SEATTLE, June 29, 2015 — Mazda continues to have plenty of Miata fans thanks to the value proposition it offers. While it’s not a hot rod or a pavement peeler by any stretch, it is a fun sports car, and the world’s best-selling.
What the MX-5 Miata offers in 2015 is more of the same fun we’ve seen in recent years. It’s a car that’s about balance: handling, convertible and a feeling of “driver control”.
This car delivers a fun driving experience which relies on far more than brute power. Its 0-60 is 6.5 seconds which isn’t the fastest sports car on the road, but the reward in driving the MX-5 Miata is in the “feel”.
Its 2.0 liter, double-overhead cam 4-cylinder engine develops 167 horsepower with 140 lb-ft of torque with the manual transmission, which drops to 158 horsepower if you pick an automatic transmission. It’s frankly appalling that this car is even offered with an automatic as it really only comes alive with a manual.
The reason Mazda can get away with this relatively low power output is because the car is light, weighing in between 2480-2619 pounds.
The EPA rates the 2015 Miata at 21 miles per gallon around town and up to 28 on the highway. However, good luck with getting anywhere close to that if you’re an enthusiast driver as you really do need to “lay on it, hard” quite often.
Interior quality is good with nice use of materials, stitched leather and a good feel to the steering wheel and shift knob. Sound quality of the Bose entertainment system is dismal and there is no Bluetooth audio available on any package even though it does support Bluetooth connectivity for cell phones.
The seats do a great job of holding you into place, even around some of the most demanding corners. Good back, bolster and lumbar support are the name of the game here. The only real complaint in regards to the interior is the huge blind spot in the driver rear corner of the car; there is no blind-spot indicator on the car, so you’ll need to adjust the mirror to cover that spot.
Storage is limited in such a small two-seater, with a cup holder in each door and two more just behind the shifter. Bear in mind, however, that using the cup holders on the center column with the manual transmission is a not a good idea, as any cup you may place there will impede the motion of your shifting arm. The trunk is just big enough to fit one average-sized checked piece of luggage with the top up but all of that goes by the wayside as soon as you lower the top.
Let’s talk about tight-shifting: The car offers a great feel to the clutch, top-notch steering control, rear-wheel drive and some of the best cornering available in any car at any price. It does a remarkable job of making the driver feel at one with the car; the car is simply an extension of the driver.
The MX-5 Miata really is one of the most rewarding “driver’s cars” available. Factor in that you can have this kind of convertible fun for under $30k and you’ll start to see why this car has so many fans.
Mazda has done a great job with this car and the evolution of its 2016 model announced not long ago looks to even further this car’s reputation as a “no-brainer” sports car.