Mazda MX-5 wins ‘best roadster’ used car award
A legend in its own lifetime, the iconic Mazda MX-5 roadster continues to deliver pure motoring thrills – as a new or used car – almost 20 years since its debut. This week, MX-5 has overcome the challenge of numerous short-listed rivals to win its class in the ‘2008 Auto Express Used Car Honours' in the popular weekly publication's annual awards. This latest success for the Mazda MX-5 follows last month's triumph, when Mazda's sportscar won ‘Best Convertible' in the 2008 Auto Express New Car Honours.
For the latest issue of Auto Express, an experienced panel of six judges, who know the used car market inside out, scrutinised the merits of the dozens of cars in 16 different categories. After much deliberation, the Mazda MX-5 two-seater emerged as the clear winner of the ‘Best Roadster' – beating the significantly more expensive Porsche Boxster and Audi TT into the runners-up places.
Commenting on the Mazda MX-5's victory, Auto Express stated: "In 1989, Mazda took everything that made the British Lotus Elan great, then added superb reliability and a low price to the package. Not only is the MX-5 the world's best-selling sportscar, it has also won over us loyal Brits. It's poised to knock the classic MGB off the top spot for both popularity and parts supply in the UK. The problem our judges faced come ‘decision time' was choosing between the current and previous generations of the MX-5 – the Mazda is a fantastic choice and a thrilling drive."
Highlighting the dilemma facing members of the judging panel, British Car Auctions general manager Ashley Feldman said: "My first thoughts were in favour of the present-shape MX-5 as it's more desirable. But it is simply impossible to ignore the availability and value of the older model. Both versions will fend off most sportscar rivals in every way, so we can recommend them as a pair."
Accepting the latest award for Mazda UK, Marketing Director Mark Cameron commented: "In the UK, the iconic two-seater, rear-wheel drive Mazda MX-5 sportscar continues to be hugely popular with both the public and media. It delivers on the promise of thrilling open-air motoring, with everyday reliability and modest running costs. Since its launch in the UK in 1990 we have sold more than 90,000 MX-5s so there is broad selection of used models available through our ‘Zoom-Zoom Plus' approved used car programme and of course through other outlets nationwide.
"The MX-5 soft-top can be opened and closed in just a few seconds, using only one hand and without getting out of the car. The Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe features the world's fastest-folding hard-top – up or down in just 12 seconds. And by a miracle of packaging ingenuity, this roof retracts into a compact space behind the seats so the boot space maintains its 150-litre volume as before – a unique innovation among modern sports cars," concludes Cameron.
MAZDA MX-5 / MIATA
Timelines of an icon
|1983||Mazda begins feasibility study of lightweight sportscar production|
|1986||February||Starts project aimed at volume production|
|1987||September||Two-seater roadster design finalised|
|1989||February||Mazda MX-5/Miata makes world debut at Chicago Auto Show|
|May||Sales begin in USA|
|September||Sales begin as ‘Eunos Roadster' in Japan|
|October||Sales begin in Australia|
|1990||February||Sales begin in Europe (UK and Holland)|
|1993||July||Undergoes minor changes
Car improved by replacing previous 1.6 with 1.8-litre engine
|1997||October||2nd generation MX-5/Miata unveiled at Tokyo Motor Show|
|1998||December||Limited edition Mazda MX-5 released to commemorate 10 years in production. Special limited edition car with world-class specifications: total of 7,500 units manufactured for worldwide sale (500 units for Japan, 7,000 units for the three markets comprised of North America, Europe and Australia)|
|2000||May||Mazda MX-5 Miata enters the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's best-selling two-seater open sportscar|
|July||Second-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata undergoes minor changes. In addition to interior and exterior changes, the 1.8-litre engine gets a power boost, and body stiffness and other improvements add up to a greatly upgraded version|
|2005||March||Third-generation Mazda MX-5 unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show|
|March||Third-generation Mazda MX-5 debuts in commemorative limited edition format (Mazda MX-5 3rd Generation Limited) at the New York International Auto Show|
|April||The Guinness Book of World Records updated the number of units produced to 700,000|
|2007||July||World debut of Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe with the world's fastest folding metal roof at British International Motor Show|