Some issues in life deliver pure pleasure. Laughing to tears together with your finest pal. Taking part in with a canine on a seaside. Or, to the purpose of this story, driving a 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata on a winding street with a full tank of gasoline and a cloudless sky. The Miata has no gimmicks like drive modes or gesture controls or private artificial-intelligence assistants. After I’m in a Miata, it is simply me, the automotive and the open street. Pure pleasure.
The MX-5 is now in its 30th 12 months, and over the course of 4 generations, the two-seat roadster hasn’t modified all that a lot. As of late, it comes with a 2.Zero-liter, naturally aspirated I4 engine pushing out a modest 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. And now, along with a conventional soft-top, you may get the Miata RF, with a coupe-like again and a detachable roof.
The Miata has by no means been about energy above all else, however that does not imply the Mazda is a slouch. The engine was retuned for 2019, including 26 extra horsepower and three extra pound-feet of torque, with a 7,500-rpm redline. The gearing was modified barely, too, for a faster off-the-line expertise. This may sound like hyperbole, however I promise, that is the very best automotive I’ve pushed this 12 months.
This six-speed guide transmission goes into gear with a satisfying thwok, the throttle is responsive beneath my proper foot, with linear energy supply, and the Brembo brakes supply agency, stable stopping energy. Even with the ND-generation’s lack of hydraulic energy steering, which is extra communicative than a brand new electrical setup, the rack is fairly chatty, with simply the correct quantity of weight.
All of this implies the driving force will get a greater sense of what the automotive is doing, and it permits me to assault my favourite backroad with extra confidence than I may in additional highly effective, dearer vehicles. I simply really feel a lot extra in management. The Miata’s 50/50 weight distribution helps with general dealing with, as do the sticky, Bridgestone Potenza tires. However largely, I really like how predictable the Miata is. There’s simply sufficient physique roll so I can sense when the rear finish is about to interrupt unfastened. I can simply get the automotive to rotate with only a smidge of throttle software. I can preserve it in third gear the entire time, winding it as much as that increased redline. Heel-toe shifting is straightforward, even with my dainty woman ft, so typically I am going to deliver it all the way down to second gear even after I need not, simply because I can blip that throttle like a boss.
The Miata’s 2.Zero-liter engine will get a bit extra energy for 2019, and completely different gearing to make it really feel faster off the road.
Popping out of the twisties, the Miata will not win any straight-line pace contests, nevertheless it holds its personal. Excessive-speed commuting is a bit simpler within the new Miata, because of a taller overdrive in sixth gear. At 80 mph, the engine is not revving almost as excessive, which helps with gas financial system. The EPA charges the Miata RF at 29 miles per gallon mixed, however I am seeing 28 mpg throughout per week of driving — most of which is spent whipping this factor round as shortly as I can.
Most individuals who stay up for driving a Miata most likely aren’t too apprehensive about driver-assistance expertise. In spite of everything, this automotive would not have adjustable driving modes, and solely this 12 months acquired a telescopic steering wheel. Mazda is not too involved with issues like adaptive cruise management and lane-keeping help. My tester has blind-spot monitoring, which is a pleasant addition to the RF because the fastened pillars reduce some visibility. Lane-departure warning is beneficial right here, too.
Mazda Join is not essentially the most sturdy infotainment system, housed on a 7-inch display which you could solely work by contact when the automotive is stopped. Embedded navigation is barely normal on the highest two trims, and you may solely get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the sold-out 30th Anniversary trim. New for 2019 is traffic-sign recognition, which I suppose is good to have you probably have a heavy proper foot. However general, this isn’t an important infotainment system.
There’s cool tech within the RF’s roof mechanism, at the very least. One button lowers the highest in about 13 seconds and it stows neatly beneath the rear pillars with out hindering trunk area. In spite of everything, with such a small trunk, each cubic foot counts.
The Recaro seats are snug and supportive, however the Mazda Join infotainment tech leaves loads to be desired.
Taller drivers may need a tough time becoming behind the wheel of the Miata, however the brand new tilt and telescoping steering wheel can at the very least assist in driving-position consolation. My tester’s Recaro seats are supportive, however nonetheless tender sufficient to make commuting straightforward. They’re heated, too, so the highest can come down in December and ye olde buns shall stay hot-crossed.
There is no glovebox within the MX-5, only a small, lockable compartment between the seat backs. There is not actually a lot of a middle console, both, and the cup holders ought to win an award for Least Ergonomic Placement Of An In-Automobile Characteristic. Not less than they’re detachable from their place immediately in entrance of the aforementioned lockable bin, with a slot for one close to the passenger’s knee. Should you’re a frequent in-car beverage-haver, you may need to completely affix one on this place. Having to twist my arm backwards each time I need a sip of Weight loss plan Dr. Pepper will get actually previous, actually quick.
So far as the competitors goes, there is not actually the rest within the two-seat, rear-wheel-drive convertible phase for beneath $30,000. Sure, there’s the Fiat 124 Spider, which is predicated on the Mazda MX-5 Miata, nevertheless it has softer dealing with and it is loads uglier. Why personal a Fiata when you possibly can simply get a Miata?
Whether or not you select the usual model or the hardtop RF, you possibly can’t go flawed with any model of the Mazda MX-5 Miata.
Actually, the Miata’s closest rivals are the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 twins, which comply with the identical low-weight/low-power/excellent-handling ethos. A Mini Cooper can also be enjoyable to throw round, nevertheless it’s not fairly the identical. Some people store the Miata with a Ford Mustang, which I suppose I get, however come on, the Mustang is extra of a linebacker whereas the Miata is a swish ballerina.
I’ll admit, I at the moment personal a turbocharged 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata, which is principally the right MX-5. But when I needed to commerce up for a brand new one, I might positively persist with the soft-top mannequin over the RF, as I desire the absolutely roofless expertise. Make mine a Membership trim with the Brembo brakes, BBS wheels and Recaro seats, and match it with the six-speed guide transmission. I imply, I get that some folks cannot or aren’t capable of drive a stick, however actually, all Miatas must be manuals. The take a look at automotive you see right here prices $38,995, however my excellent automotive is barely less-expensive $35,800, together with $820 for vacation spot.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata will not be an ideal automotive for everybody. The tech sucks, it is impractical as hell and lot of taller people merely cannot match inside it. Nevertheless it’s the right automotive for me, and a complete lot of different automotive lovers. No different automotive punches above its weight just like the Miata, and no different automotive makes me smile as a lot, both. I would not drive the rest.