I hit the throttle and the Mazda MX-5 roars forward. The sun is blazing, there’s not a cloud in the sky, and the road ahead is empty. Bliss.
I’ve come to South Queensferry where Mazda has brought a selection of their cars for motoring journalists to try out.
There are plenty of hatchbacks and SUVs to try out but I make a beeline for the MX-5 while the weather holds.
The Mazda MX-5 range starts from £23,530 and the hardtop RF version costing from £25,430.
First launched way back in 1990 and now on its fourth generation, the MX-5 is the world’s best-selling convertible sports car of all time, with more than one million of them sold.
Over the course of a sunny afternoon I tried out the 2.0 litre, 184bhp RF model and the 1.5 litre soft top.
The RF is the folding hard top version. With the roof up it’s essentially a coupe, and as such may be more popular in Scotland, where warm sunny days are at a premium.
Both the RF and soft top versions of the MX-5 are beautiful looking cars. Inside there’s a clear central screen with an easy to use rotary dial system. Equipment wise there’s all you could need, including heated seats – essential for top down driving in spring or autumn. My car came with beautiful cream leather interior, which gave it a nice luxury feel.
The 2.0 litre unit has no shortage of power. Its 184hp brings you from 0-62mph in an extremely fast 6.8 seconds. The 1.5 is no slouch either, getting you there in 8.3 seconds. Both offer fuel economy in excess of 40mpg.
With the Mazda MX-5 the raw numbers don’t tell the whole story. It’s such a lightweight car that a little bit of power goes a long way, and it’s so low to the ground and go-kart like that you can have amazing fun even at modest speeds.
I had a fantastic hour blasting round some backroads near Burntisland, Aberdour and Dalgety Bay. Small, beautifully balanced and rear wheel drive, the MX-5 is simply a joy to drive. The 2.0 litre is a great engine but so is the 1.5 – if it was me buying I would save money and go for the smaller unit.
In this job I’ve been fortunate enough to drive Ferraris, McLarens, Lamborghinis, and all manner of other supercars. On a race track they’ll be far more thrilling but on a public road I would take the Mazda MX-5 every time.
It utterly brilliant fun. Unlike a supercar, it’s affordable and, being a Mazda, it has legendary reliability.