The Car Loan Warehouse | Car Wars Wednesdays: Smart Roadster VS Mazda MX-5

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Car Wars Wednesdays: Smart Roadster VS Mazda MX-5

February 18, 2015

Each week we send two cars to war in the latest edition of Car Wars Wednesdays and review how they perform against each other. This week it’s between two cracking roadster cars. Let the battle commence as we see who’ll come out on top between the Smart Roadster and the Mazda MX-5.

Looking for your own racing roadster? Take a look at our car loans and see if we can help.


Both cars have a distinctive look that makes them stand out. The Mazda MX-5 design is all about perfect proportions and improving on the classic outline. Its sleek, low design, round chrome headlights and exposed front grille give it a beefier presence on the road, but the classy and spacious interior still makes it feel refined.

The Smart Roadster also has that classic roadster look, sitting low to the ground with smooth lines from bumper to rear – and the external design makes you just feel like the car is buzzing with energy and ready for a spin. Although it comfortably fits two adults, it sadly doesn’t leave much space for anything else. So for that reason, this round goes to the MX-5.


These two cars are perfect for anyone who wants the fun of a roadster without the price tag of a Porsche. When you consider the lightness of the Smart Roadster – a mere 800kg – combined with a turbo engine, this makes for a very punchy drive. But the piece de resistance for this car is the incredibly taut handling it offers for extra grip on the road – although its excellent fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions are also a welcome bonus.

The MX-5 is also a strong contender for performance and handling, with its reworked engine, switch traction control and supple suspension that means you can handle awkward corners with ease and experience a smoother drive all the way. However, the Mazda is nowhere near as fuel efficient – so the feisty Smart Roadster bags this one.


The Smart Roadster is fitted with a clever semi-auto gearbox – which, once you’ve got the hang of it, is a nifty little feature. Plus, its simplistic instrument dashboard is attractive and uncomplicated, so you can spend more time enjoying the drive and less time worrying about what the dials are doing!

The Mazda MX-5, on the other hand, has a host of high tech features – not least the symmetrical instrument panels and air vents that make you feel like you’re in the cock-pit of a plane. The newly designed, manually stowed away material roof tucks away behind the roll-over hoops – which offers extra boot space too.

For extra technology and innovation, the MX-5 definitely scoops it.


Price-wise, both cars are fantastic compared to other roadsters in the market. But the Smart Roadster wins hands down here, as you can buy them used from as little as £1,870 – whereas used Mazda MX-5s start at £3,890. For considerably more, you could also opt for the new Mazda MX-5 with prices from £18,495.

The verdict: for a good all-rounder that’s fun to drive, looks great and retains value, it has to be the Mazda MX-5.

If you want to find out what finance options are available to you, simply visit our dedicated Mazda MX-5 and Smart Roadster finance pages. Alternatively, you can get an instant quote today with our online car loan calculator.

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.