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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's the sitch ..... am currently in Korea and return to the UK next month, at which time intend to buy my first MX5. Budget max 4 grand. Rust is my biggest fear, everything else is secondary, and I appreciate that MX5s are a bit susceptible. I haven't approached my insurance company yet for a quote, but have a clean record and maximum no claims. Am uncertain of the desireability of a hardtop. Blistering performance would be a bonus, but not a necessity. Can anyone advise me concerning: a. Apart from modified models do MX5s all fall into the same insurance category? b. Are all models similarly prone to corrosion, and it's simply a case of caveat emptor? c. Which is the best model fuel consumption-wise? d. How high up the list would you put a hardtop?
Taking these factors into account, which model/year would be top of your list if you were in my shoes?
Many thanks.
 

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Hello, welcome.

To answer your questions as best I can...

A. They'll all be roughly the same insurance group. The specials and turbo models may be a few groups higher though.

B. Japanese imports are typically less prone to rust issues, mostly because they've been in this country and on its salty roads far less than an equivalent UK model, but any MX-5 could be clean as a whistle or a rusted shitbox dependant on the sort of life it has had. Caveat Emptor definitely applies.

C. They're all much of a muchness. The Mk2 has more power and is more aerodynamic than a Mk1, but it's slightly heavier. Don't expect more than 30MPG if you drive it how Mazda intended. They can be reasonable with some people reporting 35-40MPG on a motorway run but, generally, they're shit when you put the hammer down. It's a sports car, if you're after something economical then the MX-5 is certainly not an ideal choice.

D. Personal preference. For me, I bought one for a bit of winter comfort, used it for one year and didn't bother the following because it leaked more than my soft top. I'm selling it because I don't use it and I need the money to buy a commuter. If you're not concerned about the convertible aspect of an MX-5 then a hardtop is definitely a worthwhile purchase, they decrease road noise and generally make them a more comfortable place to be in, especially on a long motorway journey. There's some debate as to whether one increases the rigidity of the car.

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Many thanks for that, MF, most grateful. But can I press you a bit further? I figured that, on balance, newer would be better, rust-wise, so that sort of rules out a Mk1, doesn't it? Of the remainder, what would you go for with the 4 grand?
Thanks again.
 

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Age has no real relevance with MX-5s. Whilst newer ones will generally be less rusty, there are always exceptions and a Mk1 that's been looked after since the day it rolled out of the factory in '89 would probably be in a better condition than a '00 plate Mk2 that's not had an ounce of care taken with it. Again, Caveat Emptor. There are buyer's guides available from various sources, it would be wise to study them well before you go looking.

As for your budget, £4k will get you a lot of MX-5 and the world is your oyster. What you get depends on what you really want, but £4k will buy you;

'05 Mk2 with 56k
'04 Mk2 Euphonic with 54k
Incredibly low mileage '53 Mk2.5 Sport

Or, if standard isn't your bag, you could get a fairly shouty turbo or supercharged Mk1 or Mk2 for your budget. If you can stretch to £500 more that would see you with a '07 Mk3 1.8i with 63k and another £750 will see you with an '06 Mk3 2.0l Sport with 89k. Or you could buy a tidy stock Mk1 for £1500 and spend the rest of your budget throwing bits at it.

TL:DR; Your budget will get you pretty much any model or variant of MX-5, it all depends on what you want from it and what you can afford to insure/run.

What would I go for? Probably a supercharged Mk1, although I'd be tempted to stretch budget and get a Mk3 2.0l Sport.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Once again, many thanks. This is just the sort of guidance I was looking for. In a few weeks time I hope to be posting a photo or two of what I end up with. Fingers crossed!!
 

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Nearly two years ago I bought a 92mk1 import for £1100 there is no rust what so ever
And last summer I spent the bast part of a week cleaning the underneath and rust proofing it with Dintrol, so it should stay this way for the next 20 years! this isnt the first jap import I've had either My 1990 mr2 still looks like new underneath!!!

So that would be my first pice of advice: Buy the most recent Jap import you can find, or even better, if your in Korea now, cant you just nip over the sea buy one there and drive it back


Fuel economy is somewhere around 30mpg, I think though people that have fitted megasquirts ect can get 35mpg or more due to the more efficent ECU?? Insureance wise, with mine being twenty years old, I get classic insurance so I pay very little


And as for the hard top, When I was looking for my car, that was one of the things I was looking for, in the end though I couldnt find exacly what I wanted so I got one without. I can now see why a lot of people say dont buy the hard top as you'll never use it. The standard roof is easily good enough. mine is knackered and it still only leaks sometimes when there is perticularly heavy rain. So I wouldnt bother

As for which to buy, its just personal preference, just read as much as you can and dont rush into buying the first one you see
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Excellent advice GFD, thanks a lot. BTW, I certainly like the look of Scubadog86's white 1.6 Eunos that has just popped up in the Cars For Sale section. Well within my budget and looking great. Sadly I'm in Seoul and it's in South Wales!!! Bound to be gone by the time I get back to the UK. Ho hum!!!
Thanks again, though.
 

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Next month you could by a '55 reg MK3 1.8 for £4k in this country and rust would be the last thing on your mind.. I know many on here would say they don't have the 'Elan factor' (can't think of any other words to describe it), the MK3 still has an MX5 'feel' about it but is a much stiffer, strong and safe '21st century' car. The MK2's rust more than the MK1's! I've been there and done that, I wouldn't buy one.

Forget hardtops with a MK3, they don't leak and the heater is a furnace. No winter probs at all. Also, the MK3's are much more fuel efficient than the earlier cars, I get over 33mpg on super-unleaded and mine's a 2.0, it's totally standard and is much faster than the earlier 1.8's. The MK3 1.8's still go really well and an average of 35mpg from sensibly driven car is easily achievable. If you cruise on long trips you'll get nearer 40.

How to buy a MK3 = http://www.mx5nutz.c...howtopic=107711

45,000 mile 1.8 MK3 for 4K = http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2005-55-Mazda-MX-5-1-8-GREY-CONVERTIBLE-SOFT-TOP-45000-MILES-/251205032183?pt=Automobiles_UK&hash=item3a7cfc98f7

Or a nice silver one.. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2005-MAZDA-MX-5-SILVER-1-8-NEW-SHAPE-BARGAIN-/200874160744?pt=Automobiles_UK&hash=item2ec5087268

Check a 4k MK3 VERY carefully, especially the history.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for that, Robinm. It will always be a bit of a gamble, I know, but do you think there's any mileage in the proposition that the top end of available Mk2s is likely to be preferable in the long run to the bottom end of the available Mk3s?
 

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Thanks for that, Robinm. It will always be a bit of a gamble, I know, but do you think there's any mileage in the proposition that the top end of available Mk2s is likely to be preferable in the long run to the bottom end of the available Mk3s?
A lot of this would be down to preference, My MK2 was a UK '99 1.8 with a great spec (leather, air-con, ABS, LSD) and was a brilliant car to own for 4 years, I especially miss it's comfort over the MK3 (which is very hard to get comfortable in when you're my size) and it's accessible handling.. In the long run the MK3 wins hands down though, even compared to late 2.5's.

You have to remember that the MK1 was first launched in 1989 and was a brave '1980's parts bin special' for Mazda (and bloody fantastic as it turned out), the fact they hardly changed it at all in 10 years says a lot about how right it was in the first place.. the MK2 was a refinement of this design.. time takes it's toll.. a bit like the MGF, there's only so much you can do to it in 10 years of adding plastic panels and badges, it's a 1980's car underneath.

This for me is the single biggest clincher in this argument, the MK3 is a 'clean sheet of paper', start from scratch, 21st century design. Designed with computers and crashed many times before one sheet of metal was ever pressed.. this is immediately apparent when you drive one.

You have to figure out what you want from the car for yourself:

If it's a 'heart' type of decision then the MK2.5 is a great car, it really feels like a grown up MK1, it's very forgiving in the handling, especially on-track, it's quite simple in it's layout and technology and easy to work on, it's also very tough (except the metal the body is made from) it's all about if you really want one.

For the 'head' decision it has to be the MK3 every time, it's just so much more modern a car, the value will be held, it won't rust (at least not yet) it feels immensely stiff and strong compared to the earlier cars and, when aligned well, it's a great car to drive.

Personally I also feel the 'chunky/retro' look of the MK3 in the right colour (and drop it has to be said) will age very well and is light years ahead of the classic 'coke bottle' MK2 which, it has to be said, is looking a bit '90's' these days..

Horse for courses as always, my 'long term' sensible wallet told me to buy a special ed MK3


Read through some posts of the guys who have made the switch, they all say the same thing: 'Wow, what a car'
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Mega thanks again RobinM, I'm taking in all you say.
BTW, I don't know if comments of this nature are permitted on this site, but just in case they are, and from your position as someone who clearly knows what they're talking about, I wonder what your immediate assessment would be of the aforesaid 1.6 Eunos advertised by Scubadog86 in the Cars For Sale section? Clearly, I'm not looking for a 'buy it - don't buy it' assessment, just a dispassionate critique - if you have the time.
Thanks again.
 

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Can`t beat a nice rust free white Roadster


My 2 pence worth which may or may not help is.....When we could manage with just one car we had a 2003 MK2.5 Sport & loved everything about it, especially how it looked after fitting a twin exhaust, side skirts, spoiler & front air damn.

When the need for rear seats returned we changed to a 92 rust free import as a weekend car which set me back about £1300 & is just as much fun to fettle & drive.

If i had your budget now i would do the same again, a rust free garage queen MK2.5 Sport as although the MK3s are affordable now they just don`t float my boat.

Good luck with the hunt. What ever you go for you will love it!
 

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I'm not clear on it's primary use, weekend fun car or daily driver? If daily driver then go for a mk3, if for fun go for a good roadster. My 92 vspec was a steal at 500quid and left me with plenty of cash to lavish on it, loads of tinkering potential! It also does not have a spot of rust on or in it and the mohair roof does not leak in any rain. They are out there, see a few, don't rush into a purchase, when you see the right one it will be obvious.
 
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