Being passionate for this small Japanese sports car, you can easily imagine my happiness driving this Mazda MX-5 ND Cherry Edition for a review. We are in the context of Podere Il Colatoio, a beautiful Tuscan farmhouse whose owners are famous oil sellers in the Florentine area. A wonderful natural terrace on Florence as well as a reference point for one most famous Tuscany’s product.
I was very curious to have this car for a few days, for two principal reasons. The first one concerns aesthetics, this limited edition “Cherry Edition” comes in a new colour combination. The new “Cherry” colour for the soft top combined with the Machine Grey, already seen in the MX-5 RF test, MX-5 RF’s review makes it really appealing. This combination is pleasing to the eye and stands out from the other Mazda MX-5 ND Soft Tops that have it in black.
Grey and red come together giving a funny look to the car, it looks like it wants you understand what could happen if you enter into the driving seat. This leads to the second reason why I was very curious to test drive the Mazda MX-5 ND Cherry Edition. This limited edition is equipped exclusively with the 1.5L engine delivering 132HP with the always amazing 6 speed manual gearbox.
As an owner of a ND Soft Top Sport with the 2.0L, this comparison was really interesting for me. What changes with the 1.5L engine? Aesthetically, only the rims an tyres are different than the more powerful one. It goes from 17 ” to 16 ” with a largest tyre side. This choice not only affects the aesthetics of the car but also changes the dynamic behaviour of this Mazda MX-5 ND Cherry Edition. How does the MX-5 ND with 1.5L engine behave on the road? The fun is at the top level, just like it is with the 2.0L engine.
What it changes is the way you have fun. If with the 2.0L the driving is more challenging, in particular regarding the control of the car by deactivating the electronic aids, with the 1.5L is without any worries. With the most powerful engine of the Mazda MX-5 ND, the fun comes in trying to control oversteer, load transfers and appreciating the precision of the chassis, especially with the Sport version. With the 1.5L, instead, to quote David, a friend of mine and an expert on the MX-5, “you only think about driving”. The 1.5L engine allows you to dare more, even with the electronic controls turned off. With the smaller engine, Mazda MX-5 ND leaves you to think only about driving, without any fear of oversteering that could be difficult to control.
This also thanks to the tires that are equipped in the car of this test drive, the Yokohama ADVAN Sport V105. Driving you will feel the bigger side of the tyre the corners but at the same time, they will offer a truly high level of grip. This is in contrast to the Bridgestone Potenza that are equipped on the 2.0L engine, probably just to offer a more oriented to oversteer behaviour of the car. Speaking about the engine, the lower power and also the maximum torque located at the highest revs bring the driver to always use low gears.
This “playful” behaviour of the engine, which wants to be pushed up to high revs, makes the driving experience really satisfying. This is because, as mentioned, the grip and ease of driving remain unchanged, giving a feeling of speed and fun really special. Finally, fuel consumption is also surprising. Although the engine wants to be pushed to the limit, reaching 20 km/l is not complicated at all. Amazing! Everything else remains unchanged compared to the 2.0L version of which we have already widely spoken. The wonderful movement of the manual soft top will make you forget about the electric counterparts for ease of opening and closing.
For the interiors, everything remains similar to the Exceed version except for the plate of the limited edition “Cherry Edition”. The Recaro seats of my 2.0L Sport definitely are missing, they are more effective in the sporty driving. On balance this Mazda MX-5 ND Cherry Edition is a car that will never disappoint you. In my opinion, it’s perfect for those who want to approach the rear-wheel drive for the first time or for those who want a fun but not demanding to control car. Aesthetically pleasing, in its own way different from the other MX-5 ND in circulation, and equipped with a motor born to entertain, it can only make you smile corner after corner.
Article: Edoardo Mascalchi
Pictures: Edoardo Mascalchi, Francesco Giovannini