WATCH | Why this reader prefers his old 'happy' Mazda MX-5 over the latest hard-top version
Wheels24 reader Clyde Cyster is a man on a mission whenever he gets behind the wheel of his Mazda MX-5. Not because he’s in a hurry to get somewhere, but because he can’t get enough of driving what is, perhaps, the best driver’s car in the world - the MX-5.
Clyde bought his car almost two years back after his Subaru WRX was involved in a crash. And yes, the MX-5 is the complete opposite of what his 'Scooby' was, but buying something different turned out to be one of the best (automotive) decisions he’s ever made.
He says: "Ultimately, I just wanted a car that I can drive and enjoy. A driver’s car. And this (the MX-5) delivers on that front.”
Hearing Clyde speak about his Mazda is a very gratifying experience. The care and adoration in his voice highlight the embedded relationship he has with his car. And when he drives, one can note the understanding between man and machine.
A joy to drive
It is a rather strange occurrence to see Clyde in a roadster because one would think that he’d continue the ‘Scooby life’. So why the MX-5? He explains that he had a checklist of what he wanted in a car: four-wheel-drive, power, and a nice sound, i.e. a bit of soul. But the MX-5 wasn’t even close to it! So why, then?
"One popped up for really, really cheap, which turned out to be a scam," Clyde explains. "But what that taught me was that I would actually seriously really consider one! And from there I looked at them with a new perspective.”
The Mazda MX-5, since its inception, was never about being fast. Its essence was built around delivering affordable fun in spades, and for the last few decades, it’s been the case. Although Clyde’s MX-5 rolled off the showroom for the first time in 2004, he got his hands on it 2018. And for the past couple of years, he has had many adventurous times with his car.
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Clyde Cyster's 2004 Mazda MX-5. Image: Warren Wilson
And the new MX-5?
Clyde isn't too sold on the new MX-5. However, he says the MX-5 (Miata) has always had a 'smile' and was always happy; whereas the new model looks a bit too 'aggressive.' That, to him, is a bit of a letdown, but he can understand why Mazda did it. Still, Clyde commends Mazda for "going back to basics, making it lightweight again, and adding a bit of power."
The MX-5 RF is powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre engine that produces 118kW and 200Nm. It's not a lot of power, but it does create a space where one can extract maximum enjoyment from your drive.
To which Clyde responds: "I think, ultimately, it really depends on what you want to do with the car. And if you do want something that is sporty and fun, this delivers."
2020 Mazda MX-5 RF. Image: Warren Wilson