Mazda MX-5 Black Edition

New special-edition MX-5 promises bold looks and a thrilling drive

Overall Auto Express Rating

5.0 out of 5

The MX-5 still has the power to put a huge smile on your face, and the driving dynamics are as sharp as ever. This limited edition adds some extra visual punch to the roadster’s simple recipe, and it’s well worth the £360 premium over the Sport. While a number of hot hatches offer more power for less, few can match the open-air drama and rear-drive thrills of this brilliant roadster. We can’t recommend it enough.

Inspired by its GT racer, Mazda has launched a limited-edition MX-5, and Auto Express was first behind the wheel.
The new Black Edition doesn’t get the roll cage of the stripped-out track car – currently being driven by our own senior road tester, Owen Mildenhall, 
in the Britcar Championship. But Mazda has provided plenty of visual oomph to set it apart from the rest of the range.
There are three unique paint finishes to choose from, including the bold Spirited Green metallic of our car. The folding hard-top is available solely in 
contrasting black, though.
Only 500 examples of the Black Edition are being built, and as the name suggests, everything from the roll hoops, wing mirrors and grille to the foglight surrounds is finished in menacing black.
Inside are more unique touches, such as a numbered plaque, alloy pedals and contrasting stitching on the leather upholstery. Some of the plastics are starting to feel their age, as is the layout of the dash, but it still feels durable and built to last. In addition, the folding hard-top is simple to operate.
On the road, the peppy 157bhp 2.0-litre engine revs keenly to the red line, and all the controls are perfectly weighted, making it easy to exploit the taut chassis. The narrow pedal box is ideally laid out to allow quick heel-and-toe downshifts, and every trip is a reminder of how rewarding the Mazda is to drive.
There are some sacrifices for this dynamic prowess – namely the tiny luggage bay and high 181g/km CO2 emissions. But even after six years on sale, the MX-5 is still as good as ever.

Most Popular

Appreciating cars: classic cars that go up in value
Appreciators: Renault 5

Appreciating cars: classic cars that go up in value

Looking to invest in a modern classic? Here are some cars destined to appreciate in value
4 May 2021
Ford Escort XR3: we drive the hot hatch pioneer
Ford Escort XR3

Ford Escort XR3: we drive the hot hatch pioneer

Hot hatches democratised performance, and one of the pioneers, the Ford Escort XR3, is now over 40 years old
5 May 2021
New 2022 Skoda Fabia grows in size and gets tech boost
Skoda Fabia - front
Skoda Fabia

New 2022 Skoda Fabia grows in size and gets tech boost

The new fourth-generation Skoda Fabia supermini is expected to hit UK showrooms early in 2022
4 May 2021