Carrying on the tradition of its predecessors, the all-new Mazda MX-5 racked up another nine awards in 2016, including several in Europe. Launched in summer, the new edition of the roadster has now won more than 15 prizes – and counting.
What Car? magazine chose the fourth-generation MX-5 as best convertible overall in the UK, ahead of premium contenders like the Audi A3 and BMW 4 Series, as well as best convertible under £25,000. Mazda’s brand icon also made The Sunday Times “Top 100 Cars 2016” list, winning the two-seater roadster category against the likes of Jaguar, Ferrari and Porsche.
On the continent, the all-new MX-5 won the import convertible category of German magazine Auto, Motor & Sport’s “Best Cars 2016” reader’s choice awards. It also captured “Best Cabrio of the Year 2015” from Portuguese magazine Turbo, and was the top-ranked model of 2015 in the GEOM Index, which examined almost 800,000 entries from motor vehicle-focused websites, blogs and forums in Spain. In Australia, the MX-5 was named 2016 Wheels Car of the Year for the third time in the model’s history from a field of 25 mainly premium vehicles (including the Mazda CX-3). And it is also US News & World Report’s “Best Sports Car for the Money 2016” and TSN Motoring TV’s “Sports Car of the Year 2016” in Canada.
These latest honours come on the heels of two major accolades in the home country late last year – Japan Car of the Year 2015-16 and the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame’s 2015-2016 Car of the Year – as well as “Best Drop Top” at the Scottish Car of the Year 2015 contest and number one convertible at Drive magazine’s Car of the Year awards in Australia.
“In terms of fun per pound, this little roadster has the market cornered,” wrote What Car? Auto, Motor & Sport concurred: “Offering superb agility and a pure driving experience thanks to its modest dimensions and weight, the fourth-generation of the timeless MX-5 roadster shows the automobile royalty from Aston Martin, Ferrari and so on where it’s at.” The Sunday Times Driving supplement’s editorial team, which chose the Top 100 and category winners, were likewise inspired. “On the road the MX-5 changes direction like a featherweight boxer, revs freely and allows you to use all the power without troubling the traction control.” For Turbo, meanwhile, “It’s the true essence of the roadster concentrated in less than 4 metres.”
Car buyers have matched the enthusiasm shown by awards juries thus far. Sales in Europe almost quadrupled in the fourth quarter of 2015. Almost 1 million have sold in the 27 years following the launch of the original MX-5 in 1989. Since then, the legendary sports car has captured more than 240 awards around the world.
The all-new MX-5, which went on sale in Europe in fall, sports a more aggressive look than the previous three generations. It’s the first MX-5 with SKYACTIV Technology, including a choice of two ultra-efficient petrol engines (131PS and 160PS), and the first offered with a range of modern active safety and connectivity systems. At the same time, the MX-5 has remained true to its focus on lightweight simplicity and pure driving fun, dropping some 100kg relative to the third-generation model.