My last car 3 years ago was a 1.8 MX-5, albeit a MK1. I loved it at the time but found it didn't quite make me want to shout about it, kind of uninspiring. Don't get me wrong, it was quite pretty, solid, reliable and well-engineered and for those days when you could drop the roof a total hoot with decent handling. It was, however, slow, slightly agricultural, noisy, rattly and thirsty (33mpg from a 1.8 I4
I'll also be more honest than most MX-5 owners and say that the perception thing did bother me a bit. I'd love to say it didn't but I think it matters to most of us at least a little bit, otherwise we'd all drive Skodas instead of VWs etc. etc.
I'd always wanted a GTV and I knew I needed (wanted
) much more power so didn't even consider a 2.0 to be honest and, never having driven one can't comment but people do rate the engine for character and decent shove.
Going to a V6 GTV, though, was like moving from a pretend sports car to a proper one. It's more grown up, comfier, better equipped, I get about 27mpg average so comparable thirst, it sounds amazing (particularly with a Ragazzon exhaust), goes like the clappers, looks unique and the power delivery is addictive. It doesn't handle as well, obviously, but it definitely is no slouch and is a great drive on fast, bendy roads.
It's the intangibles that get you though. Other people can't wait to talk to you about it. It's special, not humdrum, it has character, rarity and pedigree (and it's Italian). They're about level on practicality, though.
Personally I have never looked back. I absolutely love my car but they do have well-documented foibles and don't expect the bills to be anything like MX-5 sized, I have shocked myself how much I'm prepared to spend on mine. The MX-5 is cheap because there's plenty around whereas the running costs are low. The GTV/Spider is cheap (at the moment) because the running costs are pretty high and parts are getting difficult to get hold of which scares people off. I don't think you'd think your MX-5 was better than any 916 you bought either Spider or GTV or 2.0 or 3.0. Go for it!