I know I’m going to take a lot of heat for this article, but it’s just something I need to get off my chest. The Mazda MX-5 has become a cult hero - particularly the Mk1 - and while I can see where the craze came from, I just don’t understand the fervour surrounding the little roadster. It feels like a joke that’s gone on so long people have forgotten there’s supposed to be a punchline.
This list is my attempt to drop a weight off my shoulders. I’ve bitten my tongue for far too long. But no more. So here are 10 reasons why you should never buy an MX-5.
I’m the first to champion driving thrills over power, but the MX-5 takes it too far. The Toyota GT86 often gets derided for its wheezy engine, but with 197bhp it has enough. The much sought-after first-generation MX-5s made only 133bhp in 1.8-litre form, and many horses will have escaped the stable over time, so the car you’re driving probably has a lot less. Furthermore, throughout its four generations, it’s never had what I’d call a sporty enough power output. I’m sorry, but it’s just not enough.
The MX-5 has an annoyingly happy face. It looks like a really stupid but overly-confident person who’s too thick to contemplate their own existence, so just bounds around the place like a giddy child on too many Smarties. After a long, stressful day at work, seeing that gormless face gurning back at you might just be enough to make you want to give up on life.
You have to have a thick skin to drive an MX-5 because no one will understand why you’ve bought it. That one weird guy who always wears a tracksuit and who bought a Polo for £500 that he’s since sunk £4000 into modifying might give you a knowing nod, but everyone else will just think you’re trying too hard to get in touch with your feminine side.
You might reckon you don’t care what people think, but when every other person you meet is asking what possessed you to buy this little soft top, you’ll start to get a complex.
You’ll spend hours trying to justify why the fact it’s nice in corners actually matters, since there are many cars that’ll do the same while going faster and looking better.
The ‘hairdresser’ comment is one of those jokes people who rarely see MX-5s will always dole out and think they’re hilarious. What they don’t realise is that because you own that car, you get that joke all the damn time. It’ll go from mildly amusing to downright anger-inducing in about a week.
Prepare yourself for one of two things: either you’ll spend countless pennies fixing rust, or your car will dissolve around you in a crash. Appealing.
I know the idea of a roadster like this isn’t to be able to take it on a camping holiday, but anything more than your weekly shop will stretch the little Mazda’s storage capabilities to its limits. And if you’ve got more than one friend you can’t really be the designated driver. I know they’re not particularly expensive to buy, but they’re not cheap to run, so having one as a second car just isn’t practical for most people… and it certainly won’t work as a daily for anyone with responsibilities!
The Mazda MX-5 doesn’t really excel in any area - except maybe value for money - and yet it has become a pin-up for what driving is all about. MX-5 appreciation has reached cult levels, and typically if something is a cult online it’s usually the equivalent of a joke that’s gone on too long. Sure, it’s a fun car, but it’s just not extraordinary enough to be so revered.
This might be a very personal one for me (and anyone who works here, I’d guess). I’ve heard more about MX-5s in the last few months than most people do in a lifetime. There are MX-5 T-shirts in the office, MX-5 videos shared every few days, and every conversation somehow ends up on the subject of Mazda’s little roadster. Seriously, I don’t know how anyone could love something so much!