1990 Mazda MX5 Review from Australia and New Zealand

1990 Mazda MX5 1.6i

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.6i Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 kilometres
Previous carNissan Skyline


Ultra-reliable modern classic, pure sports handling


Fogged-up/scratched rear plastic window.

Zipper on rear window frayed.

General Comments:

Fantastic driving position, you feel really like you are in a solid little sports car. The ergonomics are top-notch everything fits like a glove, steering wheel is excellent.

The performance considering this is a non-turbo 1.6 litre engine is excellent, once a few revs are on board the car pulls away quite well.

Handling is just pure sportscar, faultless really, easy to control oversteer, understeer if you wish, steering can be controlled in the wet in corners by the throttle etc etc... don't take any of this as meaning it is 'zippy' in the sense of a small commuter/family car that turns well or anything. What I would emphasize is that for a sports driving enthusiast there are not many cars that handle this well, you can go seriously fast through twisty roads on dry summer days! Loads of grip.

Exhaust sounds excellent, classic note.

Gearbox very smooth and 'snick-snick' style between gears. Very tight and precise.

The only down point is luggage space and wind noise on long distance drives.

It's not a problem day to day, but for 8 hour interstate drives it is quite noisy. I suggest earplugs! They work well and you can still hear the radio fine.

For very keen drivers, newer light weight wheels and performance tyres, packaged with an aftermarket sports suspension system would eat up just about anything in twisty driving!

Not to mention turbo and supercharger kits for straight-line urge.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th January, 2003

Average review marks: 9.2 / 10, based on 1 review