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Mazda MX-5 1.5 Sport Venture 2021 UK review


Peak power arrives at 7000rpm and is delivered linearly across the rev range, being responsive enough for town and city driving at low revs but coming alive when you rev it out. Modern hot hatchbacks have it licked for straight-line pace, but it’s still no slouch, and it’s more rewarding through the corners at any rate.

With no mechanical changes, the MX-5 remains an absolute delight to drive, thanks to its light weight and balanced handling. There’s plenty of grip when pressing on, and while you can force the rear end to step out, it takes more effort to do so than the more powerful 2.0-litre car and is very forgiving when you’re trying to collect it again.

Few MX-5 owners drive their cars every day, given the limited boot space and distracting roof-up wind noise, but those that do will appreciate the Sport Venture’s 16in alloy wheels. They ensure that there’s slightly more rubber at each corner to soften the ride, making for more relaxed progress than last year’s R-Sport, which rode on 17in rims. 

The bespoke leather interior helps the cabin feel airy and light when the roof is closed, while the single manual catch lets you throw it down in just a few seconds when the opportunity arises.

There’s little else here to hint that you’re driving a rarified MX-5, but the strong driver focus leaves little to complain about.

Smartphone integration comes as standard and the 7.0in infotainment screen is easily controlled with the rotary dial on the transmission tunnel.



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