New car reviews

2016 Mazda Miata MX-5

From Grandmas to Grand Prix Drivers

Lou Ann Hammond , Fri, 24 Jul 2015 07:36:17 PDT

Westlake Village, CA to Robinsons Ranch, CA - Twenty-four hours before I am to start driving the 2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 roadster Southern California has gone from a major drought to rain, thunder, lightning and a fireball crossing over a highway.

Mother Nature is alive and well in Southern California, but she eventually settles down, and I can head out, top down, through some of the most beautiful backroads in Southern California.

We had six exterior colors to choose from; Soul Red Metallic, Jet Black Mica, Crystal White Pearl, Metero Gray Mica, Blue Reflex Mica, Arctic White. The obvious choice would be the Soul Red Metallic, but my colleague and I decided on the Blue Reflex Mica. The red pops on the skin of the Miata and shows off every curve, but the Blue is elegant and fits the low hanging fog of the day.

With almost one million MX-5 Miatas sold since 1988, this sports car has continued to enthrall enthusiasts. Every Friday Warren Brown and I hold a carchat on the washingtonpost.com called Real Wheels. Every other week someone is asking about the new Mazda Miata (MX-5), what we know about it, have we driven it, do we like it. Finally, I can say yes, I have driven it, and I love it and I would buy the GT.

There are three models available, Sport, Club and Grand Touring (GT). Each of the models carries the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is mated with either the SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission or the six-speed automatic transmission.

The 2.0-liter can extract 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 148 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 rpm. The EPA mileage (city / highway / combined) has increased 25% over the 2015 models. The SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission EPA numbers are 27 / 34 / 30 and the six-speed automatic transmission numbers are 27 / 36 / 30 mpg.

Mazda's engineers have tweaked this Kodo design infused sports car and refined it. In the world of supersizing the Miata has not gotten bigger. The car was lowered in the nose and widened as much as possible, described by Mazda as a trapezoid stance. The MX-5 engineer, Dave Coleman talked about the front engine, rear drive Miata, "this is the first time we built from the drivers seat out - most the time we say, the engine needs to be here the HVAC needs to be there. This time we put the drivers position first. The pedals laid out in line with the car position for ideal pedal position."

All of this comes together with a more stable feel when taking the twisties on the Angeles Crest Highway. The wide band of torque responds and pulls you out of the corner. You're lower in the car so no matter how fast you take a curve you're not feeling car sick.

Mazda says that sixty percent of the people looking to purchase a Mazda Miata don't look at anything else. Mazda did look at the Lotus Elise and Porsche Cayman as benchmarks, but consider the Subaru BRZ, BMW Z4, Audi TT convertible and the Porsche Boxster, the secondary competitors. You could also look at the Fiat convertible.

Fifty-Seven percent of people that buy the soft top buy manual transmissions while 38% that buy hard top buy manual transmissions. Both of those numbers are high in comparison to other vehicles and sells of manual transmissions. Sales of manual transmissions usually mean that those consumers are real sports car enthusiasts.

MSRP for 2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 Sport: $24,915

Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry (standard with automatic transmission): $130 - Automatic transmission: $1,075

MSRP for 2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 Club: $28,600

Brembo/BBS package: $3,400

Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry (standard with automatic transmission): $130 - Automatic transmission: $1,075

MSRP for 2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 Grand Touring: $30,065

Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry (standard with automatic transmission): $130 - Automatic transmission: $1,075

There are no crash tests ratings available. The 2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 is built in Hiroshima, Japan and will take three weeks to get here and at least six weeks to get to your garage.



2016 Mazda Miata MX-5

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