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Old 21st December 2016, 19:46   #1
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Default Experience of owning a Mazda MX-5 ND in the Netherlands

Greetings everyone!

I would like to share my experience as an Indian owning an MX5 ND (MY2016) in the Netherlands.

Costs :
I would like to qualitatively put forward this and not in terms of numbers

NL is a country where one pays
  • Road tax based on unladen weight,
  • Import tax (most cars are manufactured outside NL) based on CO2 emissions
  • Insurance based on how safe you are driver (Insurance premium reduces with the increasing number of accident free years driving with a valid Dutch license).

This gives an impression why there are very small cars, EVs and hybrids are popular in the Netherlands. This pretty much sums up the Dutch automotive market, straight-forward and quite unforgiving.

MX-5 ND :
There are a lot of reviews online and specifications explaining the car. I would like to steer clear of them and tell only my viewpoint here. Also, I am not comparing it with the previous generations (NA,NB & NC), as I have not extensively driven them. To give you a brief impression on my taste and experience with modern cars, that I have been driving the past whole year, you can follow : https://spark.adobe.com/page/7s4yYaasdChY0/

Coming back to the point, MX-5 as a car is

Quite limited in space
  • 2 seats
  • 2 cupholders
  • 1 deep middle console between seats
  • 1 shallow mid tray behind gear lever
  • A small boot to carry few backpacks / mid-size duffel bags
  • No dashboard storage

All in all, for a young couple, the best car to enjoy a lightly packed trip anywhere around Europe.

Pretty good in mileage

My work-home commute is a mix of 60% highway, 30% extra urban and 10% urban. The car returns a respectable 18.4kmpl.

For all those weekends ie. on twisty roads, German Autobahn or other places of fun, with enthusiastic driving, it returns 15-16kmpl with top down.

Thanks to the car's light weight (950kg unladen), Skyactiv-G (Direct injected and naturally aspirated) with a short throw gearbox.

Decently equipped
I have the 1.5L GT-M (16inch) which in the Dutch market is the highest variant in 1.5L engine version. There is one more version which is a 2.0L with sport pakket (Bilstein sports suspension, 17inch stock rims, i-stop - start/stop and a limited slip differential). I personally think that is for the US-market where the Mx-5 is sold in large numbers (Cheap fuel and CO2 emissions costs compared to NL).

GT-M consists of :
  1. Airbag driver and passenger, side airbags
  2. Brake Assist, traction and stability systems EBD, EBA,DSC and TCS
  3. Tyre pressure warning system
  4. LED headlights
  5. 16-inch alloy wheels
  6. Soft top with heated rear window
  7. Mirrors in exterior color
  8. Top Door panel body coloured
  9. Cup holder
  10. Manual height adjustment driver's seat
  11. Start / Stop button with immobilizer
  12. Keyless entry
  13. Power windows
  14. Electric mirrors
  15. Radio / MP3 player with AUX and USB connection
  16. Roll prevention / Head safety in piano black
  17. LED daytime running lights
  18. Door handles interior Bright finish
  19. Leather steering wheel, handbrake lever and gearshift
  20. Steering wheel control audio, cruise control and Bluetooth®
  21. Heated exterior mirrors
  22. MZD Connect, multimedia and smartphone connectivity with USB connection, Bluetooth and voice control
  23. HMI Commander, user-friendly operation to include audio, phone and navigation
  24. 7-inch LCD touch screen color display
  25. On-board computer with monitor consumption
  26. 16-inch alloy wheels Gun Metallic
  27. Interior trim black leather with red stitching
  28. Interior Elements black leather with red stitching
  29. Lane Departure Warning (LDW): warning unintentionally leaving the lane
  30. mirrors and windshield frame piano black
  31. Climate Control, automatic air conditioning
  32. Light and rain sensor
  33. Auto dimming rearview mirror
  34. Heated seats
  35. DAB + Digital Radio Receiver (including FM / AM.)
  36. High Beam Control (HBC) automatically dimming high beam at oncoming traffic
  37. Rear parking sensors
  38. Smart Keyless Entry
  39. BOSE® premium audio system with nine speakers
  40. Integrated Navigation System
  41. Strut tower bar

Drives like a proper roadster
  • I have not driven the British roadsters of the yore, but I could make sense when people driving MX-5 tell how it is compared to those small roadsters.
    For me it feels :
  • Very direct to steer, even lane changes on highway is fun with a good steer control (based on input and weighted feedback). So twisty roads are a lot more fun to drive
  • Well balanced chassis (Lightly sprung and has a contained body roll).
  • The strut tower bar provides for a tighter feel while cornering
  • The gearbox has a short throw and a meaty feel to it, which is enjoyable
  • The engine note is quite enthusiastic (Thanks to the lighter/smaller
    air intake and tuned exhaust)
  • Direct injected Skyactiv-G adds to the fun-to-drive quotient of a NA engine, with zero lag (Thanks to Mazda for not going the turbo way)


I am quite happy with the car and have driven around 9000kms as on date

Additional notes :

*The car is very well built and feels solid inside out. Can take quite a lot of abuse, which I came across during our snow /slush filled road trip to Sweden via Germany and Denmark
*Very well suited for highway driving as the noise inside the cabin is highly insulated for a soft top.
Attached Thumbnails
Experience of owning a Mazda MX-5 ND in the Netherlands-img_20161013_173057.jpg  

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Experience of owning a Mazda MX-5 ND in the Netherlands-img_20161207_160928.jpg  

Experience of owning a Mazda MX-5 ND in the Netherlands-img_20161013_173503.jpg  

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Old 22nd December 2016, 11:24   #2
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Default Re: Experience of owning a Mazda MX-5 ND in the Netherlands

Looks like we have currently at least two TeamBHP members living in the Netherlands

Thanks for this thread. I always liked the MX-5. Whether it’s in it’s original version or the current incarnation. One of the few cars that really stuck to it’s original thought, (relatively) lightweight, rear wheel drive throughout its different generations/versions.

In the past my Alfa Romeo Spider club and the MX-5 club have organised some tours together. If you compare an Alfa Spider 105 series to the original MX-5 you will notice some design similarities, e.g. door handles, soft and hard top fastening, etc. I’m not saying the Japanese copied, but they made sure a lot of the best of breed design from classic rag top sports cars found its way into their car.

Love the way they handle. They always get compared to the original British classic rag tops, but truth be told, they are so much better when it comes to handling and performance. And they don’t rust as badly either.

Old rag tops are a hoot to drive, but if you don’t know what scuttle shake is, hop into an Alfa Spider or any British rag top for that matter. Hardly an issue on the MX5.

Just a few additions on your comments about the Netherlands:

Quote:
Originally Posted by carthick1000 View Post
NL is a country where one pays
  • Road tax based on unladen weight,
  • Import tax (most cars are manufactured outside NL) based on CO2 emissions
  • Insurance based on how safe you are driver (Insurance premium reduces with the increasing number of accident free years driving with a valid Dutch license).

This gives an impression why there are very small cars, EVs and hybrids are popular in the Netherlands. This pretty much sums up the Dutch automotive market, straight-forward and quite unforgiving.
.
There are a number of different taxes in the Netherlands that apply to cars. Obviously, there is VAT on the car, (21%).
Next there is the so-called BPM not necessarily an import tax. Originally introduced as some sort of wealth tax it is now directly related to CO2 emissions.

All cars are subject to road tax. The amount varies by provence and by type of fuel (petrol, diesel, LPG) first and then weight. Fully electrical cars and cars older than 40 years are exempt.

For other classic cars there is a different regime again. (all my classics sit in this regime as they are between 30-40 years.

Insurance premium are based on a standard premium against which you might get discounts, based on your no claim status. Premiums can also vary by area you live in, sex (females have less accidents) and for instance mileage. There are special classic car fully comprehensive insurances, usually fixed price, no discounts, insured against an official determined value, limited mileage per year.

My Jaguar XJR is insured on a YoungTimer policy. Sort of a hybrid insurance format between a regular and a classic fully comprehensive insurance.

There were about 20.000 electrical cars in the Netherlands in 2015, so percentage wise that is still very small. Admittedly it and hybrid are growing exponentially. Not sure where we are today, probably somewhere around the 10% of the total cars on the road are hybrid and or electric.

Like in other (western) European countries a discussion has started in the Netherlands whether we should ban the sale of new cars with a combustion engine all together from 2025 onwards. The idea being that by 2035 there would be no combustion based cars on the Dutch roads left.

Now remember: The most important thing about driving a rag top is to drive it TOP DOWN, ALWAYS!
If not why bother getting a rag top in the first place?

We drive our Spider top down under all circumstances, sun, rain, snow, it doesn’t matter. As soon as you built up some speed all the rain/snow will flow over the open cabin. If you still get wet, press right foot down further. We have a rectangular umbrella in the Spider. When we stop for a red light, my wife will open up the umbrella. It fits over the front and side windows. As soon as the light goes green, she retracts it and of we go again.

Enjoy the Netherlands

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 22nd December 2016 at 11:33.
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Old 22nd December 2016, 15:42   #3
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Default Re: Experience of owning a Mazda MX-5 ND in the Netherlands

I didn't quite like the looks of the previous versions of the MX-5. I always found them too chic for my taste. However, the current model has changed all that. It looks a lot more aggressive and at the same time, does everything that is expected of a roadster. In fact, this one is properly desirable. It looks especially smashing in this black shade. The interiors are simple and classy too - love those dials and that high centre console!

I'm sure it will be an absolute joy to throw around the winding roads of the countryside. The best part is that along with being a fun to drive, it is efficient and will definitely be way more reliable and easier to live with than British roadsters.

Wish you many miles of happy motoring in the years to come.
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