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2009 Mazda MX-5 GS PRHT Review

I know you’d like to have a weekend car. The idea of having another vehicle sitting in the garage, whose sole mission is to provide smiles and happy times during those two precious weekly days off probably ranks high on your wish list. It does on mine.

The MX-5 goes exactly where you point it, it's predictable and extremely nimble.

But if you’re like me, you don’t have a dime to spend on a weekend car, when you're witnessing huge amounts of dough being deleted from your bank account each month; after all, the mortgage is more important, and so is the must-be-reliable family car. I’m way behind a lot of you on the weekend car project—I don’t even have a garage.

But if you have the opportunity to do so, what are your plans? Feel like buying a kit car and build it yourself in your spare time? Or buying a classic car that needs a little TLC or restoration? Nah. Too much effort. We’re allergic to effort. Get a new sports car. But which one? The Mazda MX-5 could be a good choice.

Yes, 167 horses are enough

I’ll say it again, you don’t need a V8 engine in a sports car. The MX-5’s 2.0-litre inline-4 produces 167 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque, and that’s enough beans to get its 2,606-lb (1,182-kg) carcass moving to 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 15.5 seconds at 147 km/h. Not breathtaking, but amusing nonetheless.

Base GX models get a 5-speed manual, but GS and GT versions get 6-speeds. A 6-speed automatic (with paddle shifters on GS/GT) is optional on all models.

Obviously, a small-displacement engine means low fuel consumption numbers. Our MX-5 GS is delivering an average of 8.7 L/100 km, although keep in mind that it requires premium unleaded. It would use up even less fuel if the engine wouldn't be spinning at 3,000 rpm at a steady 100 km/h. On the highway, the car is a little buzzy inside, although the hard top helps to insulate some road noise.

The MX-5 gains instant weekend car status when you hit the countryside blacktop. The car displays eye-popping handling that is easy to master, even if you're not a pro race car driver. The MX-5 goes exactly where you point it, it's predictable and extremely nimble. Fun to drive is an understatement.

The MX-5’s 2.0-litre inline-4 produces 167 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque.