Mazda MX-5 review - MPG, CO2 and running costs
Mazda doesn’t use turbos to boost efficiency, but still claims impressive economy figures for the MX-5
Mazda claims it prefers not to focus on achieving spectacular results in the official EU economy cycle; instead, it says it’s more interested in giving customers real-world fuel savings.
That’s why its strategy is based around high-compression naturally aspirated petrol engines rather than following the turbocharged, downsizing trend. Both the engines offered in the MX-5 use direct injection technology, but the smaller 1.5-litre SkyActiv unit delivers better economy – it returns 44.8mpg with CO2 emissions of 142g/km.
The 2.0-litre comes with Mazda’s i-stop and E-Loop fuel-saving technology. According to Mazda it emits 155g/km of CO2 and can only return 40.9mpg at best, though that seems fairly conservative to us – mid-40mpg should be easily achievable, but you’ll need it to be frugal when the MX-5 only comes with a 45-litre fuel tank.
Despite its exotic shape, the MX-5 should be no more expensive to run than, say, a Mazda 3 hatchback – both use a variety of common components, so replacement parts should be easy to track down and relatively affordable.
If you’re planning to wait for a more powerful turbocharged MX-5 or a more efficient diesel version, don’t hold your breath – Mazda’s engineers have ruled out both, in the near future at least.
Insurance groups correspond with the two engine sizes on offer and start at group 27 for the 1.5-litre, climbing to group 33 for top-spec cars. Some limited edition cars run slightly higher though, for instance, the 30th Anniversary model from 2019 occupies group 34.
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Despite our changeable weather, the UK is one of the largest markets for convertibles in Europe – so it follows that the MX-5 should hold its value well. The latest data from our experts predicts the two-seater roadster should retain about 50 per cent of its original value over a typical three-year/36,000-mile ownership period.
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In this review
- 1Mazda MX-5 reviewThe Mazda MX-5 is a legendary small sports car that delivers driving thrills and everyday usability
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe MX-5's revvy Skyactiv-G engines are a joy, but we'd go for the extra power of the 2.0-litre
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running Costs - currently readingMazda doesn’t use turbos to boost efficiency, but still claims impressive economy figures for the MX-5
- 4Interior, design and technologyOccupants sit lower down and closer to the MX-5’s centre line for maximum enjoyment, while there’s more technology than before
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceIt’s no grand tourer, but the Mazda MX-5 is quite spacious considering its modest dimensions
- 6Reliability and SafetyMazda’s reputation for reliability is sound, while a suite of assistance systems boost the MX-5's safety
- 7Used and nearly newA full used buyer’s guide on the Mazda MX-5 covering the MX-5 Mk4 (2015-date)