How much does the Mazda MX-5 cost?
There are three tiers to the MX-5 range, all of which can be had with a manually operated soft-top or power-folding hard roof.
The party kicks off with the soft-top Roadster’s sticker price of $37,990 before on-road costs. That’s $42,444 driveaway for anyone living in Melbourne.
The GT ups the ante to $49,353 on the street, while the track-oriented GT RS is $52,479 tucked in your garage.
Despite the price premium, Mazda says the GT RS will account for most sales. Put that down to the easily spotted Brembo brakes that provide instant differentiation from the lower grades. The GT RS also has Bilstein shocks and a front strut brace. Good for handling; not as obvious on the bragging rights front.
Hard-top buyers can expect to pay around $4,100 more than the soft-top equivalent and ditching the six-speed manual gearbox for a six-speed automatic will add about $2,000 (not available on the GT RS).
Prospective owners have a choice of four standard paint colours: white, black, blue and “platinum quartz metallic”. The premium “soul red”, “machine grey” and “polymetal grey” shades add $595.
Service intervals are every 12 months or 10,000km and amount to $1817 over the first five trips.
The Mini convertible is the obvious rival, despite the price difference. An entry Mini with a 100kW/220Nm three-cylinder turbo engine costs $50,409 on the road but to match the Mazda’s performance you’ll need to spend $59,206 on a Mini Cooper S with a 141kW/280Nm 2.0-litre turbo engine.
Subaru’s BRZ matches the Mazda on price with a starting figure of $44,049 driveaway and it is a more accomplished drive… but you can’t drop the roof on a sunny day.
Is the Mazda MX-5 safe?
A 2015 crash-test rating for the Mazda MX-5 doesn’t reflect the focus on safety software required to earn a five-star rating in 2022.
The Mazda’s structural integrity was rated highly, though the driver’s head did touch the windscreen pillar and the steering wheel in the frontal crash test. It’s the price you pay for operating in such a confined environment.
Conversely, the absence of autonomous emergency braking and a lane-keep assist function didn’t hurt its overall score back in 2015.
That’s one of the reasons ANCAP has imposed a seven-year timestamp on its scores. If a car is still on sale after that date, it will be deemed “unrated” rather than be allowed to continue to inherit the original result.
So, Mazda has until the end of this year to re-test MX-5, which has now been fitted with enough safety software to theoretically earn high marks, though it doesn’t have a centre airbag to stop clashing heads.
The autonomous emergency braking works in forward and reverse, along with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, traffic sign recognition and blind-spot monitoring.