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Reader Test: Mazda MX-5

2007-06-26 07:47

Stephanus Nel

There's life before my MX5. And there's life after my MX5. I've never been a fan of Mazda. In fact, I've always found their cars quite tacky. Then I bought an MX5...

I'm still not a Mazda fan, but I'm definitely an MX5 fan. I see the MX5 as the Mazda family member who got it all - looks, intelligence, ambition, strength, and fun, fun and more fun.

Happiness is...

I've had my MX5 for six months and I can't get over the way this car makes me feel. Being in the advertising industry (no, I don't work for Mazda's ad agency) I endure crap from clients all the time. I also have a short fuse so I often find myself feeling frustrated, angry, even depressed.

But when I walk to my MX5 at the end of a long day, I feel better. When I climb in I'm relieved. When I start the engine, I feel like smiling. When I drive off, I do.

At R241 000, my MX5 is much cheaper than most other roadsters yet it kicks ass. It's a beautiful car, and old and young (I'm talking 3 years old), love to stare at it. The MX5 even looks good on the pictures on traffic fines - thanks to a decent 2.0-litre engine.

Not the smoothest drive

The brakes are responsive and it handles like a true sportscar. It's not the smoothest drive - when you drive over a bump, you'll know it. But that's exactly what I love about it - you feel the road, it becomes part of the car.

Another thing I love is the gearbox with a 6th gear for when I need to buy my milk in Pretoria - I live in Jo'burg.

My dad had a 1969 MGB and I remember it took forever to remove the top or put it back up. The wonderful thing about the MX5 is the time it takes to turn the car into eye candy.

One latch is all it takes to put the top down. You also don?t have to get out to do it. In fact, I've removed the roof at a stop street in under 3 seconds and put back up at the next robot after realising the sun was a bit too bright.

In love with the squeaks!

In the beginning, I used to get irritated by the squeaks and rattles, but I've fallen in love with that too. Besides, the Bose sound system is quick to fade out any noise.

The MX5 is not a great getaway car due to the lack of storage space and if you're planning on killing your mother-in-law don't use the MX5 to transport the body to the Vaal dam. The boot is small. But hey, who wants a big boot? I don't have a family, only cats, and I can easily place a cat box on the passenger seat when they have to go to the vet or ping pong lessons.

The MX5 is an experience - not perfect, but real and completely satisfying. My bank manager will tell you I bought an MX5, but I didn't. The truth is I've fallen in love with one. Completely and all absorbingly. You see, I've done two great things in my life. The first was to give up smoking. The second was buying my red MX5.

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