Still worth taking for a spin

Second-hand MX-5s have kept their value

Since the launch of the Mazda MX-5 in 1990, more than 430,000 have been sold world-wide.

The arrival of a brand-new model does not necessarily devalue the old one. UK sales have run at record levels for two years, and such is the demand for the MX-5 that second-hand imports have flooded in from Japan.

A few years back, if you fancied a spot of sporting open-air motoring there wasn't much choice. Mazda's MX-5, which combined the looks of a Sixties Lotus with the reliability of their dull 323, inspired a host of imitators.

Provided the car has been looked after, and has a comprehensive main agent service history, there is little cause for concern. The only confusion occurs with special editions with questionable cosmetic additions.

Checking a used MX-5 is easy. Full service history, no bodywork damage and an intact hood are all good signs. However, a complication has been the increasing numbers of Eunos Roadsters - the Japanese name for the MX-5. Bought cheaply in Japan for pounds 2,000 to pounds 5,000, they seem like good value, fitted with CD player, air-conditioning and sometimes even an automatic gearbox.

However, the rust protection is of a lower standard than European cars, some parts are going to be harder to get, and the service history may be patchy. Certainly they require some work to meet MOT regulations.

One thing the MX-5 does not do is depreciate; since the early Nineties it has been hard to buy any model below pounds 8,000. Pinewood Mazda had two 48,000-mile 1.6 models. The 1990 car cost pounds 10,495, the 1991 pounds 1,000 more. Brand new, they cost only pounds 14,000. No wonder Japanese imports are popular.

As for classified ads, the dealers don't always advertise the model as a Eunos Roadster, which legally they should. Longbridge in Croydon, with cars starting at pounds 7,995, settles on Mazda Roadster. Autotek Imports had a 1993 30,000-mile 1.6 with air-conditioning, at pounds 8,950, whereas a UK specification example would cost at least pounds 12,000.

To find a cheaper non-Eunos, try a private classified ad. I discovered that pounds 7,500 would buy me a slightly scruffy 1990 model with 60,000 miles.

For used MX-5s, you can pay a lot of money and face a bewildering choice. But one thing is certain: the original MX-5 is a thoroughly modern classic.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
science
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Horticulture Lecturer / Tutor / Assessor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: As a result of our successf...

Retail Lecturer / Assessor / Tutor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education are succ...

Business Studies Tutor / Assessor / Lecturer - Tollerton

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education are succ...

Year 1 Teacher

£12 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education require a year ...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried