BEHIND THE WHEEL: Mazda MX-5 ND

TUESDAY MARCH 27, 2017

PRO

Generous kit

Ride and handling

Frugal to run

CON

Automatic transmission

Sound insulation

SPECIFICATION

2-litre inline-4

158hp 200Nm

6-speed automatic

0-100 km/h: 7.3s

Top speed: 214 km/h

RM 220,000

The latest instalment to the MX-5 is the fourth generation ND which to me looks worse than the curvaceous original and bulbous NC. Plus it is not a popular choice here because people do not naturally go for a coupe when it comes to buying a car even if one does, the output figures better be interesting. What's more our home-grown Miata club has no more than twenty strong followers further supports this deduction.

mx5 front
mx5 nd front
mx5 nd back

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Dive into YouTube and it shouldn't take long before running into individuals expressing their love for MX-5s which were moving. My adoration for this thing didn't hit immediately but it sure did grow a lot on me. Then again, a seven years car vending at 130 thousand got me asking, why not get a new one instead? The fourth generation car is no less than amazing where the engineers could match the weight of the original having modern creature comforts added to it. Just go through its specification sheet because the ND is seriously convincing at being the only car in garage.

mx5 2017 interior

It didn't look as small as Americans described the MX5 to be, once inside, it feels like an even larger car due to angular fenders. A half depressed throttle will be rewarded with suggestive wheel spin. While the engine, it sounds like.. well, a four cylinder when amplified with a hint of exhaust note making it delightful. Steering is extremely light even by electric standards and surprisingly dart-y which got me wondering if was deliberately done to give a 'sportier' feel. A dead center too could be noticed if one is accustomed to good ole hydraulic steering.

Moving on to ride quality, this is very much in the MX-5's favour and is likely its strongest suite. Be it small 17 inch wheels or roly poly springs, it rides nearly as well as Porsches’ with adaptive dampers. That amenity is unfortunately compromised by its single layer canvas roof as it get fairly unbearable covering grand touring distances which makes the Retractable Fastback version more appealing in this aspect.

mx5 side
mx5 nd interior
bose mx5 nd

The bespoke Bose speakers for the MX-5 is a real wonder as its capability in bass production is incredible. I am personally not a bass head so dialling it down two to three counts and be amazed its vast production of tonal range in such a confined space. The biggest drawback would have to be the only choice of transmission, an automatic because it is lazy, somewhat uneager to respond. Dial it into sport, things get woken up but isn't driving an MX-5 about rifle bolt gear shifts? The transmission alone has diluted the whole MX-5 experience which makes the ND an ordinary car with two fewer doors.

mx5 drl
mx5 drl
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