L Nav car featured DAB, a 7.0in touchscreen, Bluetooth, cruise control, air-con and, as the name implies, satellite navigation – and still scraped under the £20k mark (minus metallic paint). 

This 1.5-litre car can also claim decent efficiency, with its claimed 47.1mpg reduced only to 46.1mpg during True MPG examination.

Its 139g/km CO2 figure, meanwhile, is almost the same as that of a Ford Fiesta ST – one of only two cars able to match the MX-5 for fun. The other, the GT86, is 41g/km to the worse.

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