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Mazda's MX-5 roars back with even more power

The Mazda MX-5, the world’s favourite sports car, returns. And this time, Mazda has really nailed it.

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Dominic Fraser

The world's best-selling sports car, the Mazda MX-5, was already synonymous with driving fun. This fourth iteration is also the most powerful model yet. For 2019, Mazda has given its "traditionally peppy-but-not-quick" MX-5 17% more horsepower, says Mark Rechtin on Motor Trend. And while in the old MX-5 "you'd feel the power delivery wane and hear the engine get reedy, not so with the new gen".

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Then again, most folk don't buy an MX-5 for its power. Rather, "they delight in its handling, which is communicative and direct at up to 80%, then thrillingly (some might say startlingly) tail-happy at the extreme". In the end, it is the same "lovably annoying" MX-5: "flittery, flighty, wiggly and floppy".

917_MW_P42_Toys

Dominic Fraser

Nor has there been much change to the tiny cabin, says Andrew English in The Daily Telegraph. "You wear this car like bath water, although the introduction of reach (as well as height) adjustment for the steering is very welcome for taller drivers." The boot, while minute, will swallow three or four squashy bags. "Above all, however, the MX-5 feels just so direct and connected that it's hard not to be having a good time even when you're driving to work." It's quite simply "the best sports car for the money in the world, full stop", says Motor Trend's Scott Evans. "They nailed it."

Price: from £18,999; Power: 181bhp @ 4,400rpm, 151lb ft @ 4,000rpm; Top speed: 136mph;0-62mph: 6.5 secs; Fuel economy: 40.9mpg/33.6 EU Combined/Urban; CO2 emissions: 156g/km

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