Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Delightful Drop-Top Sports Car; Ewan Kennedy Delves into the Past of the World's Biggest-Selling Roadster

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Delightful Drop-Top Sports Car; Ewan Kennedy Delves into the Past of the World's Biggest-Selling Roadster

Article excerpt

HOW MUCH?

Expect to pay from $3000 to $6000 for a 1990 Mazda MX-5 1.6-litre hardtop; $10,000 to $15,000 for a 2003 1.8-litre hardtop; $14,000 to $20,000 for a 2005 Leather 2.0-litre convertible; $17,000 to $24,000 for a 2006 2.0-litre convertible; $19,000 to $26,000 for a 2007 Touring LE 2.0-litre convertible; and $29,000 to $38,000 for a 2011 Coupe-Convertible 2.0-litre convertible.

CAR BUYING TIP

Beware the sportscar that has actually been used as a car in sport a these are comparatively rare and may be in need of expensive repairs.

MAZDA'S MX-5 roadster has been a huge hit from the time it was launched globally in 1990. It not only became the biggest-selling roadster, but also nudged many other car makers into building open-top cars, something that had previously seemed to be impossible due to ever-tightening safety regulations.

The Mazda sports car is a delight to drive, with pin-sharp steering, excellent road grip, near-neutral balance and the ability to change direction mid-corner at the merest hint through the wheel that it's needed.

Many owners love to take them for a quick blast along their favourite stretch of road on a sunny Sunday morn. They usually drive with the top down of course, even if the weather is threatening. That's because the soft-top only takes seconds to send down and back up again.

A folding hardtop roof made things much simpler when introduced in September 2006. It not only works neatly, but has added a minimum of weight to the car and takes little away from luggage-carrying capacity.

The Mazda MX-5 was launched in Australia in October 1989 and its body remained almost unchanged until March 1998, when a near-new car was introduced. The original model had pop-up lights, the latter one fixed units. At the same time, an increase in boot space made the MX-5 a more practical car.

A facelift in October 2000 saw the rounded grille replaced by what Mazda calls a five-point grille. An all-new MX-5 arrived in October 2005. It was slightly larger than before, though weight rises were kept to a minimum.

Engine power isn't quite as impressive as the chassis dynamics; the original MX-5 only had 1. …

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