Mazda got it so right with the orig­i­nal MX-5 that some peo­ple be­lieve that it has never been bet­tered

Total MX-5 - - CONTENTS -

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 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

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