First Drive: 2016 Mazda MX-5
Mazda prides itself on building cars that are fun to drive, and the Mazda MX-5 roadster, also known as the Mazda Miata, has been the purest expression of that principle for several decades. The original MX-5 was a huge hit when it was first released in 1989, and now Mazda has completely redesigned the roadster using the original version as an inspiration.
I had the opportunity to drive the all-new 2016 MX-5 on some incredible mountain roads just north of Los Angeles as Mazda introduced the new vehicle to the press, and it was by far one of the most enjoyable driving experiences I’ve had in the past several years. I had a smile planted on my face all day as I pushed the MX-5 through challenging turns through the scenic mountain roads. The MX-5 is a fine-tuned machine that will impress anyone who still appreciates the driving experience.
Browse through the photos of the new MX-5 and you’ll see design that matches the impressive driving experience. After years of making incremental changes, the look of the MX-5 had grown a bit stale. It looked adequate but hardly inspiring.
Mazda went back to the drawing board and came up with a beautiful, modern design featuring sharp lines and curves worthy of this iconic roadster. I particularly liked the red Miata we tested with the black wheels.
Mazda designers created a lower and sleeker profile, giving the impression of a vehicle gripping the road, which perfectly represents the sensation you feel when driving the MX-5.
Read the rest of this entry »
Car Review: 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata PRHT
Hot summer days demand drop-top cars to truly enjoy this time of year in the Midwest, and the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata answered the call for us. We drove and drove the MX-5, soaking up everything this car and the summer breeze had to offer, and never left the wheel disappointed. After a week of driving, it’s no wonder to us that the MX-5 is still by far the best-selling two-seat roadster in the world.
The MX-5 Miata was developed primarily for the North American market, and throughout the vehicle’s history, the region has come through to remain dominant in global sales. Available with two distinctive and easy-to-operate head wraps, the 2014 MX-5 Miata comes standard with a Z-fold design soft-top or an industry-leading Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT) as tested. The soft top, available on all trim levels, continues to set the industry standard with its simplicity and ease of use. With a central latch handle, the top requires only a simple hand motion to fold and stow behind the seats. The top itself descends into a cleverly designed storage well, thus leaving the 5.3 cubic feet of cargo space completely untouched.
An available option on Club and Grand Touring trims only, the PRHT is stored in the same manner as the soft top, again not affecting storage space. Designed to perform in any climate, PRHT models outsell soft-top models by a 4:1 ratio worldwide. Using a single-button operation, the PRHT offers one of the fastest power-operated open-and-close cycles for a hard top in North America at an efficiently expedient 12 seconds.
The true red paint coupled with the shiny black hard top looked amazing and really popped with the dark gunmetal 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 205/45R17 street-sticky Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires.
Read the rest of this entry »
Car Review: 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
The pure enjoyment of driving a straight-up sports car is something every driver should experience. We spent a week behind the wheel of a 2013 MX-5 Miata and enjoyed every minute of it! Since the two-seater entered the marketplace more than 20 years ago, the MX-5 has defied the convention that sports cars, particularly convertibles, were pricey, unattainable flights of fancy reserved for those with deep pockets.
Affordable, exceptional, tuned to produce driver happiness and the new for the 2013 model year is the Club trim level. Replacing the Touring trim of previous model years, the Club offers consumers the no-nonsense aggressive appeal seen in previous special edition versions but within a more affordable price realm. The 2013 MX-5 features an updated style from outside in. All trims receive a fresh new front fascia. Fog lights are now standard on Sport models, and Grand Touring vehicles receive a new 17-inch alloy wheel design. The most significant modification, however, involves the all-new Club trim that we tested, which subsequently replaces the Touring trim and is situated between the entry-level Sport and luxury-loaded Grand Touring.
With the Power Retractable Hard Top-equipped (PRHT) Club models, distinctive exterior characteristics abound. Dark gunmetal 17-inch alloy wheels – previously featured on 2012 MX-5 Special Edition models – are now standard, as are black-colored details such as outside mirrors, head lamp bezels and rooftop. This blacked-out look really set off our true red exterior and stood out on the road. A front air dam and rear diffuser are now included, as well as the seat back bar garnish now displayed in a glossy dark gray motif. For Club models like ours that are equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, the Suspension Package also is included, with specialized exterior “Club” graphics and badges rounding out the finishing touch to fashion an attractively bold MX-5 look.
The carefully crafted interior of the 2013 MX-5 Miata Club might be as sharp as the sculpted exterior. Available on Club and Grand Touring trims only, the PRHT is stored in the same manner as the soft top, again not affecting storage space. Designed to perform in any climate, PRHT models outsell soft-top models by a 4:1 ratio worldwide. Using a single-button operation, the PRHT offers one of the fastest power-operated opening-and-closing cycles for a hard top in North America at a highly efficient 12 seconds – faster than the never-convenient red-light-green-light pause. Our test model was equipped with tilt leather steering wheel, rear center console with storage, remote keyless entry system, leather shift knob, trip computer and smartly centered dashboard.
Read the rest of this entry »