MX-5 = Hairdresser..?

Hey! First time poster but long time reader, was just curious as to why the MX5 cops so much heat about it being a hairdresser's car? I was interested in getting one based on the reviews and pricing but not sure how i feel about other car enthusiasts' sentiment regarding it, is it just the older models everyone seems to equate to being a hairdresser's car?

Poll Options

  • 135
    Buy the MX5
  • 11
    Don't do it!
  • 6
    Buy something else (recommendations pls?)


  • MX-5 and Audi TT have always had that connotation in the same way big truck drivers are thought to have smaller… appendages.

    But, so what? If you like it then that's literally all that matters. Who cares what other random people think.

    If it makes you feel better, look at how many people voluntarily bought and drive a Nissan Juke, Fiat Multipla or Pontiac Aztec.

    Edit: Oh, member for 20 mins. Another troll post… Sigh. OP is a hairdresser!

    • Cheers, thanks for the advice!

      Sadly not a troll post! I've just been eyeing the sidelines before i decided to post.

    • +3 votes

      Is the Pontiac Aztec the Breaking Bad car?

    • Affordable 2 seaters are hair dresser cars.

      Porsche boxer isn't.

      How amusing.

      Problem for affordable 2 seaters is it isn't affordable for most families that already have 2 cars (husband + wife + kids).

      With the amount of MX5s sold there can't be that many hair dressers.

      Don't worry about it. If you like it who cares what other people think.

      People also don't think too highly of stingy people, now look who is laughing.

      • Porsche Boxster absolutely has a perceived image problem too. Everything from being a 'females' car to a 'poor man's Cayman/911'. These things won't change but don't matter one bit.

        • Majority of the time it's a mid-life crisis car

        • Boxster may be a Poor man's 911 but a Cayman?

          Only difference is the roof.

          I couldn't believe Porsche made the 1st gen Cayman more expensive than the Boxster.

          • @JimB: Caymans generally weighed less, had more power and handled much better due to a fixed roof. The two models have pretty much streamlined for the 718 model nowadays though.

            • @Hybroid: I agree the Cayman handled better as all coupes do over convertibles, however the Boxster has never been considered a poor man's Cayman.

        • When I think of the Boxter, I think it was developed at a time where Porsche may have found that they are missing a huge portion of the market, where drivers who couldn't afford the 911, but still wanted a well balanced, more affordable option. The Boxter is kind of like a "911 elements", where all the core fun fundamentals from the 911 are in the car. Another thing going for the Boxter was it's designed as a convertible from the ground up, so it's like what Clarkson said, if it's designed to be a convertible, it's going to be much better than a hardtop come convertible.

    • Never heard of the Aztec… will just Google that and take… Oh, my eyes!!!

  • +6 votes

    Is that you Marty?

  • I remember those w4nkers on Top Gear (UK) used to peddle that BS as well, even though it has an excellent reputation as a car. It depends how much unjustified stereotypes concerns you.

    • Yeah I was just wondering if there was anything else I might've been missing with its rep as a hairdressers car haha

    • Well, 2/3 would take this piss. Pretty sure it was Richard Hammond who would review them favourably.

    • They never said anything of the sort. The MX-5 is a car they all like. The TT got that reputation and for good reason. The first couple of gens of the TT were shocking!

      Buy the MX-5, make sure you get a convertible and manual.

      • Yeah, they like the car, but I recall an interview between Jeremy Clarkson and a female celebrity where he mentioned that the Mazda MX5 was a hair dresser's car and she took it further by saying it was "a hair dresser's hair dresser's car".

        Edit: Jeremy Clarkson said it was a girly car and she replied with it being a receptionist's hair dresser's car. So, I was wrong.

        • If you take Jeremy Clarkson's advice on life you really need to go to a psychologist for therapy then look for a new life coach.

    • It's not BS, they are hairdresser's cars. They are pretty good cars, but hairdresser's cars none the less. It's as much about the fact that they couldn't pull the skin off custard as it is their styling.

  • Before you plan to buy one, sit in one. I'm 6'3, and there's no way I'd enjoy taking 1 away for a weekend (drove a hard-top roadster model)

    But yes, hairdresser connotations, born by the number of middle-aged women that buy convertibles trying to show off their recent plastic surgery

    BMW convertibles are bought by middle aged men thinking they're showing off.

    • I'll definitely try one out before I buy, ah okay hahaha thanks!


      and what are your thoughts on Porsche owners?

      • Make lots of forum posts about 'friends'
        Constantly worried about image
        Generally have at least 1 piece of Porsche merchandise, just to discuss the car - Keyring at a minimum, or a hat/cap.


          This is exactly why stereotypes are wrong.I own a Porsche ( several over the last decade, actually) and I'm nothing like that:p in fact, my neighbours describe me as quiet , reserved and "lost in his own little world. But otherwise nice enough. No, nope, not a clue what car he drives."

    • This, I sat in once and found it uncomfortable car. Found the GT86/BRZ far more comfortable.

      As for the image, every car has a bad stereotype to go with it

  • Reminds me of the sticker I saw on the back window of one years ago. “No scissors kept in this car overnight”

    Reality is it was only considered a hairdressers car because it had more looks than go. Although it backed it up with apparently superb handling. Raw power isn’t everything.

    • In Australia just being able to drive in a straight line fast is considered skilful driving.

      The amount accidents on two lane country roads prove otherwise.

  • join the club! We're all stay at home hairdressers these days anyways…

  • Are you a hairdresser? Its not fair stereotype to use. You might also be a flight attendant.

  • Have you also considered the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ or the Turbo, auto, 4cyl Mustang?

  • MX5 are great cars in a manual. You can cover ground very quickly in them. Automatics probably deserve the disdain.

  • I was real close to buying an MX-5, and then I bought an E85 BMW Z4 3.0i instead. It was almost the same price, with 50% more power…

    Yes, it'll cost more to maintain, but I've priced that in and I think it'll hold its value better long term.

    • Isn't the BMW much more expensive than the mazda, or am I missing something there?

      • He's talking about second hand cars. It's like saying he was thinking about getting a Camry, but found a 1985 Rolls Royce Ghost for the same price.

        • half correct - I was comparing a ~2005 Z4 with a ~2005 MX-5, which are only about $2k difference for a car with the same number of kms.

          OP is looking for used cars 15-25k.

    • Have a look at redbook valuations, MX-5s depreciate much slower than most other cars. The early ones are starting to go up in price again. I think you'll find that does not apply to BMWs.

    • +2 votes

      Well … if the "hairdresser" stigma of the MX-5 is an issue how about the "BMW driver" stigma. And that one will not go away.

  • I think that Suzuki Swifts are slu(t) cars. But id probs own one because Jap cars are reliable af.

    You do you~

  • MX5 and TT.

    But who cares. It's your money. Buy what puts a smile on that mug of yours.

  • Yeah, depending on the version, ie NA, NB etc buy it. Personally I really like the original NA MX-5 with the popups and if you are planning on modding them they can look really good.(Look at Alex from Car Throttle's MX-5). Even though it is an original nobody would call it a hairdressers car, but some can look a bit yeah nah. Current gen MX-5 I think doesn't have that hairdresser look, and looks quite aggressive for a quite a small car. And as it is a convertible you can always enjoy it.

    At the end of the day does it really matter what other people think of the car? Like if you like the car just own it and make it yours, who cares if some guy thinks its a hairdressers car. Just enjoy your car.

  • If hair dressers can afford a $45k sports car, then there is obviously something wrong with our minimum wages.

  • Any grown man that calls an MX5 a hairdressers car obviously is insecure at some parts of his life.

    Take one for a test drive, and check the boot space etc. If it suits your needs then go for it. It's a great car even as a daily. It does lack boot space and storage space inside.

    The 86/BRZ twins are also an option although of having a convertible makes a big difference. There is also a flatspot in the power band with the 86/BRZ which could affect daily driving.

    • I don't find that flattening of the engine torque curve is a problem in daily driving at all. The power still consistently goes up across the RPM range. It still accelerates, it just doesn't accelerate as fast in the 3.5-4.5k ish range.

      I can see it being a problem if you're trying to get your best time on a track and you make a mistake of dropping into that part of the power band, but in everyday driving, I don't feel it as noticeable as some people make you believe.

      Some mods like headers can help alleviate the problem, and I'm looking to get it done sometime in the future.

  • Every car comes with negative stereotypes. Forget trying to please others. Just get the car YOU want.

    If you bear with the lack of practicality, there are very few other alternatives in the same category (light weight, rear wheel drive with manual transmission option). 86/BRZ is your only other option these days.

  • There are plenty of cars around that you expect to see one particular gender or type driving. IMO MX5 is no longer one of them. I see a mix of drivers in them. Plenty of ‘girls’ like them because they are cute. Plenty of people like them because they are fun and reasonably priced. Quite a few modify them for more power.

    Sure, they aren’t a masculine ‘powerful’ car but if it meets your needs (big compromise on seats and space) then why not. People who think it is a hairdressers car aren’t worth worrying about.

  • I bought one because it is fun, cheap and diy maintenance is easy, very reliable. Will buy again if new model come out.

  • I still miss mine after selling it to buy a new car a few years back. An mx5 will probably be my next car after I can sell he current car I got new without feeling so bad about all the money I’ve lost lol.

  • No it's not just for hairdressers. It's also suitable for young ladies.

  • They're great little cars and the people who rag on them are bitter and/or jealous. Buy the car, drive it and enjoy it with a massive smile on your face like everyone else who owns one does.

  • They look good in pink

  • Had an MX I kept stored while working oil rigs Asia. Mate forever derided my “hair dresser” car.
    Sent him photo of Vietnamese girlfriend - hairdresser.
    Hasn’t spoken to me since.

  • I've reached the stage in my life where I just don't give a damn about what other people think of me. If I want to own a MX5 I'll buy it. Does the MX5 have the hair dresser's car rep, sure it does. A friend of mine had one many years ago and it was a great car because while it didn't have a great amount of power it made up for it in handling. He drove it like he stole it and it went well. I think the newer models have lost some of that same magic with them being much heavier now with the folding metal roof. Test drive one and see what you think.

  • I had a mX-5 before kids. I didn’t give a shit about the hairdresser put down (related to looks and unremarkable raw power figures). Thing is it is a very well designed, balanced car and sums up greater than its parts. Combined with low weight and size and it is actually a nimble beast. I had an extractor on it and it sounded like a Cessna once you were over 100 kmh.
    Great second car. Great weekender. We even did a gymkhana in it once. Before kids Mrs entropy and I took it on a great SE Australia coastal trip. A great time indeed.
    After kids I did 300kms in one year.
    Mrs entropy made me get rid of it and put the money on the mortgage. Thing is, nobody with a receding hairline should consider a convertible. It is a young person’s car..

  • My TL;DR is stock they are hairdresser cars, drop in a turbo motor or scrotary and not very hairdressery any more

    Edit to add: If you got more money, an 86/BRZ is a nice option. My lil bro has one with a turbo kit and it is pretty insane for something so drivable/well behaved.

  • Who the hell cares what other people think. If you like it then buy it.

  • Mazda MX-5:

    Either you love it or not one bit.

    If there is love, what are you waiting for, commit.

    If there is dislike, why are you even asking?

    Who cares what others think?

  • It's the small size, light weight and modest power of the Mk1 that drew the association, and it stuck.
    It stuck for good reason: Mazda stayed (mostly) committed to the formula. It's a sound recipe from a performance and engineering perspective.
    Light weight is a virtuous circle that requires less power to motivate, smaller brakes, tyres and wheels.

    This was the template of UK/EU performance roadsters of a bygone era, with the V12 E-Type being a bit of an outlier. Most were small, narrow, light and perfect for twisty B-roads. They weren't as reliable or durable as the MX-5.

    Part of it is scale. In bigger landscapes they're almost invisible.

    • Part of it is scale. In bigger landscapes they're almost invisible.

      I recall wondering why the car behind me at the lights was so far back once. Turned out to be an mx5 directly behind. I was in a dual cab ute with canopy so not the easiest to see out of but could not see the mx5 at all until I moved off and it dropped back to maintain a gap.

  • End of the day, buy a car for you and no one else.
    That also means if you care about peoples comments, don't buy one.
    If you don't care what people think, and do like them, get one.

    They're rad little cars IMO

  • Definitely don't buy one. You will never shake the tag

  • Anyone who disses you for it being more of a hairdresser car than it being a raw power machine probably stocks up on blue pills too. Get it, you’ll have so much fun on weekend drives and getaways! I’d love to have gotten one, but alas, practicality won this time (although not by much).

  • +1 vote

    It does not matter what others think. I bought a MX5 ND last year and by far it is one of the most driver oriented cars you can buy.

    It is so much FUN driving a lightweight RWD manual car!

    Similar to the 86, which I also have, these cars can teach drivers to actually drive fast in khanacross, technical tracks and motorkhana. They split people who can or cannot drive by looking at lap times.

    Otherwise, anyone can buy a Audi RS3 or Golf R and tune it to the max & drive straightline 10s a qtr mile. Then say, I am an Awesome Driver. Alas, it is the car..

  • I've had a 1991 MX-5 for 5 years and no one's given me crap about it. But people can call me whatever they want for all I care since I'm having way too much fun with it to give a damn.

  • Why would you care what others think. Are we all supposed to buy an euro car to satisfy everyone else.
    I think this stereotype thing killed holden cause people referred the driver/owners as a bogan type.

  • They're a small convertible - which gave them a reputation. They happened to be pretty decent cars, and they would have been taken much more seriously if they were hard tops. I see that the newer model actually has a hard top option now.

  • MX5 are great cars if you appreciate handling over raw speed. I do. Any idiot can go fast in a straight line but the MX5 and some others just have a delicacy about the driving experience that brings a smile to your face even at slow speeds.

    I've had plenty of cars that only come alive at very illegal speeds, at least in this country. They're just hard work to enjoy on our roads and that includes things like a WRX. E.g. I borrowed my Mothers WRX for a road trip through Scotland last UK summer. It was great and you were really able to take advantage of the grip/speed on many of the quieter roads but back in the UK Midlands it was a waste of time. My Mother is 78 BTW…

    I've had 2 MX5s in this country. The NB and NC models. I'm 6'2" so the NB was a tight fit but the NC was perfect. We did a 5000K road trip throughout NSW and VIC with the roof mainly down all the time, just cruising along the back roads where possible.

    They can be used as an everyday car but I was always wary that someone would slash the roof. It never happened though but then if we felt like the destination was questionable we took another car. At the time of ownership that a Disco 2 V8, hard to get a more extreme alternative.

  • MX5 ND 2016 owner here - Absolutely love it! Yes, it is impractical but I've managed just fine for 3.5 years.
    You feel like you are going faster than you are, which is great if you live in a nanny state with cops with a speed gun behind the bush. I haven't been fined in over 3 years.
    It was a head turner in the office car park, especially on a warm day. My colleagues with expensive sedans and SUVs wanted to take it out for a spin. I always get a wave and a smile from fellow MX-5 drivers on the road.
    My only concern was joining the local MX5 club - the members are not my age group and I would feel out of place.

  • I think it's mostly about the power figure and the fact that a lot of women own this car. Also if there's an opportunity to joke about and roast your mates, why the heck not?

    Caring about others opinions on what car you drive is not something I personally care about, but I understand why some people would. If you're passing up on it just because of that "hairdresser" label you'll get from some of your mates, then I think you're missing out a lot.

    The MX-5 is an amazing weekend and track car. It can be very fast on a track in the right hands. If you really wanna look at the power, you'll see the latest ND has very decent power to weight ratio and very decent acceleration, but that's not the point of this car. I've only test driven it and haven't had much experience with it, but I instantly loved it. The only reason I didn't get it was because of lack of backseats (the ability to put a child seat in there).

    Go for what you like mate. Life is too short to care about what others think about what car you drive.

  • MX-5s were mainly called hairdressers cars by dumb bogans who liked 4 door v8 sedans that handle like a boat. They couldn't understand the concept of a 2 door convertible that handles like a go kart and has excellent power to weight. MX-5s are fun, fantastic, have aged well, handle great, economic, reliable.

    Get one!

  • Get a Tiguan 162TSI. Much Much better car.

  • MX-5, great car.

    another option is S2000 - personally think its a better car in all regards.

  • I've got a Hyundai i30 - people I know joke around calling it a hairdresser car. I bought it as a demo and it cost me $20K. It's cheap to run and insure while the people giving me grief can't afford anything more than some clapped out piece of s**t from 20+ years ago that runs like crap and costs heaps in maintenance.