Mazda MX-5 review - Reliability and safety
Mazda’s reputation for reliability is sound, while a suite of assistance systems boost the MX-5's safety
The latest Mazda MX-5 still retains a relatively simple mechanical layout, as well as plenty of electronic kit shared with existing models, so the car should provide trouble-free motoring. It’s worth noting, however, that if you plan to drive it hard – on road or track – then perishables such as brake discs, brake pads and tyres will need replacing more frequently.
The two-seat roadster didn't feature in our 2022 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, in fact only one Mazda managed to make it onto Driver Power’s list of the 75 best cars to down – the CX-5 SUV, though it did finish a very impressive second place overall. Meanwhile Mazda itself achieved a solid 7th place finish out of 29 best manufacturers, with owners praising their cars’ looks, user-friendly controls, reliability and handling.
Euro NCAP gave the MX-5 a four-star crash safety rating when it was tested in 2015. It missed out on the full five-star score because active city stop isn't standard, but every model does get front and side airbags, Dynamic Stability Control and traction control. Upgrading to Exclusive-line or Homura trim adds Lane Departure Warning, Smart City Brake and a Driver Attention Alert system.
However, it is worth noting that because the MX-5 was tested so long ago that its Euro NCAP rating expired in January 2022, and because of the changes made to the organisation's testing procedure the Mazda might not receive the same four-star rating today.
Mazda offers a standard three-year, 60,000-mile warranty on the MX-5. These days, with some companies offering four, five or seven years of cover, this is about average. Like many three-year policies, the roadster’s warranty can be extended for a variable cost, but this additional peace of mind is provided by a third party and a car will need to have less than 100,000 miles on the clock to qualify for an upgrade.
Service intervals for the MX-5 are every 12,500 miles or annually, whichever comes first. Mazda offers a three-year service plan which is available for £759 up-front, or paid over monthly instalments.
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 CostsMazda 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 Safety - currently readingMazda’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)