2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring is Pure Driving Joy


Bob Long
AutoWorld Radio
   


It’s hard to believe that the year 1989 was first year of the Mazda Miata. It has gone on to become the best-selling roadster of all time and on any given weekend there are more Mx-5 Miata’s being raced or auto crossed in events across North America than any other car.



Recently I had the opportunity to spend a whole week behind the wheel of the all new model which debuted for the 2016 model year. This car is all about fun. The all new Mazda MX-5 is a little smaller than its predecessor, weighs less and has a bit less power, yet it’s still as nimble, quick and fun as ever. Best of all, it has a newfound sense of refinement thanks to a modern interior inspired by the Mazda3, and an unprecedented focus on driver placement makes the new MX-5 comfortable even if you’re well over 6-feet tall.

Balance is the key to what makes the new Mazda MX-5 so wonderful to drive.. Since the original Mazda Miata, the MX-5 has never been a car for drag racing, or for maximum cornering loads, or any of the big-tire, big-engine shenanigans generally associated with Mustangs, Camaro’s or Challengers.

Instead, the new MX-5 carries on the tradition of offering enough power to be quick but not so much that the car’s a handful. The suspension is firm enough for spirited cornering, but not so harsh that it rattles your teeth. The steering is quick, and allows the driver to carve u corners with ease.

The new Mazda MX-5 roadster has a simple, straightforward and modern interior. It’s similar to the new Mazda3, with an upright infotainment screen on the dash, push-button start on some models, and a surprising amount of soft-touch materials, considering last year’s hard-plastic everything. Mazda says it literally designed the car around the driver, and the MX-5 offers excellent steering-wheel, pedal and shifter placement. Despite the small size, it’s surprisingly accommodating for tall drivers, with a tilt steering wheel, and a convertible top that affords good headroom. There’s even a usefully sized trunk..

Hands down in my opinion this is the best looking MX-5 Miata to date. The tiny headlights are LEDs, complemented by tail lights that look like miniaturized versions from the Jaguar F-Type. The profile keeps the classic long-hood/short-deck proportions.

All new MX-5 models come with LED headlights, push-button ignition, air conditioning, power windows and the easy to use manual cloth top. Cruise control is also standard, and the little steering wheel is packed with audio and cruise-control buttons. My Grand Touring test model also had leather upholstery and navigation. along with the excellent Mazda Connect infotainment system with its touch-screen display and multifunction knob, plus headrest speakers with Bose sound.

The only engine in the new Mazda MX-5 is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. It comes standard with an all-new 6-speed manual transmission, and even if you don’t know how to drive a stick, it’s worth learning just so you can enjoy this one.

The action is light, the shifts are short, and the clutch operation is simply the best. I love the clutch and the short throw gearbox combination.. There is no other manual gear box like it until you spend a lot more money. It reminds me of six figure Porsche gear boxes. Yes you can get an excellent 6 speed automatic but this one vehicle that I recommend highly with the manual.

The 2.0-liter inline-4 puts out 155 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is rated at 27 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. Despite its modest power the MX-5 does not feel slow in anyway.and for little over $31,000 loaded the MX-6 Miata is pure driving joy.

The Long Drive Rankings
Front Engine-RWD 6 speed Manual
Highlights
Styling
Simple layout
Manual Transmission

Lowlights
Could use a tad more power

The Long Drive Rankings (1 Low 10 High)
Exterior Styling 9
Interior styling and quality 8
Handling 9
Braking 7
Fuel Economy 7
Stereo System 8
Performance 5
Trunk-Cargo Capacity 4
Navigation 8
Audio System 7




AutoWorld, Autoworld Radio, Bob Long, Convertibles, Mazda, MX-5 Miata, Sporty cars, The Long Drive, WheeledPlanet.com


Great Deals at AdvanceAutoParts.com!

WheeledPlanet News & Articles

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring Edition is the Class Leader
2017 Lexus GS 200t Makes for a Great Luxury and Performance Sedan Choice
2017 Acura RDX AWD Leading the Crossover Marketplace with Value and Cool features
All New 2017 Prius Four The Original Hybrid is Still The Best
2017 Kia Forte S Surprises with Huge Value
2017 Toyota Camry XLE is the Best Camry To Date
2017 Mitsubishi Outlander SE= Great Value
2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring is Pure Driving Joy
2016 Best Drives: Sharp Dressed Ride Lexus RC Coupe
2016 Best Drives: Audi TTS Smooth Operator
2016 Best Drives: The Sexy Cat Jaguar F Type R
2017 Best Drives— MercedesAMG C63 S Coupe
2017 Jaguar XE Leaps into the Sports Sedan Marketplace
2016 Subaru Outback Limited 3.6 Outback Premium Crossover/Wagon Alternative
2017 Acura ILX is a Pleasant Surprise
2016 Dodge Challenger R/T with Scat Pack
2016 Fiat 500C Abarth Cabrio Automatic Surprises and Delights
2016 Hyundai Veloster Rally Edition Performance on a Budget
Audi Goes Electric….Presenting the 2016 A3 e-Tron Sportback
The 2016 ATS Cadillac Coupe
The Zenith of Luxury SUV’S 2016 Range Rover Autobiography
2016 VOLT Whole New Ballgame
2016 Hyundai Sonata 2.0 Sport Hits a High Note
RED HOT Ford Mustang Eco Boost Premium Blends Power and Great Fuel Economy
200 MPH 2016 Cadillac CTS-V One of The World’s Finest Sports Sedans
Supermodel Meets Nascar: The Awesome 2016 Jaguar F Type R
Potent 2015 Porsche Cayenne Does Not Disappoint
How to PROPERLY select and size TIRES for PERFORMANCE
The Rolls-Royce Dawn Drophead Coupe Has Finally Been Revealed - See more at: http://robbreport.com/automobiles/rolls-royce-dawn-drophead-coupe-has-finally-been-revealed-exclusive
HELL YES….. 2015 DODGE CHALLENGER HELLCAT
Page 1 of 2 (42 items)< Prev12Next >
Free Shipping on Orders Over $75!

Tire Rack: Revolutionizing tire buying since 1979.