What is an MX5 like to drive?
Having not had a convertible in almost 2 years and a two-seater one in almost 8 years, having the roof down is such a joy. But, then if you have ever gone topless, you will know that.
In my first blog post, I wrote about how I was not impressed 12 years ago after borrowing an MK2 1.6 MX5 for an hour or so. This experience put me off them for a long time. A few years later I did get to drive a much later MK2 1.8 model with low profile wheels and tyres and a six-speed gearbox. Sadly, I could only drive it at 40 mph…. But it did seem a lot better.
After buying my MX5 (Bel) on impulse, and at the time on a purely rational basis what is she like to drive? In one word, sublime. Write I’m done now…
OK, a little more, let me explain.
First, Bel is a driver’s car, she talks to the driver who wants to listen. The experience is completely immersive. Most cars, well modern ones are like driving less interesting video game, and by doing this, they make the passionate driver want to slit their wrists. The other type of car seems only to become interesting at speeds that either mean an instant ban and you are travelling too fast for the safety of others.
Bel is not like that, at normal and legal speeds she is fun. I do a lot of driving on tight, narrow Cornish back lanes. Often getting close to the speed limit is far too fast. Here her poise and well-balanced steering is a joy. On faster roads, she is lovely and stable at 80 mph, at 100, very skittish. I will add that I only hit that speed for about 3 seconds before dropping back down to more legal speeds. Sorry officer.
They have been described as minimal when compared to modern cars they are. Compared to my much-missed Triumph Spitfire, even a basic spec MX5 is loaded with such features as no leaking roof, stereo, a handbrake that works, etc, etc… It is only a question of perspective… Not only does all that tec weight a lot, it is more to go wrong.
One such feature that is outstanding and is important for driving a convertible in the winter… Her heater is amazing, the best I’ve ever felt. Toasted feet on the coldest of days, or nights.
I still think that space wise they are cramped and carrying capacity is a joke, compared to my Spitfire there is hardly any at all. I would argue that some bigger touring bikes can carry more. A little creative packaging will be required when I go away to see my mother later in the year.
Yet… Those downsides are nothing compared to the driving experience.
What are MX5’s like to drive?
Amazing… They are driver’s cars.