2016 Mazda MX-5 long term review p2

2016 Mazda MX 5 long term review p2 main

Forgive me, but what I’m about to say is a little superficial. It’s not easy to be seen in an MX-5.

Sure, the ND-series is the toughest looking generation so far with its sculpted front haunches, swoopy silhouette, and squinty eyes. But my last long-termer, a Chrysler 300 SRT, could awe a mobster.
So I’ve felt a little uneasy to fold away our car’s soft-top. Hairdresser taunts start swirling in my mind. And ceramic white isn’t the most brooding shade of colour.

mazda mx-5 top downOf course if your MX-5 ambitions suffer the same anxiety there are ways to avoid this. Firstly, you could buy an MX-5 from Fiat. Its new Abarth 124 Spider hunkers lower over 17-inch wheels, offers four-pipes at its rear, and hide red Brembos behind its front wheels.

You could also venture down the aftermarket path. There is already a plethora of parts available for the MX-5. Though we’re not sure how easy coilovers and a wide-body kit would be to live with, and how well they’d get along with warranty.

Mazda MX-5 17 nch rimsOr you can turn to Mazda, like we did, and tick the box for a ‘Kuroi’ pack. Offered across its model range it sprinkles on a slew of exterior parts. In the MX-5’s case, it pastes on a front and rear lip along with 17-inch Y-spoke alloys and a rear spoiler. All finished in black, warranty intact.

Without the risk of making our MX-5 look any blander, we signed up straight away.

Mazda MX-5 drivingHow many days were we without a ride? Hardly any. Our local Mazda dealer simply wheeled the car down the road to a Mulgrave panel shop. Here the bits are bolted on in one day, and then the car was ready for pick-up the following afternoon.

We know what you’re thinking. If it’s so easy, you could just order the parts yourself and have a crack in your garage. Well, there isn’t much point if you crunch the numbers.

After scrounging around online I found the bits for $3650, a fair bit cheaper than Mazda’s price of $4031 fitted, which amounts to a decent saving. But the boys at Police Road Panel Service revealed you’ll at least need a nut insert tool to actually fit the pack, which can run up to $200. And after dropping by to see them at work, I figured a couple hundred bucks is what you’ll heap in the swear jar anyway if you’re not a whizz on the tools.

That four grand might not be much on a BMW’s options list, however in our case it amounts to 10 per cent of a MX-5 GT’s price, or $43,851 all up. A hefty slice for some plastic parts and new wheels.
You could snag an Abarth 124 Spider at that cost, and score an extra 50Nm and Brembos in the process. But the Fiat’s nowhere near as pretty.

2016 Mazda MX-5 rear drivingThe Mazda’s new lips and skirts literally underline its sexier face and I’m not the only one who enjoys drinking in its new look. More and more eyes have been locking on to our MX-5 at traffic lights.

If there’s one thing missing, we wish Mazda Oz stole the Bilstein adjustable coilovers from the Club Edition sold over in America. A racier ride height would complete the look.

To our original point, it’s hard to say if the Kuroi pack will ward off hairdresser taunts for good. But it’s as close I’ve come to not caring.

MONTH TWO

Liked
It now has some visual cojones

Disliked
The person who reversed into it

Favourite moment
Heel-toeing. Pedals are made for it.

Fuel this month: 7.19L/100km
Average: 9.07L/100km
Distance this month: 296km
Total: 4184km

Read more about our Mazda MX-5 long-term review

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