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Cars Mazda MX-5 2.0 Sport Tech 2020 UK review

02:25  31 march  2020
02:25  31 march  2020 Source:   autocar.co.uk

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Mazda has lightly refreshed the MX - 5 range for 2020 , with the aim of enhancing the usability of a car already billed as one of the more accessible sports On a warm day, with the roof down and liberal use of one’s right foot, it’s very much still in a class of its own. Mazda MX - 5 2 . 0 Skyactiv-G Sport Tech .

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What is it?

When Mazda introduced the fourth-generation MX-5 back in 2015, driving enthusiasts were quick to bemoan a lack of power from both available powertrains – a 1.5-litre unit pushing out 129bhp and a 2.0-litre range-topper that had a barely more exciting 158bhp on tap.Fortunately, in 2018 the situation was put right, and subtle mechanical tweaks across the board saw the power of the top-rung variant increased to a nice, usable 181bhp, bringing with it added bonuses that included improved acceleration and a more distinctive warble at low revs.Mazda has lightly refreshed the MX-5 range for 2020, with the aim of enhancing the usability of a car already billed as one of the more accessible sports cars on sale, and bolstering the range of specification packages available. A new GT Sport Tech trim heads up the range, resplendent with its gunmetal grey BBS alloys, stainless steel scuff plates and a red leather interior, while Mazda’s i-Eloop KERS technology and stop-start functionality feature for the first time across the MX-5 line-up. Like all 2.0-litre models, our test car came outfitted with Bilstein shock absorbers at each corner, a front strut brace and a limited-slip differential. In second-from-top Sport Tech trim, it has a comprehensive kit package that belies its relatively low £28,395 list price, with 17in alloy wheels, a reversing camera and adaptive LED headlights.

What is it like?

You really need to keep the Skyactiv engine on the boil to find out what it’s worth, but, at more sedate speeds, it’s as quiet and unprepossessing as your average family hatchback, and not much less economical - Mazda claims the 2.0-litre turbo four will crack 41mpg on the WLTP cycle. This is partly due to the car’s trademark lightweight construction, but also a result of its newfound eco-credentials.

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The limited-run MX - 5 R- Sport ’s cosmetic extras add some exclusivity, but while it looks great SEE MORE Best convertibles and cabriolets 2020 . This car is based on the 1.5-litre MX - 5 , which is lighter than the 2 . 0 -litre version and so pure to drive. Over time, Mazda has updated the MX - 5 ’s tech , so

Stop-start functionality is a surprisingly welcome addition to the MX-5 formula; no longer must you feel so guilty for driving a non-electrified sports car through congested town centres, although, as with the 3 hatchback, it can be rather too keen at times, cutting the motor just as you’re getting about to get back on the accelerator, and firing back up if you so much as nudge the clutch pedal while stationary.

But it’s the sheer duality of the powertrain that remains one of the MX-5’s greatest assets; in very few new cars is it possible to sit so comfortably and quietly in urban traffic, cocooned in well-bolstered leather seats and sipping frugally on petrol, before turning at will onto a sweeping B-road and seizing the opportunity to truly turn up the wick without attracting unwanted attention.

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Mazda MX - 5 has won countless awards and it continues to do so. In 2020 and beyond, the Mazda MX - 5 keeps getting better and better, exciting GT Sport Tech models feature perforated Burgundy Nappa leather seats that deliver an even sportier look and feel. The perforations also provide a

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As has always been the case, the MX-5 continues to provide one of the most forgiving and accessible rear-wheel drive experiences on the market. Dynamic response is on a par with much more costly alternatives, and the fact that the MX-5 isn’t a truly fast car (0-62mph is dispatched in a brisk, rather than rapid, 6.5 seconds) means you can pretty much take it to the limit wherever you fancy without falling foul of the law.

The flip side of that Bilstein suspension system's performance bias is a degree of crashiness on country lanes and over speed bumps. It’s not constantly intrusive, but harsher surfaces have the roof mechanism rattling over harsher surfaces; you soon find yourself steering round larger potholes to avoid any harsh jolts. The benefits of such firmness outweigh the cons, though; corners can be taken fast and flat, and there’s none of the low-speed wallowing that might be experienced with a cushier set-up.

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Given the R- Sport does little to mess with the MX - 5 ’s well-established recipe, and it commands only a small premium over the series-production car Autocar saying the 1.5 is their preferred engine seems at odds with most other reviews on mx 5 s where they say the 2 . 0 s power is preferred and needed.

And yet, because Mazda is Mazda , it likes to do things according to its own particular philosophy. So more or less the same 2 . 0 -litre atmospheric Skyactiv-G For reasons best known to Mazda , the CX- 5 continues with the older petrol lump, although it has gained an active cylinder shutdown system, which

As a compact sports car, the MX-5, even in its better-equipped forms, remains hampered by a distinct lack of storage space; a small centre console fails to quite compensate for the absence of a glove box, the boot is big enough for no more than one medium-sized suitcase, and there aren’t even any door pockets. It’s unfortunate, because the MX-5 really doesn’t feel as small as it should on motorways – where the only real bugbear is the constant wind roar – and otherwise could feasibly perform the same daily motoring tasks as any hot supermini.

a wheel of a car © Provided by Autocar

Should I buy one?

As a hugely capable sports car with more than a touch of civility, this latest iteration of Mazda’s sporting flagship is as much of an all-rounder as it always has been. However, the introduction of new equipment levels has also seen the removal of the non-sport suspended 2.0-litre car, potentially taking the edge off for those looking for more relaxed top-down motoring.

And when it comes to fun, it goes without saying that the MX-5 has any hot hatch beat – power deficit notwithstanding. On a warm day, with the roof down and liberal use of one’s right foot, it’s very much still in a class of its own.

Mazda MX-5 2.0 Skyactiv-G Sport Tech

Where Kent Price £29,185 On sale Now Engine 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder Power 181bhp at 7000rpm Torque 151lb ft at 4000rpm Gearbox Six-speed manual Kerb weight 1127kg Top speed 136mph 0-62mph 6.5sec Fuel economy 41mpg CO2 155g/km Rivals Toyota GT86, Audi TT

a car parked on the side of a road © Provided by Autocar

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