Written on: 04/07/2008 by marco999 (27 reviews written)
Cheap, Reliable, Fun fun fun!
Watching an old film one Sunday afternoon whilst wallowing on the sofa with a can of beer propped up on my pot belly I watched enviously as the handsome hero drove around a swinging 60's London in his open topped MG roadster, hair flowing and shirt open to the waist, both his medallion and his teeth shining in the sun. Another beer or two later I was doing what any normal middle aged bloke would do after this and sat huddled over the PC checking out classic car websites in the vain hope of finding a cheap yet immaculate MG that I could drive around a swinging Bolton in whilst wearing my own medallion. Many fruitless hours later I decided a compromise was needed so started to look more closely at the Mazda Roadsters. I could get hold of one easily, reasonably cheaply and with all modern parts was likely to be a lot more reliable than an old MG. The idea grew on me so much so that I eventually went out and bought one, with my heart rather than my head - a 1991 Eunos Roadster in Classic Red with 76k on the clock and in lovely condition throughout. Once the rose tinted glasses were off however, my first impressions were not good if I ' m honest, the seats looked like a one way ticket to the chiropractor, the interior with the roof up was gloomy and claustrophobic, and the engine was noisy and intrusive; the boot looked no bigger than a generous glove box and the ride was like being dragged along on a shovel ' I began to think I ' d made a big mistake. After a few weeks of daily use however my opinion of the little Eunos began to change as I started to realise I had been judging it unfairly; I had expected a classic looking roadster to have all the mod cons and refinement I ' d come to expect from every other car and the Eunos is not about being like the rest. As it turned out, the seats I ' d swore would cripple me are in fact amongst the most comfortable I ' ve ever sat in, the tiny boot won ' t fit a lot in but if you wanted boot space you ' d get a Volvo right? The boot is adequate for transporting the weekly shopping or enough luggage for a weekend away and there is a handy space behind the seats, which you can cram all sorts of stuff into ' it ' s still there with the top down too. The engine noise can be intrusive but this is a raw sports roadster ' it ' s supposed to be, and okay it can be claustrophobic with the top up but you buy a convertible to enjoy open topped motoring (when the weather permits!) and this is what this car is all about ' getting your top off! Inside it ' s basic but adequate, no toys to play with but the car ' s the toy here anyway. If you want to, it ' ll take you on your daily commute week in week out without any drama, take a trip a couple of hundred miles away and you ' ll know the roadster will get you there without a problem it ' s a good, reliable, fun car. Driving it, at first the handling takes you by surprise, it really is superb, the only time you need to brake taking a bend is when you catch up to the car in front who has bottled out half way round ' it flies around bends but care is needed if the road is wet or greasy or else you ' re taking it sideways. Mine is a 1.6 and has roughly 110 bhp, this is not a powerful car by today ' s standards and if you want to go fast you really have to give it some wellie 'it thrives on the revs and comes on the boil at about 4000 rpm, keep it between there and 6000 and you ' ll have the most fun but of course you ' ll suffer in the mpg stakes, the Eunos is not the most economical car on the road and urban driving you can expect no better than about 35 mpg if you drive like my Mother, and about 25mpg if you drive like me. It will cruise all day at 70 no problem, 80 and 90 are no problem either push it some more and it easily goes well past 100 but it will start to get really noisy and uncomfortable at these speeds. The car does come into its own once you drop that roof though. It ' s a really quick and simple operation with two catches at the front, unzip the rear window and lie it flat and the roof goes back in a second. Roof down is how this car should be driven ' no question, it ' s better in every way, sounds better, looks better, goes better ' it really does put a big smile on your face ' other Eunos and MX 5 drivers wave at you when you pass and pedestrians stare enviously. You will get stared at so you have to get used to that quickly if you buy one. Downsides are the car is very low to the ground and thus easily lost amongst the family saloons at the supermarket car park ' yes that ' s me on tiptoes outside Asda. Also it can be difficult at junctions when you ' re flanked by a little soccer Mum driving one of those oversized 4x4 tanks they love so much and on the motorway it can be intimidating passing lorries. The roof is pretty much waterproof but I have had more than one wet bottom after leaving it parked at an angle in a downpour. It won ' t beat your average hot hatch from the lights and it won ' t win any races but it is an enormously reliable, fun convertible that can realistically be used everyday so if you ' re reading this review with a view to owning one, do yourself a favour and go and buy the thing ' life ' s too short not to.
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