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End Of Term Report : Vx220 Na To Mazda Mx5 Nd Rf 30Th Anniversary Edit

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#1 kmidderigh


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Posted 23 June 2022 - 04:45 PM

Earlier this year after 12 years of VX220 NA ownership I decided it was time for a change.
I loved my time with the VX but the main reasons I decided to change it were I wanted something a little more comfortable and practical that I could use every day and that my wife would be happy to go away in at the weekends - and the responsibility of keeping on top of the body work was beginning to weigh on my mind (VX was kept outside).

I wasn't even sure I wanted another convertible and had always thought I'd go down the Evora route if i ever sold the VX - but that would mean more GRP and I needed something different.

After a lot of research and reading reviews only one thing really caught me eye : the latest Mazda MX5 with folding hardtop in racing orange (Mazda MX5 ND RF 30th Anniversary Edition to give it its full title).

I must admit the thought of buying an MX5 did worry me - what was i doing ? :-) but the reviews from so many people cant be wrong so I took the plunge and went for a test driver at my local dealer (on a more basic model than the 30 AE).
It was a damp day, couldn't get comfortable in the seat and the gearbox was showing signs of misuse after only 6000 miles - I was under whelmed (apparently the seat complaint is common with the optional full leather seat this test car was fitted with).

I left it a couple of months after that before having one last go - this time in the exact model I was after - and I'm so glad i did as the second car (which i bought) felt so much better and was a joy to drive.

The MX5 has loads of character, is fun to drive, comfortable and with the folding hardtop (up or down in 14 seconds) I've already covered more open top miles in one weekend than I ever managed in the VX. But the real gem is the engine : 2 litre, 181 bhp and pulls hard up to 7500rpm (I'd always thought I'd need more power and had budgeted for taking it up to 220-230 bhp which is easily achievable but having lived with it for a few months i really don't think I need any more power)

It wasn't all good news though as some areas needed adjustment :
1) was way to quiet - easily fixed by MX5 specialist BBR GTI exhaust centre and rear super sport back box
2) handling when you pushed on hard especially in corners with quick change of direction (i.e. left then right) left a lot to be desired. There's a lot of options out there to fix this but as I wanted to keep the comfort element settled for BBR GTI custom springs and some Eibach uprated ARB's which has fixed this handling issue without making it to hardcore.

So in summary i'm really happy with the outcome of my decision and hope this helps anyone else pondering the age old question : should I stay or should I go ?

Happy VXing and enjoy the good weather!

Anyone wishing to take a peak into the dark side there's pics of my new car here :  https://photos.app.g...LjYBLaEnRWNEVv5


#2 hairy



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Posted 23 June 2022 - 07:38 PM

Thanks for the feedback! Still not quite ready to give up the VX but that looks quite good.

#3 Rosssco


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Posted 24 June 2022 - 12:04 PM

Yeah good feedback.


I agree, many a time have I wondered if the VX is worth highs vs. lows moments, and whether I'd be better off in something that more robust, reliable, useable on a daily and occasional weekend basis.GF hates the VX which can be seen as a plus or minus :)


Had many a Toyota MR2 before, and while they had their age related issues, they were essentially usable for everything (especially the larger Mk2 version) other than moving lots of people or stuff.. Never going to be as good to drive as my VX220, but then I never really needed to take the car apart for every MoT to fix something that had fallen off, produced a dash light, or was just plain unsolvable!


Love small Mid-engined cars though, and short of a Porsche (987 generation), not sure what else is out there circa £15-20k..


#4 PaulCP


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Posted 24 June 2022 - 08:39 PM

My wife has had a RF for the past 3 years and tbh, whilst it is no VX or Lotus, it is very capable and, as you say, a little more comfy than the VX.


I’ve driven it quite a bit and now my pet hates with it have been sorted, being:

1. Lower Eibach springs fitted with first 3 months of ownership

2. Module for the roof operation upgraded to a single touch rather than sitting there with your finger on the switch for 14 seconds. It can also now be operated a low speeds up to 25-30mph which is handy when in traffic etc

3. The, in my opinion, awful thin steering wheel sorted by Royal Steering Wheels to one that now feels good in your hands.

4. Geo adjusted to give a little more feel and feedback through the steering wheel.


Cant sort the luggage/ storage space though, it is still worse than a VX🙄


#5 Gzwg



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Posted 01 July 2022 - 08:11 AM

I love the look of the RF, but can't see it replacing my Speedster

#6 C8RKH


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Posted 03 July 2022 - 12:50 PM

Personally, I hate the look of the RF - the rear bit just looks naff.  But, each to their own and hope you enjoy it for many years.

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