Mazda MX-5 named Best Sports Car for value at the 2022 What Car? Awards

The Mazda MX-5 has been named ‘Best Sports Car for Value’ in the 2022 What Car? Car of the Year Awards. With this latest recognition from Britain’s leading car review title, the current fourth-generation of Mazda’s iconic sports car has won an award from What Car? every year since its debut in 2015.

Recognising the 132ps 1.5-litre Skyactiv-G engine as their sweet spot of sports car value, What Car? Editor Steve Huntingford said: “you might think you need a big bank balance to enjoy sports car thrills, but the MX-5 proves that’s not the case. Mazda has resisted the temptation to follow rivals and fit a performance-enhancing turbo, knowing that its 1.5-litre engine has more than enough power to hustle such a light car up to speed. What’s more, the MX-5’s featherweight bulk pays dividends in the handling department, making it feel perfectly suited to British B-roads.”

Since its debut at the 1989 Chicago Motor Show, across all four-generations the Mazda MX-5 has perfectly embodied Mazda’s famous Jinba Ittai ‘car-and-driver as one’ ethos, which combined with its style, fun factor and affordability has seen it become world’s bestselling two-seater sports car. As popular as ever, the Mazda MX-5 continues to be the performance halo of the Mazda range and the 10-model 2022 Mazda MX-5 range features four Convertible models with six Retractable Fastback RFs.

Available to order now ready for delivery from February 2022, the 132ps 1.5-litre Convertible is offered in SE-L and Sport trim, while the 184ps 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G engine is matched to Sport Tech and the range-topping GT Sport Tech trim. As with the Convertible, SE-L and Sport trim RF’s are powered by the 1.5-litre engine, while Sport Tech and GT Sport Tech come with the more powerful 2.0-litre engine. In addition, 2.0-litre RFs in both trim levels come with the option to choose an automatic gearbox.

Platinum Quartz Metallic introduced on 2022 Mazda MX-5

Updates for the 2022 Mazda MX-5 include the addition the new Platinum Quartz Metallic paint colour for the first time, while all models are now fitted with Kinematic Posture Control (KPC). Mazda’s KPC system is designed to increase stability during cornering without impacting the purity of the MX-5’s handling and driver engagement. The KPC system applies a very small amount of brake force to the inner/unloaded rear wheel during cornering, the resulting brake force pulls the body down, suppressing body roll to provide more reassuring cornering so subtly that the MX-5’s engaging handling remains unpolluted. 

132ps 1.5-litre Skyactiv-G

As you’d expect for a car so famed for its dynamic abilities, outside of the addition of KPC, the 2022 Mazda MX-5 retains the same award-winning mechanical set up as before. Introduced in September 2018, the updated 184ps version of the 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G engine features lighter pistons and con-rod, plus upgraded camshafts, exhaust valves, fuel injectors, throttle valve and air intake, all of which increase performance over the 160ps version that featured in the fourth-generation MX-5 at launch in 2015. As a result, the engine has a redline of 7,500rpm. In addition with higher fuel pressure and more efficient combustion than the 160ps version, there’s an increase in torque across the rev range, while peak torque rises by 5Nm.

Compared to the 160ps version, the Convertible’s 0-62mph performance improved by 0.8 of a second to 6.5seconds, while manual and automatic RF models are 0.6 and 0.5 seconds faster. In addition, the tuned main silencer delivers a more powerful engine note. As before 2.0-litre cars with the manual gearbox have a front strut brace, limited slip differential and Bilstein dampers.

Helped by the MX-5’s lightness, performance doesn’t come at the cost of efficiency, with Mazda’s i-ELOOP and i-stop kinetic recovery and stop-start technology standard across both engines, the MX-5 is more economical than ever. As you would expect of a car that was named World Car Design of the Year on its debut in 2015, the styling of the 2022 MX-5 has been left alone.

Commenting on the yet another award win for the Mazda MX-5, Jeremy Thomson, Managing Director Mazda UK said: “What a fantastic result for the Mazda MX-5 to continue its unbroken streak of winning awards from What Car? The MX-5 is a sports car that has resonated with enthusiastic British drivers ever since its debut and remains true to the original principle of being an affordable, lightweight and above all fun-to-drive roadster.”

Adding, “with the 2022 Mazda MX-5 we continue to offer one of the most exciting and satisfying to drive cars money can buy. Our engineers have created a sports car that incorporates ground-breaking Skyactiv technology, modern safety and superb efficiency with the driver focused enjoyment for which the MX-5 is loved. The MX-5 is Mazda’s brand icon and it embodies all that is great about our products. It’s fun to drive character has strengthened the bond between Mazda and its customers for over 30 years and the 2022 model continues this unswerving dedication to delivering an affordable, engaging, world-class sports car.”