Mazda got it so right with the original MX-5 that some people believe that it has never been bettered
Quickly gaining ‘classic’ status and still an absolute joy to drive
It’s the original, the car that put people back in love with sports cars, and who can resist those taut-yet-curvy lines and the pop-up headlights? There’s a refreshing simplicity to the mk1’s cabin, too, with its straight line of a dashboard topped by a neat instrument pod.you can choose from the original, ultra-revvy 115bhp 1.6, the gutsier 1.8 with 128bhp that arrived in 1994, or the low-power 1.6 introduced at the same time as an entry model with just 90bhp but correspondingly cheaper insurance.
Another choice to make is between a car sold new in the UK or a grey-import Eunos Roadster version, most easily spotted by its squarer rear number-plate and nowadays more numerous as Ukspec cars have rusted away. The Eunos can be had as an automatic, too, and often has air-conditioning although it probably won’t work any more!
Both came in various special editions. None of the UK ones is particularly worth seeking out over a regular model apart from the rare 150bhp BBR Turbo (especially one of the 24 multi-coloured Le Mans Editions), but the Eunos VR Limited of 1996 (Enkei wheels, 133bhp engine, Bilstein suspension, Torsen differential, leather seats) is the tastiest of several dynamically-enhanced Eunos models originally sold only in Japan. Values: from £1000 (usable but tired and untidy runner) to £18,000 (low-mileage example of the best limited edition Eunos, freshly imported).
Kick plates can hide rust underneath, but not here