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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Pros and Cons: Why (Not) This Car?

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata front quarter view
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Introduction

I've loved the Mazda MX-5 Miata ever since I first read it was going to be a thing. The formula behind the upcoming car:

  • a compact, lightweight body
  • a high-revving four-valve-per-cylinder engine mounted aft of the front axle
  • a manual transmission with a short-throw shifter
  • rear-wheel drive
  • a double-wishbone suspension at both ends
  • all tuned to make the car and driver as one (jinba ittai)
Based on everything Car and Driver had taught me during the 1980s, this sounded perfect. Reviewers then drove the car, and reported that nothing else came close in terms of real-world driving enjoyment per dollar. The original Miata wasn't fast, but it had finesse to spare, and it was can't-stop-grinning fun. Mazda significantly updated the two-seater for 1999 then totally redesigned and re-engineered it for 2006, but did not deviate from the original formula. Yet I never bought a Miata because, well, graduate school (in Chicago), marriage, and three offspring happened.

Your circumstances might differ from mine. If you want a car that is simply fun to drive, you can't go wrong with a Miata. They're cheap to buy, cheap to maintain, cheap to operate, and cheap to insure. Do as I say and not as I've done, and buy one.

Alternatives? Until the Miata-based Fiat 124 arrives next summer, the roadster has no direct competitors. You can't get a Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ as a convertible. The Audi TT, BMW Z4, Mercedes-Benz SLK, and Porsche Boxster are all much heavier and much more expensive (in all regards). Though front-wheel-drive, a topless MINI likely comes closest.

The largest challenge faced by peddlers of new Miatas: used Miatas. Pre-owned Miatas can be crazy cheap, and many have clocked only a few sunny-day miles. To keep the line humming in Hiroshima, periodic improvements are essential, and for 2016 Mazda has again fully redesigned the car. Is the 2016 "ND" Miata so good that a 2006-2015 "NC" just doesn't compare?

The tested cars--the new Miata, the recently discontinued MINI Roadster, and the hatchback version of the upcoming 2016 MINI Convertible--were all fitted with (groan) automatic transmissions. As much as I personally prefer a manual transmission (briefly sampled in each car), many of you have told me that you can't abide a clutch. How much fun are are you missing out on? Is the new MX-5 Miata worth buying even with an automatic transmission?

MX-5 Miata Reviews: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata front quarter view

Long, voluptuous front end recalls the BMW Z3. And the current Jaguar F-Type. Too curvy? more MX-5 Miata photos

MX-5 Miata Reviews: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata interior

Attractively styled and trimmed new interior.

Tested: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

2dr Convertible 155-horsepower 2.0L I4 6-speed shiftable automatic RWD

Compared: 2013 Mini Roadster

2dr Convertible turbocharged 181hp 1.6L I4 6-speed shiftable automatic FWD

Why the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata?

  Compared to the Roadster
Handling
Handling: Much better Better Worse

If a small sports car doesn't have spectacular handling, then what's the point of it? With their light weight, compact dimensions, balanced weight distribution, and skillful suspension tuning, Mazda MX-5 Miatas have been renowned for their handling.

This said, the new Miata feels dramatically different than I expected it to, and I spent much of my time with the car getting my head around this. The new electrically power-assisted steering doesn't feel firm on-center or provide a clear sense of dead-ahead like the early EPAS in my Mazda RX-8 does. Instead, a slight dead spot on-center in quick transitions misleadingly suggests float (and a corresponding lack of grip) in the front end, which doesn't help driver confidence. In truth, the tires grip plenty well for non-track use. Plus the car is so poised that only the stupidest moves risk upsetting it, much less losing control.

As the Miata's wheel is turned, its steering weights up a little, but less than in my RX-8. Feedback is good, but less nuanced (or at least less raw) than in past Mazda sports cars. The car reacts to steering inputs quickly, but fluidly rather than sharply. If you're seeking the firm, hair-trigger-sharp steering character of a hardcore sports car, the FR-S is a better option. Instead, the new Miata's steering feels light, easy-going, and smooth.

Beyond the steering, the Miata rolls far more in turns than a MINI or Scion FR-S does. (The track-oriented Club rolls a little less than the other trims, but still considerably more than an FR-S.) Mazda designed in this roll to provide clear feedback of cornering loads. As the owner of an RX-8, which also has a fair amount of roll designed in, I understand the point of such feedback, and welcome it. Still, the Miata rolls more than is necessary to provide such feedback, and more than I expected it to. In an FR-S or my RX-8 I feel like I'm piloting a stable (if quick to rotate) platform, In the new Miata, thanks to the combination of its much shorter wheelbase and its relatively roly-poly suspension tuning, I felt like I was pivoting on a point, especially at first. Like the steering feel, this can be disconcerting.

While the Miata remains rear-wheel drive, you can't readily induce oversteer (kick the rear end out, for more rapid rotation and more thrills) by accelerating while turning except at low speeds. In the Club with a manual transmission you can steer a little more with the throttle, thanks to a torque-sensing limited-slip differential, but even the Club isn't nearly as tail-happy as an FR-S. If you're looking for a drift car, the new Miata is too resolutely balanced for you.

And the MINI? Any MINI, being front-wheel drive, handles far differently than the Miata. They're point-and-shoot cars, the light rear end dutifully following the relatively heavy nose. Based on my experience with the 2015 Hardtop, the 2016 Convertible will also feel much heavier and less frisky than the Miata.

It took some "work," but after a few hundred miles in the Ohio hills I acclimated to how the new Miata walks and talks, and curvy roads became pure joy. It doesn't encourage you to hammer it through twisties. Instead, it's a willing dance partner, exceedingly light on its expert feet. Actually, Miatas have always been this way. The ND just takes the original theme to a different plane--and I still can't decide how I feel about this.


Ride smoothness
Ride smoothness: Much better Better Worse

The surprises continue with ride quality.

The new MX-5 Miata's suspension tuning might have left me wanting sharper steering responses and flatter cornering, but it has at least one undebatable strength: Mazda's latest rides amazingly well for a light car with a short wheelbase. Though the two-seater still can feel a touch jumpy over small road surface imperfections, it takes large bumps in stride, at times even feeling cushy. Speed bumps that would induce a harsh impact in just about any current performance-oriented sedan? You can ignore them in the new Miata.

In contrast, the MINI Cooper S Roadster had a harsh, almost punishing ride. The new MINI Hardtop (basis of the new Convertible) feels more polished than the discontinued Roadster, but still far firmer than the Miata. And the Scion FR-S? It was so loud and jittery on the highway that I found it almost unbearable. (But then I exited the highway onto some twisty two-lanes and confirmed the strengths of that car.)

I never spent much time behind the wheel of the third-generation Miata, but my impression was that, like my RX-8, its ride quality split the difference between the new Miata and the others.


MX-5 Miata Reviews: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata rear quarter view

The car's curves look best from its rear quarter. Note how front fender falls away from its peak.

MX-5 Miata Reviews: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata instrument panel

Most of the controls can be easily operated without looking away from the road.

Reliability & durability
Reliability & durability: Much better Better Worse

The new Mazda MX-5 Miata is, well, new, so TrueDelta has no reliability data on it. But past Miatas have all been reliable, and other current Mazdas have been reliable, so there's little reason to think that the new Miata won't be.

MINIs, though not on average as bad as their reputation suggests, have been considerably less reliable than Miatas. And, if you do get a bad one, too often it's horror-story bad. Scion FR-Ss initially suffered from a few common issues, but the average for the 2013s has been improving and the 2014s have been good.


Fuel economy
Fuel economy: About the same Better Worse

Nothing has improved more with the Mazda MX-5 Miata's latest redesign than its fuel economy. The 2015 managed only 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway in the EPA's tests, disappointing for such a light car powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine. The new car tests much better: 27/34 with a manual transmission and 27/36 with an automatic.

The MINI Cooper S Roadster was about equally efficient when equipped with a manual transmission (26/35), a little short with an automatic (25/34). The new MINI Convertible, if it shares the Hardtop's EPA ratings, won't be as efficient with a manual transmission (23/33) but will be as competitive as its predecessor with an automatic (26/33). The Scion FR-S barely out-economizes the old Miata with a manual (22/30) but is just a couple mpg short of the new one with an automatic (25/34).

Premium fuel is recommended in all of these cars. The new Miata can use regular unleaded at the cost of some responsiveness.

In my real-world driving of the new Miata with an automatic transmission the trip computer reported a suburban average around 30 mpg. On a 60-mph highway the average can reach 40, about 4 mpg better than a Scion FR-S and 5 mpg better than a MINI JCW Clubman, both tested with manual transmissions. Drive at 75 mph with the top down, though, and the reported average will fall to 34 mpg. The largest fuel economy advantage over the Scion FR-S appeared when both were flogged along Ohio's Route 26. The Scion's fuel economy dipped into the high teens, but the Mazda's only into the mid-20s. The most likely reason: the torquier, far less peaky Mazda engine doesn't have to be revved nearly as high to reach its sweet spot. The JCW Clubman, its turbo reducing the need for fuel-guzzling runs to the red line, fell between the two with a "spirited driving" average around 20 mpg.

Overall, with the redesign the Miata's fuel economy has gone from worst to first.


Price or payments
Price or payments: Much better Better Worse

The new Mazda MX-5 Miata is offered in three trim levels: $25,735 Sport, $28,600 Club, and $30,885 Grand Touring. A proximity key is included with the automatic but is a $130 option with the manual on all models. The automatic adds $1,480 to the Sport, only $730 to the Club (because it deletes key features), and $1,205 to the Grand Touring (yielding the tested car's $32,090).

The Miata Sport is the least expensive true convertible you can buy (the smart fortwo and Fiat 500 don't count), impressive when you consider that it's not based on a high-volume hardtop model and (partly for this reason) how well it performs. Though basic, it does include Bluetooth and LED headlights. All you really need on such a car?

Adjust for feature differences, and the 121-horsepower, $26,950 2015 MINI Cooper Roadster slightly undercuts the new Miata in a value comparison, but with 34 fewer horsepower, 300 pounds more curb weight (2,635 vs. 2,332), and front-wheel drive it's much slower and not nearly as entertaining. The more comparable (in acceleration at least) 181-horsepower Cooper S Roadster lists for $4,215 more before adjusting for its additional standard features and about $2,500 more afterwards.

Want metallic paint? It's a $500 option on the MINI, nothing extra on the Mazda.

For another $3,685, the Club adds: 17-inch alloys, Torsen limited-slip rear differential, sport suspension, strut tower brace, sport front fascia, rear spoiler, and an upgraded audio system with Bose speakers (add nav for another $399). The Club steers a little more sharply and rolls a little less than the others, and the Torsen diff enables more dynamic handling, but the sizable price bump probably isn't worth it for potential buyers who won't be driving the car on a track (where the Club-only $3,400 Brembo brake package also might be a good idea) or extremely challenging roads. Adding the automatic transmission deletes the Torsen, sport suspension, and strut tower brace, and with them much of the point for spending an extra three grand for the Club.

The Grand Touring adds considerable content to the Sport: 17-inch alloys, auto-on auto-dimming steering-linked headlights, rain-sensing wipers, leather seating surfaces, heated seats and outside mirrors, automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror with garage door opener, upgraded Bose audio system with nav, alarm, blind spot warning system, and lane departure warning system. The last borders on silly given the car's size and mission. Adjusting for all save the wheels and speakers leaves a premium of $1,600 relative to the Sport, which seems within spitting distance of reasonable. But is this bundle of features worth $5,150 to you?

Add these features and metallic paint to the Cooper S Roadster, and it lists for $6,460 more before adjusting for feature differences, and about $5,000 more afterwards. Unlike Mazda, MINI offers options a la carte, but charges mightily for them. In comparison, the upcharge for the Miata Grand Touring seems very reasonable.

As mentioned in the intro, the new Miata's toughest price competition comes from used Miatas, which can cost less than $10,000 in like-new condition with low miles.


Why Not the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata?

  Compared to the Roadster
Rear seat room & comfort
Rear seat room & comfort: About the same Better Worse

The most obvious reason not to buy any Mazda MX-5 Miata? The thing that kept me from buying one: no back seat. The MINI Roadster also had not back seat, while the MINI Convertible and Scion FR-S have vestigial perches on which only my smallest child might sit semi-comfortably. In contrast, I can fit all three of my teenagers into my Mazda RX-8. But if my wife also wants to come along, we have to take our other car.


Cargo capacity
Cargo capacity: Much worse Better Worse

The Mazda MX-5 Miata does have a trunk, but at 4.6 cubic feet it can hold only about half as much as the MINI Roadster's and one-third as much as the average sedan's. Enough luggage for a weekend trip for two will fit, but that's about it.

Interior storage space is similarly in short supply. Mazda opted not to include a glove compartment. Instead, there are some small compartments in the bulkhead behind the front seats. Pack light.


MX-5 Miata Reviews: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata front view winding road

An excellent road for the new Mazda Miata. I wish I lived closer to southeastern Ohio.

MX-5 Miata Reviews: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata driver seat

Some people will wish the driver seat was more adjustable.

Front seat room
Front seat room: Worse Better Worse

Large drivers have always found the Mazda MX-5 Miata a tight fit, and while the third- and new fourth-generation are roomier than the pre-2006 roadsters this continues to be the case. At 5-9 and 165 lbs. I have plenty of room, especially with the top down. Depending on your size, your preferred driving position, and the amount of top-up driving you'll be doing, you might not.

The Miata's passenger has even less room than its driver owing to a hump in the floorboard and a cup holder that attaches to the right side of the center console. The cup holder can be moved to the rearmost portion of the center console, but this makes cups very difficult to reach.


Front seat support & comfort
Front seat support & comfort: Worse Better Worse

The new Mazda MX-5 Miata's driver seat provided all of the comfort and support I needed on a long drive that included many twists and turns, but it could be a "why not" for some people. Only its front edge can be raised (yielding a tilt adjustment rather than a height adjustment). Shorter drivers might wish for a full height adjustment. The lumbar bulge cannot be adjusted at all. Those who need a lot of lumbar support can't get it, at least not from the factory. Finally, the leather seats in the Grand Touring only provide a fair amount of lateral support in hard turns. There's a ready solution for this one, though: get one of the other trim levels, which have cloth seats.

The door-mounted armrest is padded. My left elbow became sore anyway.


Quietness
Quietness: About the same Better Worse

The blindingly obvious shortcomings continue. With the new Mazda MX-5 Miata's top down, wind noise and buffeting become tiresome only over 70 mph. Putting the top up eliminates the buffeting but reveals road noise. The Miata is a much better highway car than an FR-S, but still not a very good one. I haven't driven a topless MINI on the highway, but my experience in the Clubman suggests that it's at best even with the new Miata.


Other features of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

  Compared to the Roadster
Exterior styling
Exterior styling: Much better Better Worse

With Jaguar F-Type-like curves, the new Mazda MX-5 Miata has more dramatic styling than previous generations. To my eye, the fenders might be a little too full for the Miata's compact dimensions, such that from some angles its body appears a touch heavy or stubby, especially with the Sport's 16-inch wheels. (The Club and Grand Touring wear 17s.) But from most angles the car's curves appear sensuous, even stunning. They better catch the eyes of passersby and will induce more than a few purchases. The previous-generation Miata appears plain in comparison.

The Miata's top has been redesigned so that its forward section is a hard panel that stows on top of the folded stack. Putting it up or down remains an easy, five-second, single-latch operation. The third-generation car's clever power-folding hard top won't be returning. Unless you'd drive your Miata in all sorts of weather and/or park in an iffy area, it won't be missed.


Interior styling
Interior styling: Much better Better Worse

You'll also find more upscale styling inside the new Mazda MX-5 Miata. The padded and stitched surface along the face of the instrument panel is an especially nice touch. Though many surfaces are hard plastic nothing looks or feels cheap.

Some people will mind how the infotainment display appears tacked onto the top of the dash, but this positions it at a safe, comfortable height without enlarging the entire instrument panel.


Driving position & visibility
Driving position & visibility: Much better Better Worse

As much as I liked the 1990-2005 Miata, I always wished the seat wasn't quite so high. I'm not tall, yet the windshield header and rearview mirror intruded far too much into my forward view. The third-generation redesign largely eliminated this issue with a lower seat and less intrusive mirror, and the fourth-generation Miata's driver seat sits lower still thanks to innovative construction.

I still wouldn't mind a slightly higher windshield header, but in the new car the view forward only seems constrained when the top is up, and even then not terribly much. The view forward also would benefit from less voluptuous front fenders, but many people will like how the left one swells to fill the lower left corner of the windshield.

Putting the top up does constrain rearward visibility, as the side windows are small and there are no quarter windows. Perhaps this is the problem solved by the Grand Touring's blind spot warning system.

The Miata's windshield remains much more upright than in most current cars. This enables a shallow, compact instrument panel and contributes to a more immediate, more confidence-inspiring driving experience where a minimal amount of metal intrudes between you and the road. The MINI's windshield might be even more upright, but it's positioned far across a deep instrument panel, creating a bunker-like view forward and undermining both immersion and confidence.


Controls and instruments
Controls and instruments: Much better Better Worse

Most of the new Mazda MX-5 Miata's controls are very well designed such that they can be reached and operated easily without taking one's eyes off the road. Operating the infotainment system's control knob effects a little more wrist strain than in some other Mazdas owing to the Miata's lower driving position, but I've experienced much worse ergonomics. (MINIs are ergonomic nightmares,)

All is not perfect with the interior layout, though. The location of the CD player in the rear bulkhead makes it impossible to reach while driving and the digital secondary instruments wash out in sunlight. In contrast, the on/off button for the audio system was overly easy to hit with an elbow when giving the car a workout. A few times when I was throwing the car hard into a curvy the music would suddenly turn on or off.


Powertrain performance
Powertrain performance: Better Better Worse

Though the new Mazda MX-5 Miata's 2.0-liter engine is only good for 155 horsepower, thanks to the car's low 2,322-pound curb weight the small roadster can accelerate from a dead stop to 60 mph in about six-and-a-half seconds. This might not be quite as quick as the current MINI Cooper S but it is about a second quicker than the third-generation Miata, the Cooper S Roadster (based on the previous-generation MINI), and the Scion FR-S.

But the new Miata doesn't seem as quick as it is. The engine, very similar to the one used in the Mazda3, wasn't designed for a sporting application. It has a strong midrange for a non-turbocharged engine, but up top the similarly sized but higher winding Scion engine produces another 45 horsepower. Add in a far-from-thrilling raspy exhaust, and the Mazda's SKYACTIV engine just isn't much fun to take near the red line. I'd prefer a peakier, more evocative engine in my pint-sized roadster.

Next year Fiat will offer a new 124 roadster. This car essentially will be a Miata with a modifed exterior, a Fiat engine, and different suspension tuning. The last could reduce body roll in turns. The engine, a 160-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that has been offered for a few years in other Fiats, including the rorty 500 Abarth, will almost certainly make more exhilarating noises than the Mazda mill. Plus it will have a plumper midrange, with another 36 lb-ft of torque (184 to 148). Though the 124 will be 100 pounds heavier than the Miata, it could be a little quicker. But it could deliver its power less immediately and less smoothly owing to the turbo. And it will almost certainly prove less reliable given its maker.

Way back in the introduction I mentioned the Miata's automatic transmission. So, how much joy does it slaughter? To my great surprise, I didn't miss having a manual transmission all that much. As automatics go, Mazda's is perhaps the best. Left to its own devices the six-speed transmission tended to promptly select the best ratio for the situation. A sport mode can be toggled to hold lower gears longer and to react to the throttle more quickly, but I found this mode annoying when the curves were mixed with straights, since the transmission held onto an unnecessarily low gear through the latter. Instead, whenever the automatic in its regular mode didn't read the situation well enough (not often) I preferred to use the shift paddles.

MINI's automatic transmission also suits a sporting car surprisingly well, if not quite as well as the Miata's.

Nevertheless, for maximum driving enjoyment you still want the manual. The Miata's shift lever, with short, precise, solid throws, has always been among the best, perhaps the best, and the ND's shifter continues this laudable tradition. The MINI's manual shift feel isn't in the same league, but is passable.


Conclusion

So, did Mazda sufficiently improve the MX-5 Miata with the 2016 redesign? It depends on one's tastes and priorities. Though the new two-seater accelerates more quickly and handles more capably, it doesn't feel as visceral or as thrilling. With no clear sense of dead-ahead in the steering and considerable roll in hard turns, the ND Miata can even feel odd. I did enjoy the new car more as I grew accustomed to its ways. I certainly did not wish I was driving a Scion FR-S or a MINI instead. (Especially not the new, massive-feeling MINI.) But the learning curve would have been nearly non-existent with the 2006-2015 NC Miata, and I think I would have enjoyed driving it even more.

Granted, this could be a matter of personal taste. Some people will enjoy driving the ND more than the NC. Others will enjoy looking at it more, thanks to its Jaguaresque curves. Plus the new Miata doesn't only look like a more expensive car (inside as well as out), but it feels like a more expensive car--smoother, quieter, and generally more refined--without actually being more expensive. It's the better choice for a casual weekend drive; or for a long drive, where its much-improved fuel economy will be especially welcome. Finally, for those who do care about track times, the Miata's guiding philosophy be damned, the new car outpaces the old one in both straights and turns. Though I might personally enjoy the previous Miata more, I prefer my cars at least a touch raw. The new one is in many ways, and overall, the "better car." If you think you want one, you want one.

MX-5 Miata Reviews: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata engine

SKYACTIV engine is torquey and efficient, but doesn't stir the soul.

MX-5 Miata Reviews: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata trunk

Small but usefully shaped trunk.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata pros and cons, according to Michael Karesh: the best reasons for buying (or not buying) the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Join TrueDelta to post your own impressions.

Response from colin42

10:32 pm December 18, 2015

This does look like a stunning car, but Just like Michael a 2 seater an none starter for me. Now if they could build a 4 seater (hatchback?) coupe with the proportions of the RX8 that looks like this, it would be a car I'd lust afte; With the 2.5 turbo from the upcoming CX-9 - A new MX-6 rather than an RX-8.

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Response from studedude

4:33 pm January 25, 2016

Any chance you will review a base Sport with the manual trans in the near future? I think this car, more than any other out there, needs to be driven with the 6 speed manual to fully appreciate its virtues. Mazda continues to go its own way re: ride and handling which I think is a good thing. And, some consider the 2.0 to be anemic and not have enough power. Based on my own experience with my 2016 Mazda6 automatic, more power might be interesting but is absolutely not necessary. Drive the wee out of the Miata and the power will be more than sufficient---which is what I do with my '91 NA.

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Response from mkaresh

7:08 pm January 25, 2016

I doubt I'll be able to review the base Sport, though I wouldn't mind more time with the car. I also briefly drove a Club manual, and discuss the transmission at the very end of the above review. The Sport should handle virtually the same as the reviewed GT, the only suspension difference being tires. The engine has plenty of midrange power for most drivers. As noted in the review, I wish it had more power at high rpm. As is, there's little reason to wind it out.

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Response from studedude

9:53 am January 26, 2016

Mike--- Thanks for the response. I saw the comment re: the manual trans shifter in the review but I thought you were commenting on past Miata units. Keep us advised re: the sister car Fiat 124 with the turbo powertrain.

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Response from mkaresh

12:42 pm January 26, 2016

Response from BDubya

3:13 pm January 31, 2016

Having owned 10 or so NA, NB and NC Miatas, I looked forward to the release with much anticipation. I believe Mazda has met my expectations and then some (NCs were a bit of letdown). But then right on the heels, Fiat announces the 124 . . . oh my, the photoshopped Abarth versions floating around the web boards are absolutely the BOMB. And their launch car in the blue over tan is quite appealing too. My son has a 500 Abarth and that drivetrain rocks. So now, instead of heading to the Mazda store for a brother to my Turbo'd '91 . . . I'm anxiously awainting the 124 and will make a comparison/purchase then. Good write-up Mike!

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Response from Impressed

11:43 pm February 27, 2016

Thanks for another insightful review, Michael. As someone who would like to experience rear wheel drive before much longer, a used MX-5 is high on my list of possiblities. Reading about the new one and its relation to the older ones is very interesting. I do find the ND body styling too far from the previous three generations, with those headlights and tail lights being too small for my taste.The rear of the car looks like a distressed, frowning face when I see it in photos and in the wild.

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Response from Tassos

12:23 pm April 27, 2016

The competition to the Miata RWD sports car is not the little convertible FWD MINI, even if their prices are similar.

Buyers who want a RWD sports convertible will also look at the BMW Z, the Mercedes SLK, or whatever they call it these days, and, above all, the Porsche Boxster.


And to those who will point out that these are much more epxensive than the Miata, they may be, only if you buy them new. You can actually save a bundle even over the Miata buying a used Boxster, which is a far superior vehicle in this category, no matter what the Miata fanatics will tell you.


After all, you make a huge numberof compromises to enjoy the Miata. No trunk, no room, not even a glove box, and an anemic, noisy engine just off the top of my head.


Pity that MAZDA designed a car that only small men and small and medium sized women will enjoy. Because it is NOT enough toi "fit" in the driver's seat. You need to be able to also STRETCH in longer trips. But again, who would want to drive the Miata on a long trip? It is and looks unsafe on the highway.



I would bet the vast majority of the sales will be SINGLE WOMEN. Or at least a much higher percentage than for the Boxster.



The MINI is cute, actually looks far better than the bland Miata, BUT it is not a serious alternative with its FWD.

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