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50k Review - The Polishing

Six years and 55,000 miles on the clock seems a fair time to do a review of the MX-5. I'll start with the conclusion, because I'm feeling subversive.

Even if it wasn't for my current situation, I'd still not be looking to swap out the MX-5. Even though it's not perfect, it's the right car for me. The ND MX-5 looks lovely, but is priced right out of my budget and wouldn't be a big enough jump in anything other than newness from the one I own for the outlay. Sure I still have a weakness for the original MX-5, but getting one as good as my brother's is pretty much impossible these days and it'd pain me to keep it outside if I did. Other options? I'd take a 987 Boxster 2.7 or 2.9 as I bloody loved my Cayman, but all the reasons I swapped it for the MX-5 still stand and ultimately, the MX-5 just works better. Leading me to realise that I just may as well keep it.

So, with a garage becoming temporarily available to me, I decided to give it some love. It's had a thorough wash and polish. I've de-gunked all the rubbers, given the engine bay a clean. Recently I slapped new brakes on the front to remove the judder and it's just been spot on since. So with no outstanding issues, I thought I'd give some parts of it a bit of a refresh. Starting with the wheels.

It's already on it's second set of the ones this car comes with that replaced a set that were utterly buggered (one was buckled, one didn't hold air and one was massively corroded). I'd managed to bag a new set from a Mazda dealer and frankly they're lasting about as well as expected. One of them is massively corroded and I suspect the others won't be far behind it. Some top cost cutting there by Mazda given up to this point all my MX-5s had come with Enkei wheels that I never had a problem with. This time I've bagged myself a set of Mk3 (mine's a 3.5) Enkei wheels from when Mazda weren't so cheap. They're the same size as the ones that came off, they're just made in Japan by someone I've actually heard of. They're re-furbs, but they're official wheels and I don't like fitting after-market shit to my car so it's still technically standard (though better). We'll see how long these last, but at least they're only five spoke rather than ten which will make cleaning them a lot less of a chore.

What else...? Some aspirational stuff I suppose. The seats are starting to look rough as the side bolster is starting to wear and there's a cigarette burn in it from when I bought it (I don't smoke). I've toyed with having them re-covered but there are not that many upholsterers around these days, it's just another dying art now the world has become disposable. Maybe I'll find someone, likely I'll just put up with it until a set of nicer seats show up on eBay. I'd love to get a set of Recaro's from a scrapped MX-5 that came with them, but I've never seen them come up for sale and I expect they'd want huge money for them if they did.

Outside of servicing I can list the problems on one hand really. An ABS sensor failed the day I picked it up (fixed by the garage), the O2 sensor failed causing it to overfuel until I got it sorted (hence getting 26mpg early on when it actually averages around 34), that smarted a little at 300UKP. The suspension failed and I managed to swap it with some good condition shocks and springs from an MX-5 2.0 Sport that someone had removed for after market suspension (500UKP fitted with proper four wheel alignment). I suppose lastly, a couple of sets of replacement wheels. The first set were around 400UKP from the dealer, the second set were 380UKP (I reckon I'll get 200UKP or so of that back from selling the ones I take off). I'm not counting the tyres as they're consumables. There was the leak of course, that was more of a pain to track down than anything else and cost buttons to actually fix. I've added a few scratches, scrapes and stone chips, but overall that's it. That's not that bad at all considering I got the car for an absolutely bargain price of 8500UKP with 10k on the clock (as I say, it was a little rough around the edges) and it's currently still worth something in the region of 6000UKP. The final revelation is that the cost of insurance has finally dropped to what I was paying for the Cayman, one of the few advantages of now being over fifty. At this rate it's threatening the Merc as on of the most financially sensible cars I've ever run.

That's about it, it continues to be my answer to everything. It's a bit of a boring blog in that respect, but it's nice when something just does what it's supposed to.

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