MX5 MK3 / 3.5 - MX5 MK3 / 3.5 Bike rack / tow bar ? - Paul531

Hi HJ Forum folks,

we’re considering a 2.0 Mazda MX 5 tin top, circa 2010 – 2012 as our second car, so something a bit different to our main car which is a Nissan 350z engined Renault Grand Espace Initiale.

We really want to be able to occasionally carry 2 road bikes with the MX 5. We’ve got a three bike tow bar mounting carrier with lights that I use on the Espace - plus I can get 4 bikes on the Espace roof racks too , so 7 people & upto 7 bikes, but I can’t put a roof rack on the MK 5 L .

Now, I don’t want to tow with the MX5 - just use my bike rack. I don’t like the flimsy strap on bike carriers

plus these obscure the lights and number plate too – so they illegal without a lighting board and number plate?

In the USA they sell tow bar kits for the MK3 / 3.5 , so there must be provision to fit a two bar. In the UK and EU they only sell tow bar kits for the Mazda MX5 Mk1 and MK2, as the MK 3 and 3.5 are not ‘type approved’ for towing in the UK and EU.

Can a tow bar with lighting socket be fitted in the UK to a MK3 or MK3.5 if it is only used for a bike rack ?

A bike rack like mine , see link below, is much safer for the bikes and the car, than the ones on the link above, plus ones like mine have full lights and number plate too.

I have asked Mazda re the MX 5 and tow bar fitting / bike racks – but they say that they can't advise me. I've asked them about the MK4 MX5 that’s out in 2015, but again Mazda UK say that they do not know / cannot help.

I'm only in the market for a used MX5 anyway, so it would be 2018 or later before I could consider a MK4. I would like a used MX5 Mk3 or Mk 3.5 next spring, but only if I can carry two bikes.

Thanks all


MX5 MK3 / 3.5 - MX5 MK3 / 3.5 Bike rack / tow bar ? - bathtub tom

You say you want a 'tin-top'. All MX5s, to my knowledge, are soft tops, or the CC model, which has a folding tin-top. You can get hard tops to fit, but all these that I've seen are plastic. I doubt if you'd find a roof-rack fitting for any of these.

I've heard that MX5s don't have any 'type approved' tow bars as well.

I think you're stuffed.

MX5 MK3 / 3.5 - MX5 MK3 / 3.5 Bike rack / tow bar ? - jc2

Get a bar from the US?

MX5 MK3 / 3.5 - MX5 MK3 / 3.5 Bike rack / tow bar ? - Paul531

Hi JC2,

I thought that there was only one JC ? LOL.

Yes, impotring one from the USA may be an option.

I've e-maied a couple of tow bar companies in the USA to see what they say re price incl shipping to Blighty and if there system is compatitable with a UK tow ball - I can easiy sort out any the wiring myslef.

Watch this space !

MX5 MK3 / 3.5 - MX5 MK3 / 3.5 Bike rack / tow bar ? - jc2

I'm lower case!! I used to be on here as "jc" in the past.

MX5 MK3 / 3.5 - MX5 MK3 / 3.5 Bike rack / tow bar ? - Paul531

Hi bathtub tom,

yeah, the folding tip top – coupe job, I’ve never liked the perambulator hoods, though even the new F Type Jag has gone for what looks like something off a Silver Cross Pram.

So trying to find out the legality of fitting a proper tow bat with lighnting socket and just using t for a bike rack – the ‘strap on’ bike racks look very unsafe, could easily fall off and are illegal as they cover the lights and number plate.

So getting one fabricated, or imported from the USA may be an option – not ‘stuffed yet’ – hoping another forum user might have the answer?

As I say, not yet bought the MX 5 – prefer them to the Honda S2000 – nothing much else on the market ? Don’t fancy an MG TF.



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