01 Feb 2016 Mazda MX-5
By Lacey Elliott
The Miata, now called official called the MX-5 has; and still is, one of my favorite cars. Numerous awards, updates and design changes and this little car just keeps getting better.
Years ago, I think the most common phrase to describe this car was cute. 25 years and fourth generation later, Mazda has, in my opinion, really hit the nail on the head. The rounded front fenders are gone and the LED headlights now look like they are squinting. They appear to be looking ahead to pounce on anything in its path. Mazda’s Kodo design has transformed this car and it looks substantially different than Miata’s of the past. I was always attracted to this tiny car because it was so darn cute, but no more. It is still petite, but now, it turns heads because it is aggressive looking little sports car.
INTERIOR & SPACE
It is a small 2-seater convertible; so space is not the reason you will buy this car. Improved ergonomics and the fact that the seat can recline a little bit more; has made this generation feel roomier than the previous model. Sitting behind the wheel everything is in the perfect position to make driving comfortable. The gearshift sits effortlessly in my hand and the pedals are perfectly aligned for my feet. The bolsters are wide enough for me but I do wonder how Dan will feel. The soft top can be opened with just one hand, either from the driver or the passenger with ease. The sound system allows music to be heard easily whether the top is up or down. It is a simple car; nothing inside is over complicated.
The 2.0Litre 4-cylinder engine puts out 155 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. You don’t have to know what any of that means because it won’t matter one bit when you’re behind the wheel. It actually has less power than the previous model but with some mechanical changes the driver gets more useable power more of the time. The engine sits a bit lower and farther to the back of the engine bay to improve the center of gravity. This generation has more high-strength steel added to the structure to improve safety and also reduce weight by about 10%. It feels peppy, and powerful and it puts a smile on my face in every driving scenario.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I love that for the last 25 years Mazda has not over complicated anything on this car. The base GX starts at just over $33,000 and has cruise control, Bluetooth, MP3 capability and push button start. For close to $41,000 the GS model upgrades to 17” high-luster gunmetal finish alloy wheels, piano black accents, adjustable heated leather seats and Bose premium audio system.
For under $45,000 there is nothing out there that comes close to this car. Sure you could get into a Porsche Boxster, but the price will almost double. It is incredibly good looking and an absolute blast to drive. I have no doubt that this latest MX-5 will continue to be the best.