1998 Mazda MX5 SE 1.8 from Australia and New Zealand
The perfect dancing partner
Air con needs a re-gas.
Right side soft-top latch won't lock down.
Leather seats are frayed/worn.
Centre lockable console hinge broken.
Gear whine (will have it checked at mechanic's).
This is my 3rd (and final) MX5 that I just bought, replacing my "daily drive" Ford Focus.
I have owned the 1993 and 2006 models prior, and had regretted selling them both times.
After owning an NA and NC series, this 1998 NB completes the MX5 range ownership, and what a cracking little car this middle child is.
The NB strikes a nice balance between the simple, pure and raw NA, and the much more refined and everyday livable NC.
I think the NB is the most fun to drive, it has the rawness of an old school sports car like the NA, but with a bit more chassis composure and more go. The curves of the body flow beautifully, and the symmetry is just perfect. It may not have the outright performance of the NC, but it makes it up with even better steering feel and feedback, and it feels a little lighter on its feet with even faster directional changes. That's what I love about the MX5, it's a pure old school sports car that can be used every day, without worrying if it's going to break down on you.
To truly appreciate this great machine, YOU need to drive it! It requires some effort, and rewards by doing everything you ask of it. Look where you want to go and it's there. It accelerates quickly only when you drive it like you mean it, so that means lots of revs because it LOVES it!
Find yourself a super tight road with lots of turns, and you will be in Driver's Nirvana with the perfect companion. Accelerating hard down the straight with the tacho at the pointy end, hard on the brakes with a little tap dance in the foot-well, slotting home the rifle bolt shifter as you turn the wheel, you and your MX5 will be swinging like two dancing champs around the bend, and burning up the dance floor.
A motoring journalist once said "You don't drive an MX5, you dance with it" and that sums up the MX5 perfectly.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th January, 2012