IF ever there was an iconic sports car it's the Mazda MX-5.
Over the years Mazda has honed this trendy two-seater to perfection so now you get a car which offers a whole basket of pros and hardly any cons.
This lively little soft top is one of a diminishing breed which offers all of the excitement of a traditional sports car - with its front-engined, rear-wheel-drive set up.
To drive it is to go back to basics to some extent but the MX-5 itself is far from a basic car. In fact now in it's third generation the latest version is very civilised indeed with the sort of features drivers of the original model could only dream of.
This 2.0 Sport, for example, has superb leather seats with plenty of hold for tight bends and - as a bonus - they are heated too.
As the top-of-the-range, the 160bhp Sport also comes with 17-inch alloy wheels and a six-speed gearbox, compared to the standard 2.0-litre's five.
All the 2.0-litre models have traction control, dynamic stability control, limited slip differential and side airbags - features which have to be paid for as an extra on the 1.8-litre.
You also get a stylish cloth hood - as opposed to the vinyl one on the base car - which gives it a far more up-market appearance.
On the road the MX5 is pure fun to drive. It's quick, has brilliant handling and a wonderfully flexible gearbox which allows you to get the best out of the car both when driving flat out or when coping with city traffic.
The short stubby gearlever allows fast gearchanges and the gearbox itself is impressively slick and fast to use.
And the throaty roar from the twin exhausts - Mazda discarded 59 silencers before finding the sound it really wanted - is the icing on the cake.
You sit very low in the MX-5 - there is still no seat height adjustment nor adjustment for reach on the steering wheel - so it's a real seat-of-the-pants feeling when cornering hard.
The hood has to be operated manually but is so fast to lower and raise it is no great problem and takes literally seconds to use - faster than powered hoods in fact.
And with the hood down the little car is exceptionally wind free so you can go topless even if it's not scorching outside. A small, fold-up wind deflector between the two seats looks insignificant but works wonders in reducing the draughts.
The current version of the car is slightly larger than it's predecessors and the extra width means there is more elbow room for occupants.
The extra inches also translate into more boot space - six litres more in fact - so you can accommodate a decent sized suitcase or soft bags.
Inside there is a lockable compartment between the two seatbacks as well as two smaller ones behind the seats themselves for storing smaller items.
Air conditioning is not standard on this car - unlike on the coupe version - but anyone buying one would be well advised to add it as optional extra because the small cabin does tend to get warm from engine heat which can lead to steaming up during heavy rain.
The MX-5 is in the Guinness Book of Records as the best selling roadster ever and when you get behind the wheel it's easy to see why.
Odd niggles apart, it still has the magic that makes you sorry when your journey in it is over.
If you like sportscars you will love the MX-5. And the more you drive it the more you fall in love with it. It's true sportscar motoring at its best - and at a sensible price.
Mazda MX-5 2.0i Sport
Mechanical: 160bhp, 1,999cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 6spd manual gearbox
Max speed: 131mph
0-62mph: 7.9 secs
Combined mpg: 34.5
Insurance group: 13
CO2 emissions: 193g/km
BiK rating: 25%
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles, 3yrs paint, 12yrs anti-rust