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In-depth reviews

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

Overall Auto Express Rating

5.0 out of 5

MPG, CO2 and Running Costs Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£27,975 to £34,740
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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.

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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

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. 

You can get personalised car insurance quotes fast with our comparison tool powered by Quotezone... 

Depreciation

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.

To get an accurate valuation on a specific model check out our valuation tool...

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.5 SE 2dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £18,735

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.5 SE 2dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £18,735

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 [184] Exclusive-Line 2dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £31,700
News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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