Steer­ing is well­weighted for town driv­ing.”

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page -

in the con­vert­ible’s range since it launched back in 2015. It hasn’t been changed here, still pro­duc­ing 158bhp and 200Nm of torque, while paired up to a six-speed man­ual gear­box.

The re­sult is 0-60mph in 7.2 sec- onds while a top speed of 134mph is pos­si­ble. As for ef­fi­ciency, Mazda claims a re­spectable 40.9mpg on the com­bined cy­cle with CO2 emis­sions of 161g/km.

The en­gine con­tin­ues to be as smooth and fruit­ful as be­fore, with con­sis­tent power de­liv­ery and enough poke to make this a real riot on a B-road.

En­thu­si­asts could be for­given for want­ing a lit­tle more oomph, but there’s deep af­ter­mar­ket sup­port ca­pa­ble of tak­ing care of that eas­ily.

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE? The MX-5 is one of the purest driv­ers’ cars avail­able with a li­cense plate, and the Sport Black con­tin­ues to be just that. Some tweaks have been made to the sus­pen­sions of all 2018 model year ver­sions of the car – this in­cluded – but you’d be hard­pressed to spot a dif­fer­ence, un­less you drove a pre-fet­tled car side-by-side.

As well as be­ing a lot of fun on a back road, the MX-5 RF Sport Black has gen­uine abil­ity to be used as a daily ma­chine.

Steer­ing is well-weighted for town driv­ing, and com­pact di­men­sions al­low park­ing to be a breeze, al­though the large rear but­tresses on the RF means rear vis­i­bil­ity is pretty lim­ited.

HOW DOES IT LOOK? The Sport Black doesn’t rev­o­lu­tionise the way the MX-5 RF looks, but it does add some unique fea­tures. Ex­te­rior trim­mings in­clude a black spoiler and wing mir­ror hous­ings, while 17-inch al­loy wheels fea­ture too.

There’s just the one paint op­tion here and no, it’s not black – rather Eter­nal Blue Mica. We’re big fans of the way the MX-5 looks, with a com­pact yet ag­gres­sive vis­ual pres­ence, only en­hanced by the RF’S hard­top roof which looks best when up.

WHAT’S IT LIKE IN­SIDE? Again, there’s very lit­tle change in­side the cabin of the Sport Black – with the trade­mark Mazda in­te­rior de­sign re­main­ing in its en­tirety. What is added is also pretty mi­nor, with model-spe­cific scuff plates, floor mats and a plaque on the dash mark­ing it out. This isn’t a bad thing, though.

The in­te­rior of the MX-5 has al­ways been a nice place to be, with a driver-cen­tric cock­pit height­en­ing the sporty feel the car’s so known for. It all feels ex­cep­tion­ally well-built too, with a good amount of pre­mium-feel ma­te­ri­als utilised across the board.

As for prac­ti­cal­ity, this (per­haps ob­vi­ously) isn’t a strong point of the MX-5. There’s seat­ing for two, while boot space is a mere 130 litres – enough for a week­end trip away, but very lit­tle more than that.

WHAT’S THE SPEC LIKE? Based on SE-L Nav trim, the MX-5 RF Sport Black comes with cruise con­trol, key­less start, LED head-

lights and a seven-inch touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment dis­play with Blue­tooth sup­port as stan­dard.

On top of that, the lim­ited-edi­tion trim brings leather seats, rain-sens­ing wipers and rear park­ing sen­sors to the equa­tion for no ex­tra cost.

It’s a pretty well-equipped setup, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the ri­val-un­der­cut­ting £25,695 price tag, while Mazda’s in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem re­mains one of the best around – of­fer­ing a level of us­abil­ity that other man­u­fac­tur­ers at this price point of­ten strug­gle to de­liver.

We wouldn’t call the Sport Black’s up­grades an ab­so­lute must have, but for those look­ing for a bit more equip­ment, it presents an ap­peal­ing op­tion.

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