Mazda's ability to defy convention and manufacture uniquely appealing cars was given another glowing endorsement this week by experts at the UK's best-selling weekly automotive magazine.
Judges for the annual Auto Express New Car Awards selected the iconic Mazda MX-5 as 'Best Roadster' - for the sixth consecutive year.
Praising the soft-top Mazda MX-5 models continuous success, Auto Express acting editor, Graham Hope, commented: "A short blast behind the wheel is all you'll need to understand why the latest MX-5 is such as smash hit. For smiles-per-mile at an affordable price, nothing else comes close. Lively performance and beautifully balanced, confidence-inspiring handling combine with ageless looks and a simple, well built cabin - all the things which buyers demand in a roadster."
More than two decades after the original first hit the road, the Japanese built Mazda convertible is still delivering wind-in-the-hair thrills to buyers on a modest budget - from just £16,990^ (OTR). The world's best selling roadster, the MX-5 beat off seven short-listed rivals to claim its sixth Auto Express New Car Award. The short-list of convertibles included the Audi TT, BMW Z4, Lotus Elise, Mercedes SLK, Nissan 370, Porsche Boxster and Renault Wind.
"Mazda is proud to have Auto Express confirm that our products are among the very best on the market," comments Peter Allibon, Sales Director, Mazda UK. "With its 2011 MX-5 range, Mazda ensures that the soft-top continues to offer the purest, fun-to-drive thrills, while the MX-5 Roadster Coupe delivers an even more premium experience together with that same driving excitement.
"Today, the Mazda MX-5 remains unrivalled as a rewarding sportscar that can also be used all year round. Together with its low running costs, enviable reliability and our current range of 'customer savings' off the list price, the MX-5 remains an extremely competitive proposition, priced from just £16,990^ or £19,135^ for a 2-litre Sport Tech model," adds Allibon.
This summer, the MX-5 line-up is boosted by the arrival of a very different kind of Limited Edition model - the 'Mazda MX-5 Sport Black' inspired by the Japanese brand's strategy - Defy Convention. This newcomer introduces a darker, edgy element to Mazda's traditional styling with striking similarities to the Mazda MX-5 GT race car currently competing in the Britcar Dunlop Production GTN Championship. Only 500 examples of the 160ps, 2.0-litre, six-speed manual transmission Sport Black will be produced, each costing £22,995 (OTR).
The new MX-5 Sport Black features an eye-catching Brilliant Black powered retractable hard-top, dark gun metal 17-inch alloy wheels, black door mirror mountings, Brilliant Black style bar trims and a choice of three special exterior colours - Spirited Green, Crystal White and Velocity Red - free of charge.
For a limited period, Mazda's range of 'customer-savings' means that prices for the Mazda MX-5 soft-top range start from £16,990^ (on-the-road) and from £18,990^ for the Roadster Coupe.
Special finance offers until 30 September 2011
Mazda dealers are currently offering MX-5 buyers three finance packages: 1. 0% APR* finance on Mazda Conditional Sale (with 50% minimum deposit) up to 36 months - (excludes Kendo). 2. 3.9% APR** finance on Personal Contract Purchase (no minimum deposit) over 24 months - (excludes Kendo). 3. 6.9% APR** finance on Mazda Conditional Sale and Personal Contract Purchase (no minimum deposit) up to 36 months available on all models.
For MX-5 models purchased on Mazda Personal Contract Purchase, Mazda is offering a 'deposit contribution' of £1,250 - (excluding Kendo). Mazda is also offering customer-savings of up to £2,000 off the retail list price, depending on the model (excluding Kendo and Sport Black). All offers are available for retail customers only for cars registered before 30 September 2011.
^including customer saving.