The die was cast in 1990, and while that die may have been broadened ever so slightly, it's still immediately recognizable - and immediately enjoyable. There was nothing like it on the road, let alone a roadster of any kind. At this year's Chicago Auto Show in February, Mazda took the wraps off of a Special Edition. And much of that has been engineered in. Keep in mind that there are no other roadsters available at the base price, only 4-seat convertibles. The popularity of the Miata single-handedly brought about the revival of the roadster.
It shines brighter than ever. . Engine noise is yet another reason the hardtop is worth consideration, plus it helps reduce wind and road noise on the highway. Over the years Mazda has resisted the urge to stray from the original concept. In the city, it has great pull away from traffic lights, and the engine has excellent mid-range torque for effortless in-town cruising.
Be sure and check kbb. A more aggressive Sport suspension with Bilstein shocks and limited slip differential can be added to both Touring and Grand Touring models equipped with manual transmission. And as noted, a 6-speed automatic is optional across the board, but only truly appropriate if you've lost your left leg in a racing accident. The Power Retractable Hard Top has its own price schedule, spread over three trim levels: Touring, Grand Touring and Special Edition. When pushed hard, the engine and exhaust note is pleasing but can be a bit tiring over a long period. The Bose stereo is another letdown, sounding washed out and tinny despite the fancy brand name. I can clearly remember the excitement that surrounded the arrival of the original Mazda Miata back in the late-1980s.
The compact dimensions along with the ability to drop the roof at any time can turn a boring commute into a special moment. To its credit, the accommodation is much better than that offered by its one-time competitor, the Pontiac Solstice. Two unique colors, and built in Grand Touring spec, the Special Edition will only be available with the Miata's Power Retractable Hardtop. And while our take on the Mazda3's recently acquired edge is purely subjective, we thank a Superior Being every day that he or she spared the Miata its stylistic extravagance. When Mazda decided to add a retractable hardtop in 2007 they went to great lengths to minimize the amount of space it required in the trunk and only added 36kg of weight. And while its development over twenty years has necessarily accommodated new safety and emission legislation, the tight, lithe platform continues to deliver an almost innate connection with the asphalt and hopefully fresh air. Despite an entry-level price tag, the base Sport is comprehensively equipped.
By modern standards, the previous cars are varying degrees of crude, with less-than-stellar highway manners, a compact cabin and a somewhat dated feel. Most of the Miata's available options are packaged in its trim level upgrades. With 167 horsepower 7,000 rpm from its 2. Most of the materials are above average, and we found the leather seats a bit too plush for our liking. We have room for over 100 words, but need only three: It's a Miata. To get a true roadster, expect to pay a lot more. But what it provides in driving enjoyment puts it solidly in pole position, with feedback - both mechanical and aural - fully appropriate to the classic sports car experience.
Hood, trunk, front control arms, rear suspension uprights and rear brake calipers are all crafted in a material many carmakers have yet to discover - in any application. And while that path to simplicity is necessarily sophisticated, Mazda has resisted the urge to install more cylinders, which all-too-typically require a heavier structure. And while refinements - and additional safety upgrades - have been added, the recipe remains essentially the same: A modestly responsive four-cylinder engine, precise manual transmission, a well dampened, fully independent suspension, and minimalistic bodywork. The Miata's beauty is in its balance - enough room to be a daily commuter, and enough stowage to enjoy the occasional weekend furlough, but never so much that you and your passenger are isolated from your immediate environment. The Miata's all-independent suspension and almost 50:50 weight distribution provide both a comfortable ride within the limits of a 92-inch wheelbase and immediate turn-in. Sure, Bluetooth, Sat radio, leather heated seats and a power roof are all optional but not necessary.
The same is true on the highway as the 6-speed manual transmission is geared to keep the revs up. It remains a diminutive two-seater, providing comfortable accommodation for two adults of average size in combination with two briefs of average size. Historically, Miata resale has been consistently strong, a testament to both its long-term reliability and desirability to successive generations of car buyers. But that will be little consolation when you're trying to get your new living room from Ikea back to the casa. This is a fantastic car for all.
Despite its modest consumption of fossil fuels, this may very well be the most eco-sensitive transport on four wheels; you will feel everything around you. With that, we'll add the following: While its dimensions remain small, the end result is a passenger compartment more personal than confining. The compact dimensions provide a lightweight and nimble package that is the heart of this car. Handling is first rate, yet the suspension is supple enough for daily use. It's more than mere transport; it's transport to another place. Driving It In a word, responsive. And while the appointments are appropriate to its price and segment, they recede in importance to what you've just seen, and what the next trip will bring.
The package has excited one generation, and is now exciting the newly licensed children of its first ownership group. To the Touring spec the Grand Touring receives a black or beige cloth top in lieu of the Sport and Touring black vinyl top , automatic air conditioning, leather seating and a Bose audio system. Touring and Grand Touring models add a sixth gear to the manual transmission; all three trim levels offer an available 6-speed automatic as an option. There is absolutely nothing extraneous to the architecture, and while its footprint may be an expansion on the '60s-era Lotus that inspired it, there are few cars today - and virtually none in the U. A 6-speed manual gearbox is an option on certain models and fitted on our test car in place of a 5-speed stick or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Short overhangs front and rear combine with a widened track to create a very athletic presence. Gone is the rough, gutless economy car engine, replaced by a growling 2.
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