Ownership Verified: An Inevitable Conclusion - 2012 Mazda MX-5 Kuro Roadster


An Unfortunate Discovery
Feb 17, 2006
Four from the top and two from the third row, UK.
'12 MX-5 PRHT, '02 Freelander, '90 Disco 1 Bobtail
Now that the deal has actually been done (there were moments where I didn't think it was going to happen), I can finally reveal the replacement for the Tesla.

After a short back story. You won't scroll past this without reading it, will you?

You can read my reasons for replacing the Tesla here. In short, I worked out I could sell the car, clear the finance and end up with enough back to buy another car. This car is that car. I wanted something small again like the Smart was and sporty like the Smart really wasn't, it's funny how the seemingly huge array of convertibles becomes much smaller when you actually start looking for one. I've been through a few candidates. I briefly considered a 924/944, the Lotus Elan M100 was close but they car I wanted was sold, I tried a 3rd gen. MR2 but found it too small inside, I got into a lovely red NB MX-5 that I could hardly close the door on. I considered outsiders like the Renault Wind and even getting another Smart Roadster, albeit a much more expensive Brabus one with those alloys that bend if you look at them funny. One of the important things was that it should have cloth rather than leather seats, this will be important later.

I toyed with the idea of just going screw it and getting an L322 TDV8 Range Rover, thankfully the one being sold by the dealer with the MR2 was already sold or it could've happened. I finally saw a local dealer with a blue hardtop NC.2 MX-5 for sale that used to be around the corner from me, it was very sadly deceased spec as the elderly owner had passed away (a teacher who was teaching when both me and my dad went to that school). It was nice, I fitted inside with some elbow room and my big camping chair fitted in the boot. Unfortunately, this car was a 1.8 5-speed so I had to reject the otherwise perfect example. I particularly liked the relatively thin steering wheel, I've never been in an NC before so wasn't expecting that at all.

So, I now had my mind set on something I never thought possible, I wanted an NC. I quickly realised that I was going to have to ditch the cloth seat requirement as only the base model had cloth seats and I couldn't afford an ND with Recaros. I found this car through a 'supermarket' website, yadda yadda they offered me a good price for the Tesla and I accepted. The car was moved to the local franchise and then I chose to have it delivered. I could've collected it but it's in the middle of a city and you can't give an MX-5 a proper test drive in a city, this way I have 14 days or 100 miles to return the car if I don't like it. From my first 15 mile drive, I don't think that will be necessary.

So, the inevitable has happened and I've become one of them.

Everyone, say hello to my yet-unnamed 2012 MX-5 Kuro Edition. Kuro means 'black' in Japanese, so that's why this car is white. Much like Henry the vacuum cleaner, it's so fucking happy to exist and its toothy grin puts a smile on my face too.

Does this do as a proof pic? ?

Yes, I'm a sucker for those special editions they just made to boost sales but this one does have two tone leather. Which I'm going to cover over. It has nice dark wheels too, unlike most MX-5s, and a fancier exhaust/rear splitter combo. It's a 2.0 6-speed with the LSD and Bilstein suspension, also has cruise which is nice and not something I would've got on any of my other options. Oh and the roof and is gloss black. You can see by the clouds that I've bought a convertible ahead of a UK winter, which is like a UK summer only it rains all day every day instead of just most of every day. Sometimes the rain freezes.

I've never considered a white car before, especially one with decals but this just grabbed my attention as soon as I saw it. If a Black Edition in Spirited Green was sitting beside it I would've had a hard decision choosing between them, I prefer the two-tone leather (particularly the door cards) to brighten the interior and the Black Edition has a piano black dash, which after 8 years is going to a scratched and swirled mess. This has nice red trim rings on the dash vents but otherwise it looks normal.

I think and I hope that the size is just right. It's bigger than the Smart but considerably smaller than the Tesla so it should fit in the garage just fine, while feeling much more nimble on the roads. It's currently parked in front of a Mk7 Fiesta and looks tiny in comparison. Next to the bobtail it looks minute. I've been working on a vector image for my signature (does anyone other than me have those turned on these days?) and had to triple-check the scaling because it looked so wrong. Nope, it's correct!

First driving impressions? It feels like a sports car! It begs to go faster around corners, plenty of feedback through the steering, nice snicky gearchange, low bite on the clutch suggests it's healthy, brakes are nice and sharp and it wants to kick gravel at every slippery junction. Okay so it's really lacking in power compared to the Tesla but that's a given, it doesn't remove the fun. It's still easy to bust the speed limit but at least there's engine noise to help judge variations in speed and the speedo is right there in front. It's very smooth over speed bumps which was a real surprise given the mountains we have on the suburban roads around here. Roof goes up and down well, as fast as you would expect and the seals look good.

I'm just going to add into this essay that when the smell in this car is a massive nostalgia hit because they've used the same stuff that was used on the plastics of the Series III when I got it, it's like a furniture polish smell. It's still on me so I get an occasional waft even while sitting here.

Modifications? Well a SmartTop will be going in because holding down a button while stationary is for losers and I didn't have to do that in my Smart. I have some fitted cloth seat covers on the way to try, for the winter at least, as despite having heaters it would still be frozen arse time when it's cold out. If I see a set of half-leather Recaros I might have to give in and get them. I might change the handbrake... handle, because it's well known to be a little in the way of a tall person's left leg on a RHD car. The chrome on the gear knob is worn too, someone with nails must've owned it and scratched off the coating like it's a damn VAG product. The light completely hides it in my photos. I've seen custom GoPro mounts that use the wind deflector brackets so plan to make one of those. I initially plan to use the aux input for audio but might add Bluetooth or put a CarPlay head unit in there since it's pretty straightforward.

I mentioned that I left a hint, I don't know if anyone spotted it but quite often and for some time my status on the forum would be viewing wdwben's 2012 MX-5 PHRT thread, I'd just refresh that in another tab and leave it. I've read through that thread and there is a huge amount of useful information to help me. I'm not going to bother with the illuminated gear knob, for example. Otherwise I feel like I'm free to customise it without fearing the finance company. I need another one of those 'no hairdressing products stored in the car overnight' stickers, too.

I'm looking forward to this experience, hopefully it will be more fun than the Smart while being more reliable. It certainly isn't going to be as economical on fuel as the average is already below 30MPG but you can't put a price on fun, can you?

Before anyone asks, I'm note actively going through cars @leviathan has owned in reverse order. :LOL:
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I fully approve. NC is great, the color/look is awesome, 2.0 with the 6-speed is probably the correct-est one, it's just all proper :) I'm not a huge fan of the hard-top NC, but will admit that it has its advantages, and in this color combo actually looks pretty damn good too. Just make sure those drains are in good shape...

So after this, how about a nice A5? :D
Awwww, now I miss my Miata a bit more! (of course, I can drive it whenever I visit my parents up north where my dad is keeping it). I'm so glad that you found my thread useful! The original head unit in that car is actually... GONE! There was some weird display delamination issues going on inside the screen, but I am happy to report that you can fit a Pioneer DMH-C5500NEX with an 8" screen in the car without affecting the reach of any of your buttons. Just need a couple of things from Metra, first the Miata-specific 99-7519B Dash Kit and then the 108-UN02 kit that holds the display and makes it look clean. You'll also want this to adapt your steering wheel controls. Read the instructions ALL the way through before you do them... I missed the "finalize" step like 7 times and couldn't figure out why stuff didn't work. It was really nice to reprogram the MODE button to be a push-to-talk button when I was driving.

We also, for my dad, put a MagSafe compatible charger between the seats, since he grabbed a CPLAY2air adaptor to get wireless CarPlay from a wired setup.

Don't hesitate to reach out if you do have any questions... I have taken apart and put back together the interior on that car more times that I can count and know a fair bit about them.


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I'm not a huge fan of the hard-top NC, but will admit that it has its advantages, and in this color combo actually looks pretty damn good too. Just make sure those drains are in good shape...
Yeah I didn't consider it much initially due to the extra weight, but the power of the 2 litre brings the power to weight up to an acceptable level for me. I'm hardly going to be racing it, after all and it's ultimately my 'daily' car so having the hard roof has many more advantages than disadvantages. I'll check the drains ASAP, thanks.

So after this, how about a nice A5? :D
I like the A5, however I would want a wagon if I got something else and I've heard that A6 Allroad wagons are the 'in' thing these days.

Don't hesitate to reach out if you do have any questions... I have taken apart and put back together the interior on that car more times that I can count and know a fair bit about them.
Thanks, I'm looking at some bits from Jass Performance, they might be UK specific. That setup with CarPlay looks nice, the Pioneer would certainly be a move back towards what I was familiar with in the Tesla. ?
At the moment I'm just going to be using an ESR HaloLock charger on with the CD slot thingy I had for the Smart, will see how that works. I was happy with it back then and I had a smaller phone.

Of course the answer was Miata. It always is!

What about naming it eleʻele (Hawaiian for black/dark)? It's slightly ironic, fits the special edition's name and could be shortened to Elly.
I was almost trying to avoid the obvious answer but I should've seen the light sooner. Elly sounds good, might need a discreet sticker somewhere to nod towards the Hawaiian name, like that pizza that divides people. Thanks!

I forgot to mention that the original Kuro floor mats are in the boot, I'll attack them with the carpet cleaner if they need it (only quickly looked at them) and then they will go back in.
Allroad wagons are the 'in' thing these days.

You're in luck, I know someone who has a Superleggera one somewhere in Il., and he is looking into moving across the pond ?
You're in luck, I know someone who has a Superleggera one somewhere in Il., and he is looking into moving across the pond ?

The flight is already booked. :ninja:
Of course.

Great buy. I like white cars.
So it turns out that after dark things get a little bit more sinister, under IR light that happy smile turns into a demon grin. :devilish:


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Congratulations on the purchase! Great spec!
Oh, and don't worry about the shifter knob wearing; it happened on my car too. This is actually my buddy's actual car (he sold his for a BMW 2-series a month after I got the Mini), but I gave him my old Grand Touring-spec shift knob because the Touring one looked like garbage and I had the illuminated one, followed by the CravenSpeed one: https://www.carmax.com/car/21074003
That car has half-leather, what the actual fuck? I didn't think they made those. :LOL:

Maybe not in the UK. The covers arrived today, they look very nice for the price and are handmade in this country. I didn't realise that my car has seat airbags though so I might have to modify the covers a bit.

The gear knob I'm looking at is this one:
https://www.jassperformance.com/shop/mazda-mx5/By Model/MK3/gear-knob-sports-style

Handbrake handle:
https://www.jassperformance.com/shop/mazda-mx5/By Model/MK3/handbrake_handle

They do lots of other good stuff too.

I raised the roof earlier to check the roof seals and drains, it looks like their valeting budget didn't stretch this far. I'll clean it all up and treat the seals with the Liqui Moly rubber care stuff I bought a couple of years ago.

Drains a a little gunky but that's an easy clean.

Roof cover mech looks perfect.
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Those look great! They’d never fly in Florida because it would roast the crap off of my hand, but I imagine ol’ Blighty makes a huge difference. I like the brushed aluminum look!
Those look great! They’d never fly in Florida because it would roast the crap off of my hand, but I imagine ol’ Blighty makes a huge difference. I like the brushed aluminum look!
More chance of them being freezing cold here! The car now lives in the garage though so that shouldn't be an issue. I can't decide if I like the brushed metal or the anodised black ones better. I suppose the anodising would show scratches more.

Anyway I cleaned the drains today. I read that the drain covers pop out, they kind of do but I think they were glued/plastic welded on. Left side was blocked but a squirt from a spray bottle cleared it, the right side was fine.

Green stuff removed from the paint, seals cleaned and treated and light mould removed from the carpet. This was before I vacuumed...

...and found some hairbands. Lady owner methinks. The carpets do have the look of being stabbed by high heels.

Had to take it for a drive again, just love driving it without any concern for plugging it in.
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I was under the impression that the car had "Y" in the name.
Am I remembering wrong?
I was under the impression that the car had "Y" in the name.
Am I remembering wrong?
There’s also a Miyako special edition, maybe you’ve seen that. Not aware of it anywhere else.

I think I’m going with Craig’s suggestion of Elly for the name, so that has a Y in it too ?
Took this for a drive again today while the sun was out, had great fun despite wet roads that had several cyclists on and the sun shining directly into my eyes for a while. Even bought some petrol, that was an experience I haven't had for a while. Starting to learn the limit of grip, I felt the rear start to break free while going around a greasy roundabout. Not tried drifting yet. :D

One thing that amazed me is how little crap this car collects on the bodywork, I was out on wet country roads with puddles and there's really very little dirt on the white paint.

Had a go at fitting the seat covers I have too, that's going to be a job for an entire morning or afternoon I think. They fit nicely but to get them to fit tightly is going to take some effort. They're nicely padded though and the pattern is very grippy, you certainly wouldn't slip around like on leather. I should get a picture of the fabric because it's really nice, there's a faux leather strip too which looks very premium.
As some of you might know, I have a metal plate print of every car I've owned on a wall. Sometimes it takes a long time to get a photo I'm happy to use, however this time I think I might've taken the best photo on the same day I got the Miata.

The second photo from the top post, with some (very impressive) content aware fill to remove the leaf in the grille/fallen sign in the background and a filter on the clouds to make them more dramatic, Top Gear style. Quite possibly the best shot I'll get of the car for some time and an ideal candidate for the wall.


Anyway the dealer company have now paid off the Tesla finance (according to the finance company website) so I'm officially free of that debt and can save for a house.
KURO what? - Wait! - All the hope, all the pacification, all the therapy, was that all for nothing? After all the cooling fluid and Smart-ass long-term malaise, you calmed down, you mellowed, you went safe, you looked brightly into the future: you bought a Tesla. - AND NOW YOU GAVE IT AWAY... AND BOUGHT THIS... THIS... CLOWNSHOE INSTEAD!

Are you crazy again? (Don't answer this, it's a rhetorical question).

The Tesla. It was beautiful. It was practical, it was economical, it was something that improved the world. - The MX-5 is impractical. It's a toy. Purely for your own pleasure. And that's the point, isn't it, you egoistical swine! The 2.0L even!

I know, I know, harsh words, but all this is in aid to help you. - But looking at your car history (AND YOUR CURRENT FLEET FFS) it's probably way past that = SAYONARA KURO!

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