16 time Car and Driver 10Best winner.. The car that reinvented the small sports car. There's a reason this nameplate is the best selling Roadster of All Time: The Miata’s balance, poise, and eagerness are simply unmatched by anything not costing twice as much or more.
My MX-5 has just 6k miles on it, experience the Miata for an extended test-drive with no distracting salesman, a weekend road-trip or treat yourself to some sun and fun.
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The current Miata’s footprint is remarkably similar to that of the original, and, despite the addition of modern safety equipment and infotainment technology, today’s car weighs only around 100 pounds more than a 1990 Miata. Even in my more stiffly damped Club version, Mazda tunes the chassis to allow for a fair amount of body roll, which enhances the sensation of load transfer and helps the car communicate its body motions and inertia to the driver. The shifter and clutch operate with impeccable fluidity and precision, and the steering is perfectly weighted and linear in its responses.
The engine sings a pleasant song and revs freely to its 6800-rpm redline, with enough power to get the MX-5 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. Thanks to light weight and SkyActive technology, fuel economy is a very respectable 27 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.
Really the only way to achieve similar levels of driving pleasure is to look well beyond the $50,000 barrier. There, you’ll find the Porsche Boxster/Cayman. The Boxster distills a similarly pure spirit, even though it's lost its glorious flat-six in exchange for a turbo four, but the Porsche costs more than twice as much as the Miata, far out of reach for most driving enthusiasts. The Miata, which began life as a reliable counterpart to simple British sports cars, has now become a budget alternative to the Porsche.
The greatness of the Miata represents a continuing dedication to the sports-car ideal. That’s a rare thing these days. Mazda somehow makes a business case for building pleasurable, desirable, and soulful vehicles, the Miata suffering not at all for its lack of competition.