"Mazda MX‐5". These few letters represent everything a compact sports car should be. There have been various versions over the years so buyers have a wide range to choose from. The 2005 model, for example, corners beautifully thanks to its rear‐wheel‐drive layout and extremely composed chassis. These strengths complement the precise manual transmission and fair ride (for the class). So, despite its age and modest power this two‐door plaything is fantastic fun. It is also available with a fabric or metal roof (both folding). Second‐hand prices reflect these credentials but keep it in reach of everyday motorists And that is one of the car's aims ‐ to offer sporty motoring to the masses and not just the rich. There is certainly no need to be a millionaire to own this little car. Furthermore, its predecessor shares many of its strengths and is even more affordable. But whichever version is on the shopping list choose carefully. Why? Because sports cars tend to be driven harder than most so look for signs of abuse. Aim to buy one that has been taken by a sensible driver to county fares ‐ rather than a boy racer's cast‐off.
But there is more to this brand than sporty little cars. The 2007 to 2012 Mazda6 Hatchback is a large family class vehicle with top‐notch handling. It is certainly far more engaging than most of its competitors. The class‐leading drive coexists with the robust build quality, fashionable styling, spacious cabin, refined engines and pleasing equipment specification. This family workhorse is a gem so it is surprising not to see more on the road. Alternatively, there is the estate version that has a cargo capacity to eclipse a significant number of rivals. The Mazda6's replacement has inherited its name and improves on its credentials ‐ but at this point the 2007 to 2012 version is the choice of bargain hunters. Why? Because early examples have lost most of their value but remain capable And there is more. The 2009 to 2013 Mazda3 Hatchback is a small family class vehicle that rivals the Ford Focus. In fact, it shares its underpinnings so the drive is ‐ once again ‐ very impressive. Gone are the days that rock‐solid handling was reserved for the select few. Other highlights include the 2007 Mazda2 (supermini class), the 2010 Mazda5 (seven seated people carrier), plus the 2012 Mazda CX‐5 (medium sized four‐wheel‐drive).