HJ's bias against 'imports'? - jonesy127 {P}
On his letters page in last Saturday's (29/11) Telegraph, HJ had a letter from someone who's daughter was considering buying an 'import' MX5. Admittedly appearing to be overpriced by the dealer, HJ stated that the insurance can be higher (true) and that the daughter could get a later 'UK spec' 5 for the same money.

Now here's the thing. MX5s built for the Japanese market (correctly named Eunos Roadsters) are actually much better equipped than their UK counterparts. Generally a Roadster will come with standard leather and air con, sometimes with abs too. Also, the Japanese appear to drive their cars 'less' so average mileage is much lower.

So why stay away from an import? Mechanically virtually the same, the only real differences are the shape of the rear number plate and a kph speedo! In fact, ALL 5s are Japanese imports (i.e. imported from Japan!).

Sorry for the rant and advance apologies if this has been covered before. My excuse however for the latter is this forum's terrible search facility!
HJ's bias against 'imports'? - Dynamic Dave
My excuse however for the latter is this forum's terrible
search facility!

Depends which one you use? The "Forum Search" option (just under where you log in/out) is far superior to the "Site Search" at the top of the page.
HJ's bias against 'imports'? - jonesy127 {P}
Depends which one you use? The "Forum Search" option (just under
where you log in/out) is far superior to the "Site Search"
at the top of the page.

Good point, well made.
HJ's bias against 'imports'? - Maz
Again a good point well made, but I think the rustproofing issue does not apply to MX5's which all roll off the same production line.

This car is now up to 14 years old and I've only ever seen one rusty one, and that was UK spec.

HJ's bias against 'imports'? - Maz
Sorry - got logged off half way through.

Buying an imported MX5 has pros and cons. I'd say the Pros are better spec, kinder Japanese weather, possible lower mileage and maybe the Japanese look after their cars better on average.

The cons are insurance, uncheckable service history, the car may be nicked in Japan (although the chances of the car being recoverable if bought from a dealer in good faith must be low), and the ECU which means Optimax makes a noticeable difference.

Provided the car has an MOT the few adjustments needed for the SVA will have been done and the days of Mazda UK not servicing imports seem to thankfully be over.

That said, imports may command slghtly less at resale, although at this time of year prices for Mark 1s are laughable anyhow. If the car is overpriced (I haven't read the article) it's wise to steer well clear of course. There are loads about.
Japanese weather - CMark {P}
Maz wrote "kinder Japanese weather". Not sure about this.

Japan ain't no California weather-wise. For a start, Japan is a long mountainous island which has large climatic differences from North to South (and also from East to West). The north has long winters with lots of snow and the south has an almost sub-tropical climate. Although Tokyo has one of the driest winters of any capital city it can be very cold. Summers are usually preceded by heavy rains and are hot and very humid. The end of summer is marked by typhoons bringing torrential rain, strong winds and flooding in coastal regions where most of the big cities are.

Not what I would call kind weather for cars but I may be wrong!
Japanese weather - james S
The weather is as you describe but nowhere in Japan do they salt the roads which will be the key difference regarding corrosion.

James S
Japanese weather - nick
Not if most of the population lives in coastal areas. Salty air every day!
Japanese weather - billy25
read somewhere that nowhere in britain us more than 70 miles from a coast, so i think we may all have slightly saltier air than we would like to believe. i live right on the coast, my nearly ten year old jap import car still shows no sign of any rust, so they must do something over there different as regards corrosion protection.

Japanese weather - Maz
Thanks HJ. I'll definitely give them a go come renewal time.

I should have been clearer in my earlier post - I meant exterior rust. The dreaded sills can rust, but is this a bigger problem on imports?
Japanese weather - jonesy127 {P}
Plenty of UK independent importers prepare the cars properly with re-chipped
ECUs (so they don\'t expect 100Ron petrol), MPH speedos and rear
fogs (obligatory for SVA) and Euro standard rustproofing (which is not
applied to Jap market cars as they are only expected to
last a maximum 7 years) and BIMTA certificates attesting that the
cars are not stolen or still subject to finance in Japan.
But, of course, all this eats into margins so you need
to check an import very carefully. The example in the paper
was clearly overpriced, so I reckon I made a fair point
which was not biased in any way.

Just to clarify HJ; was your suggested advantage of a 'UK spec' car the lack of need for amended ECUs, MPH speedo etc.? I was just saying that the (as I agreed) overpriced Roadster would very possibly have standard leather, aircon etc.



Value my car