As the Mazda MX-5 celebrates its 25th year in production globally, a 2009 example of the iconic sports car was selected by judges as winner of the ‘Fun Car’ category at the 2014 What Car? Used Car of the Year awards held at the Hurlingham Club in London today (Tuesday 16 September).
The Fun Car category judging criteria this year included ‘performance and handling, and above all, the ability of the car to make the driver smile, when closing the deal on the forecourt, filling it at the pumps or powering down a challenging B-road’. The judging panel comprised three What Car? staff members and the Group Development Director of the event’s headline sponsor Warranty Direct, David Gerrans. Each judge road tested a 2009 Mazda MX-5 2.0-litre Sport, together with other short-listed hot hatches and roadsters, before making their decision.
Announcing the Mazda MX-5 as the ‘Fun Car’ award winner, What Car? editor Jim Holder commented: “Mazda’s MX-5 is quite simply fun-to-drive and its handling is exceptional. It offers great fun for very little money. It still delivers fantastic entertainment and there are lots of good examples on the used market. It has stood the test of time well and as prices come down, it’s great value and just seems to get better and better.”
Mazda has sold more than 114,000 rear-wheel drive MX-5 sports cars in the UK since the model made its debut in 1990. So good is the reliability and durability of the world’s best-selling two-seater sports car that Mazda estimates more than 96 per cent of those cars are still in regular use on Britain’s roads.
Accepting the 2014 Fun Car award on behalf of Mazda UK, Sales Director, Peter Allibon, said: “Fun-to-drive characteristics are at the very heart of our legendary and immensely popular Mazda MX-5 sports car. That popularity is just as strong today as it was more than two decades ago. The MX-5 is testimony to Mazda’s ability to defy convention and deliver uniquely appealing cars. I’m delighted to collect the Fun Car crown for MX-5 at the What Car? Used Car of the Year awards.”
The MK III Mazda MX-5 is also available as a new car with a choice of seven models in the 2014 line-up, priced from £18,495 to £23,695 on-the-road (OTR). Customers can choose from soft-top convertibles or power-retractable hard-tops, with 126ps 1.8-litre or 160ps 2.0-litre engines*, on sale across the UK at 136 Mazda dealers nationwide.
Warranty Direct’s David Gerrans, observed: “Our most reliable car for the last 15 years since we’ve been running our Reliability Index has been the Mazda MX-5. This sports car continually demonstrates remarkable reliability and it’s easy to see why the MX-5 is hugely popular. It is without doubt this year’s worthy Fun Car winner.”
*2.0-litre (160ps) engine only available on Roadster Coupe models