Roadster of the Year 2019: Mazda MX-5
The Mazda MX-5 is the 2019 Auto Express Roadster of the Year, with the Audi TT and Porsche 718 Boxster commended
Whether you choose the standard roadster or the ‘Retractable Fastback’ RF version, you simply can’t go wrong with the brilliant Mazda MX-5.
It has all the ingredients you’d want from a car designed for fun, and yet it’s not so compromised that you couldn’t drive it every day. In fact, many owners use theirs all the time – and why not, if you’re having so much fun? That’s partly because Mazda avoided turbocharging and stuck with its naturally aspirated 1.5 and 2.0-litre petrol engines for the MX-5, so efficiency is good, but more importantly, they’re fun to rev and performance is strong: 0-62mph takes just 6.5 seconds with the 181bhp 2.0-litre unit.
Another highlight of the car is the sweet six-speed manual gearbox; it’s so good that it’s considered a benchmark for great shift feel regardless of price. There are much pricier sports cars that don’t change gear as well as this.
Because it’s so light, the Mazda is also very agile. The chassis is communicative and lively, with enough compliance that even rough roads can be taken on with confidence, and you can exploit the MX-5’s adjustability as much with the pointy steering as you can with the throttle.
Mazda MX-5 2.0 SE-L Nav+ (£22,795)
Both MX-5 engines are superb, but the new-for-2019 2.0-litre unit is worth the extra, now that it has more power and a higher rev limit. We’d stick with the roadster version because the soft top is so easy to raise and lower. SE-L Nav+ has all the kit you’d want, too.
Audi TT Roadster
Audi updated the TT this year with more tech and a new look. It’s one of the easiest roadsters to live with every day, because it has a fair-sized boot and a spacious interior, while the barely tweaked interior design has certainly stood the test of time.
Porsche 718 Boxster
The Boxster’s handling is astounding, with an incredible balance between sharp reflexes and ride comfort. Its four-cylinder turbo engine delivers amazing performance, if not a sonorous soundtrack, while the driving position is close to perfect.
Auto Express New Car Awards 2019
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- 1IntroductionWhat are the best new cars to buy in the UK today? The 2019 New Car Awards have the answer...
- 2Car of the YearThe Auto Express Car of the Year for 2019 is the all-electric Tesla Model 3
- 3City Car of the YearThe Volkswagen up! is the 2019 Auto Express City Car of the Year, with the Kia Picanto and Skoda Citigo commended
- 4Supermini of the YearThe Ford Fiesta is the 2019 Auto Express Supermini of the Year, with the MINI 5-door and SEAT Ibiza commended
- 5Convertible of the YearThe MINI Convertible is the 2019 Auto Express Convertible of the Year, with the Audi A3 Cabriolet and Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet commended
- 6Compact Family Car of the YearThe Skoda Scala is the 2019 Auto Express Compact Family Car of the Year, with the Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla commended
- 7Family Car of the YearThe Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is the 2019 Auto Express Family Car of the Year, with the Skoda Superb and Toyota Prius commended
- 8Compact Executive Car of the YearThe BMW 3 Series is the 2019 Auto Express Compact Executive Car of the Year, with the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Mercedes C-Class commended
- 9Executive Car of the YearThe BMW 5 Series is the 2019 Auto Express Executive Car of the Year, with the Mercedes E-Class and Volvo S90 commended
- 10Estate Car of the YearThe Skoda Octavia Estate is the 2019 Auto Express Estate Car of the Year, with the BMW 5 Series Touring and Volvo V60 commended