The 2016 Maxda MX-5 Miata Review: All cars are designed for a particular purpose. The MX-5, popularly known as the Miata, is meant purely for fun. And at that, it’s supreme. It’s a pure two-seat roadster, in the spirit of the European sports cars of the 1950s and 60s. Drop into the low bucket seat, flip back the manual cloth top, and take off and feel the wind in your hair.
Mazda accomplishes this task using 21st century technology and laser-focused efficiency through SKYACTIV Technology. SKYACTIV is about maximizing existing design and technology, squeezing every bit of function from the lightest possible vehicle. In fact, the newest car is 150 pounds lighter than generation three, thanks to the “gram strategy.” This approach finds efficiency wherever it can, from using more high-tensile steel and aluminum body panels, to removing springs, putting net and urethane in the seats, and shaving 16 pounds from the transmission.
This approach results in one of the lightest cars sold in America, at 2,332 pounds with the standard manual six-speed. The SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine, with 155 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. of torque, is a whopping 25 percent more efficient than its predecessor, with sterling numbers of 27 City, 34 Highway, and 30 combined (I averaged 30.5 mpg). Green scores are 5 for Smog, 7 for Greenhouse Gas.
Numbers and efficiencies aside, the car is just a kick to drive. It’s perfectly balanced, with rear-wheel-drive. You’ll find yourself looking for errands to run. As long as you aren’t planning to take along more than one friend and a small bag or two, you’re good.
Mazda’s engineers have honed the driving experience to perfection, sweating the details of steering response, suspension tuning, and the way the controls operate. As always, everything is perfectly placed, from the pedals to the exquisite short-throw shifter to the dash knobs.
Like all Mazdas, the MX-5 Miata gets the Kodo, Soul of Motion design theme. This means a long hood, short overhangs, a pushed-back cabin, and large wheels in the outer corners. The lowered hood and sharper face are a departure from the soft, rounded look of the original, and accommodate new, lower-profile, higher-efficiency LED headlamps. The new tail lamps match this efficient, modern look.
Sitting inside is both fresh and familiar. As you look out and see the sensuous rise of the edge of the fenders (with cut lines hidden), you see that the materials are finer than the plain plastic of the 1990s cars. That’s what drivers expect today. Kodo design carefully integrates sections and surfaces with a flow throughout the car. In the dash center sits what looks like a thick iPad Mini, in landscape mode, for accessing climate, entertainment, and navigation information.
While the Sport is well equipped, you can step up to the Club level, which is what my Soul Red Metallic tester was. It starts at $29,420. The Club receives more aggressive styling, with a front air dam, rear spoiler, rear bumper skirt, and side sill extensions.
It also gets an upgrade from 16- to 17-inch wheels, a limited-slip differential on manual-equipped models, and an upgraded entertainment package. My car, with the $3,400 Brembo & BBS package, flaunted stunning BBS wheels in a dark alloy, and the style and performance of the famous Brembo brakes, with their distinctive calipers. It came to $32,820.
The top, Grand Touring model, is packed with bright 17-inch wheels, leather-trimmed seats, automatic climate control, upgraded Bose sound system, and Mazda’s i-ACTIVESENSE suite of electronic safety features, such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and lane departure warning. The Grand Touring starts at $30,065, but can go up if you order an automatic transmission ($1,075 on any model), but why would you? All prices shown include the $820 destination charge.
The fourth-generation 2016 model is the best Miata ever, and will be the one that hits the million-unit mark sometime in the next couple of years. Despite the car’s tiny size and low stance, it’s a surprisingly good commuter car, still smooth and relatively quiet on the freeway too. By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net
The 2016 Maxda MX-5 Miata Bottom Line Review provided by:
Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
The Bottom Line: The Mazda MX-5 is the world’s most popular sports car, with nearly a million copies sold since its debut as the Miata in 1989. The 2016 model is all new, and returns to its roots, while reaching for the future. It’s a little smaller, and weighs only 182 pounds more than the original 1990 model. That’s incredible, considering how much more stuff comes standard in today’s cars. The Miata has always been an affordable fun car, as the original 1990 model cost $15,000 when it debuted. Eager buyers shelled out many thousands more to own the very first ones. $15K in 2016 dollars is $28,135, and the 2016 Sport model starts at only $25,735. Adjusted for inflation, the new 2016 Mazda MX-5 is one of the best sport cars for sale on the planet. And maybe, just for those reasons alone, you should “Drive one, Buy one, Today ©”.
Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net - And remember: “You Are What You Drive ©”
Column Name: Miata is the world’s most popular sports car
Topic: The 2016 Maxda MX-5 Miata
Word Count: 955
Photo Caption: The 2016 Maxda MX-5 Miata
Photo Credits: Mazda Internet Media
Series #: 2016- 35
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