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Mazda MX-5 Buying Guide: Body

Soft top caters for the purists but the Roadster Coupe has proved popular

By Alisdairsuttie / Saturday, December 13, 2014

Other than the styling changes introduced with the NC2 and NC3 revisions for the third generation MX-5, the only major change to the car was the introduction of the

with its two-piece folding hard-top. This was Mazda's answer to customers who wanted to use their MX-5s all-year round in countries with harsher weather and owners who use their car for longer trips.

RC roof can be raised and lowered in 12 seconds

RC roof can be raised and lowered in 12 seconds

The RC's roof is electrically operated, unlike the folding fabric roof of non-RC models. It takes 12 seconds for the plastic composite roof to go from fully raised to lowered, or vice versa, and it stows in the same space as the fabric roof to maintain the 150-litre boot capacity. With a weight penalty of only 40kg for the RC's roof, performance and economy are unaffected, while owners report the RC is much more refined for long drives.

For NCs with the fabric roof, it's worth treating the material regularly to keep it clean and supple to avoid it looking scruffy and becoming more prone to tears. A glass rear screen makes it more resistant to thieves and it has a heating element to help clear it quickly on cold mornings. It's worth warming the car up before dropping the roof on cold days to let the fabric soften and lessen any potential risk of damaging the roof as it goes down or up. Door windows can freeze to the hood rubbers in cold weather - a smear of silicone spray can help avoid this.

Damp carpets mean blocked drain holes

Damp carpets mean blocked drain holes

Blocked drain holes for the hood are an age-old MX-5 bugbear, so check for damp carpets under the seats and on the parcel shelf. It's easy to clear them with an airline.

There's no spare wheel in the MX-5 NC's boot and Mazda provided a tin of tyre sealant in its place. Some owners opt to drive with a space saver spare wheel in the boot, which robs much of the boot space. If you prefer the tyre sealant option, just make sure the sealant is still within its use-by date as Mazda's original can only had a useful life of two years.

Paint on the NC can be easy to chip or damage, with many owners reporting it is quite thin compared to other sports cars they have owned, so repair any stone chips as they appear Look for damage to the bumpers or front number plate plinth that denote careless parking by a previous owner.

PHer's view:
"The gutterless design and placement of the hard top means that if there is water on the roof, it will drip on you when you hop in or out of the car."
Mark McGregor

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