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2008 Mazda MX-5, the Most Fun, Most Dependable Driving Machine Under $20K in the World

If you ask an auto journalist of good stock what the best bang for your buck reliable used car is, they usually have one of three answers. If you're in Europe, it's a Volkswagen Golf. In America, it's a Toyota Corolla. But Yanks and Euros both can't stop singing the praises of the Mazda MX-5 NC.
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More refined than the NA and more powerful than the NB, the third-generation NC MX-5 was a bit like one last tribute to the old-school way of building drop-top sports cars before the subsequent excellent but very technically complex ND permanently changed the breed. Seeing as the oldest examples of the NC are approaching 20 years old, it's getting harder and harder each day to find one in decent shape.

But we've found one for you, you're welcome. It comes to us from one of our very favorite custom car dealerships in America, MAXmotive of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Usually, this Western Pennsylvanian dealer works primarily doing consignment of classic 60s and 70s American muscle cars. But in truth, anything with wheels and an engine worth value is welcome on their showroom floor. This MX-5 NC is no exception.

With 54,033 miles (86,957 km) on the odometer, the two-liter, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine is barely even broken in. Since it's so common to see MX-5s with as many as 200,000 miles, it's a nicely preserved change of pace. Admittedly, this example does happen to feature an automatic transmission, so you got us there. But you can't have your cake and eat it too sometimes.

Just pop the gearstick into sports mode and let the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters help you pretend you're Michael Schumacher in the finishing stretch of the Nordschleife GP track race. Depending on your hairdo, you may end up looking pretty ridiculous with your locks flapping in the wind as you trundle along in this metallic Black road missile. At $17,500 before taxes and fees, it's a hell of a lot more fun than the used Corolla you could have for the same money.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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