Deliveries of the new MX-5 will start in November. It looks a little like the old one but has fat wheel-arches, power bulges, twin tail-pipes, alloy boot-lid and a 1.8 or 2.0 litre engine.

What's good about it?

Rear wheel drive; just enough, but not too much power. The MX-5 has all the classic 1960s sports-car ingredients of simplicity, style and value, brilliantly combined with modern reliability. This is the roadster that started the 1990s drop-top revolution and it still dominates this market today. The MX-5 is not a compromise convertible, so driver and passenger do not have to suffer for going topless. Good quality trim, comfortable seats and a larger-than-average boot make the car very practical. The ride and refinement levels are good, plus the easy-to-erect hood all mean that owning an MX-5 is a doddle. It grips enthusiastically on corners and, best of all, there is precious little flexing of the bodywork. The power-assisted steering is perfectly balanced.

What's bad about it?

Some may find it a little bit common as worldwide about 800,000 have been sold, but really it is the perfect convertible.

How much?

If you buy before the end of this month you'll get £750 of accessories thrown in, or a hard top at £999, a £498 saving. If you would prefer bottom-line savings then drivethedeal.com can get a 1.8 Sport at £15,336, down from £18,000.

Fact file

Launched: 1990

Engine: 1.6 1.8

Performance: 1.8 top speed 127 mph 0-60mph 8.0 seconds

Economy: 33.2 mpg

NCAP: 4 star for 2002 model

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