I wanted a coupe/convertible and was about to spend $40k on a 2007 BMW Z4 3.2-litre with low kilometres. I'd test driven a Z4, but as I'd owned a 1989 MX-5 brand new, and had liked it, I saw a 2007 MX-5 in a mate's car yard and took it for a spin.
It has a 2-litre, 6-speed drivetrain, with a limited slip diff, Bose stereo, full leather upholstery, and reasonable boot space - considering the retractable roof.
Everything still works beautifully, even though it's 12 years old - another typical Japanese vehicle trait. At 56000kms, it was immaculate and drove like a dream with superb braking. At $15k, it was way better value and car (in my opinion) than the BMW Z4.
We have three Japanese vehicles, and have always had trouble-free, low-cost servicing and parts with good trade-ins. So that's the other reasons to go back to another MX-5; how I feel about this incredible, trouble-free little sports car.
In 1998, I owned a 1994 BMW M3, which I only kept for 9 months. It wasn't a patch on the Nissan 200SX, the 300Z, and other models I'd owned in the past, so it was nice again to have a well-tried and true Japanese sports car to use as a pleasure drive on the weekends.
The MX-5 has stuck with the basics for 30 years but, to their credit, Mazda have upgraded and improved each model so as to keep the desirability for buyers alive. I intend to have this car for maybe a couple of years and then up grade to the current model, which I'll again have a performance package (maybe a turbo kit) fitted.
The engines are so robust, they seem bulletproof to modifications, and as I'm a 70-year old, it will never get ruthlessly thrashed or put on a racetrack. I just like the feel of having the kilowatts there on drives through the windy hill country that surrounds where we reside.
So, overall: great value for good performance, looks, practicality, fun, and ease of driving. The Mazda MX-5 will do me until I'm permanently in a rocking chair.