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Smart Roadster vs MX5

  • 25-02-2018 10:47pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,831 ✭✭✭ RobAMerc


    Hi all,

    Driving myself nuts here.
    I've been looking to buy a rust free Mx5 for a while with the view to doing a rolling resto.
    My budget means I am mostly looking at swiss cheese

    I've found a fairly nice Smart roadster that seems like a good candidate.

    I made the mistake of buying a CRX one time instead of an MX5.
    I righted that wrong a few years later and bought an 1.8is which was fantastic but I had to sell on later.

    I know that technically neither are classics by year, but to my mind both are proper young timer classics.

    So whats the opinion here? Smart vs MX5 ?


Comments

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,874 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Smart is really cool but they have serious issues. I think mainly electrical problems. I was tempted by one but after doing a bit of research, I steered clear.

    MX-5 are great to drive but in practical terms they can suffer from rust and they are knacker magnets and easy to steal which doesn't help. Not that much of a problem if you have a garage.

    As an alternative, would you consider a BMW Z3?

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,902 ✭✭✭ Bigus


    I've had all three , later Mx5 , smart roadster, Honda beat and a mr2 roadster replaced with a 350 z convertible.... jaz those were the days , but sure you could buy them all bar the beat for less then 10 k combined.

    Mr2 roadster with more power would be my choice , 350z supercharged if there were no tax and fuel issues.

    With the smart roadster you're stuck with complicated Mercedes electronics from and era when they didn't do great wiring, and tied to complicate decisions star diagnostics and complicated esp.

    However a Smart with a fireblade engine and re wired would be most interesting.........

    Some lad put a Saab turbo engine in a smart but this is the wrong way to go weight and sound wise .

    Anyway regarding your choice of 2 I'd buy the smart now and MX5 later , one is scarce the other's plentiful.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,831 ✭✭✭ RobAMerc


    I've no interest in an MR2 really, the 350z I appreciate but dont really care for.

    I think the Z3 is one of the best ever designs in a car, cracking looking old school long nose short tail that really demonstrates its heritage while looking like a proper evolution for the brand. But I drove 2 of them ( a 2.8 and 2.0 )and thought they were awful ! :(

    The smart seems to make the more sense, but I think I'll miss the full cabrio and rifle bolt gear change.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,955 ✭✭✭ blackbox


    A couple of years ago I was torn between an MX5 and an MR2 Roadster. I went for the MR2 on the grounds that I mightn't get another chance, but they are still making MX5s. Either is great to drive, but MR2 has worked out great for me.
    I haven't driven a Smart. They look cool but I think they are more of a novelty act.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,907 ✭✭✭✭ ELM327


    There's absolutely no comparison between a smart roadster and an MX5.
    The MX5 is somewhat fun and engaging to drive (especially the older models with no power steering), whereas in the smart roadster even changing a gear is a clunky delayed process.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 72 ✭✭✭ Constant Curiosity


    im not sure why honda beat is on the same list with mx5 or 350z for that matter, it's a kei car with 660 cc engine when others are 3x and even more in engine size, anyhow...

    mx5 is more forgiving than mr2 when driving, mx5 is more reliable that the z3, they rust? no ****, but after having over a dozen of them, i can assure you it is not hard to get a good solid one, really isn't, most people just talk **** about it but in reality it isn't as bad! it is the cheapest and most reliable classic i currently own, actually, i have 4 of them at the moment... go test drive one, oh sorry for leaving the smart roadster out of the comment, honestly that car deserves no mention either way ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 629 ✭✭✭ Tommyboy40


    I have a Smart, although a For 2 which has the same engine and gearbox. They are hilarious to drive and lots of fun and way cooler than an mx 5. They all burn a little oil after 60k miles and will eventually need a rebuild and they do need to be serviced by someone who knows them. They have 6 plugs and the second 3 are a pain to change. Parts are cheap. They all leak a bit, some more than others. don't take my word for it though
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViDKuAxUtQM


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,548 ✭✭✭ JohnBoy26


    im not sure why honda beat is on the same list with mx5 or 350z for that matter, it's a kei car with 660 cc engine when others are 3x and even more in engine size, anyhow...

    mx5 is more forgiving than mr2 when driving, mx5 is more reliable that the z3, they rust? no ****, but after having over a dozen of them, i can assure you it is not hard to get a good solid one, really isn't, most people just talk **** about it but in reality it isn't as bad! it is the cheapest and most reliable classic i currently own, actually, i have 4 of them at the moment... go test drive one, oh sorry for leaving the smart roadster out of the comment, honestly that car deserves no mention either way ;)

    It is actually difficult to get a rust free mx5, unless you import from japan. They might look good on the surface but they are rotboxes when it comes to the underside. Even the mk3 is very poor in this regard.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,831 ✭✭✭ RobAMerc


    After months of looking for a clean MX5 I very nearly bought a Smart but didnt as I got frustrated to by the box on the test drive !
    I ended up finding a very clean MX5 in the UK which I am very happy with.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,874 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    Well wear!

    Pics or GTFO though :pac:

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,831 ✭✭✭ RobAMerc


    your wish .....


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,535 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Dades


    RobAMerc wrote: »
    your wish .....
    Looks great.

    Is that a Lotus Elan front badge?


  • Registered Users Posts: 782 Cunning Alias


    Dades wrote: »
    Is that a Lotus Elan front badge?

    Eunos. Although it's a Lotus style badge (which seems a bit weird) 15172768173906_PM_ml.jpg

    Eunos were Japanese market fancy version of Mazdas that existed in the early 90s. Basically the same car with better kit.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,831 ✭✭✭ RobAMerc


    the Mx5 was supposed to be a modern day Elan - ( just look at the Mk 1 styling )
    last owner wanted to keep the pretense alive, hence the badge and minilites
    I'm getting rid of the minilites ( although they are brand new ) but I will keep the badge


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,535 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Dades


    I like the minilites. What are you putting on her?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,831 ✭✭✭ RobAMerc


    original Enkei alloys

    I'm trying to bring it to as original as possible with some exceptions....

    the badge, UK style rear plate and of course Big exhaust !

    ZjMyZjg5ZDcwNGZkOWViY2QyZjVmN2E3OTAxOThjYjD6dIBlU7FYVMcUArKx0WrUaHR0cDovL21lZGlhLmFkc2ltZy5jb20vY2E5Mjc1YzA1Njk5MzliZjVjYjQzNTlmNGNjNGY4ZDNiYWIyNzVlNzU2YzNjYzUyNTkxY2VkZDdjOGJiZDhlYS5qcGd8fHx8fHwyMTl4MjkyfGh0dHA6Ly93d3cuYWR2ZXJ0cy5pZS9zdGF0aWMvaS93YXRlcm1hcmsucG5nfHx8.jpg


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