MX-5 is a car for all seasons
A high-end MX-5 special edition, the Venture stands out with its light gun metal 17-inch alloy wheels, tan coloured heated leather seats and piano black detailing, a model that keeps a tried and tested formula fresh. Available with both 1.8 and 2.0-litre engines and in both soft-top and Roadster-Coupe body styles, it's bound to be popular.
The Venture special edition is offered with a choice of 124bhp 1.8-litre power or a 158bhp 2.0-litre unit. Neither makes the car the last word in searing pace but you can get to 60mph in 9.9s with the 1.8 and 7.6s with the 2.0-litre. Straight line speed was never what the MX-5 was about, instead majoring on tactility, usability, comparatively modest grip levels and a chassis that's helped generations of drivers get to grips with rear-wheel drive dynamics.
Despite not setting the world alight with their performance, both engines are plenty fast enough to extract some enjoyment from the MX-5's sweet chassis. There's a little more roll through corners than you might expect and neither of the engines play a particularly inspiring soundtrack but there's a huge amount of fun to be had behind the wheel.
The fundamentals of the MX-5 endure whatever edition you choose to buy. Like all MX-5 models, this revised third generation model was designed to be as light as possible while meeting global safety requirements. Next, the cockpit would comfortably accommodate two full stature occupants with no wasted space. The basic layout would continue with the original's front-engine rear-wheel drive configuration with the engine positioned ahead of the driver but behind the front axle for a 50:50 front to rear weight distribution. All four wheels would be attached by wishbone or multi-link suspension systems to maximize tyre performance, road grip and dynamic stability. There's an inherent rightness to this set of rules that retains the MX-5's relevance. The Mazda MX-5 is a vehicle that never seems to have a sell-by date. Even Mk1 cars still feel fantastic and these Venture special edition models offer a subtle twist on a very familiar format. The extras included in the Venture package are well judged and desirable without over-egging the mix.
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