2018 Mazda Miata MX 5
If I had my choice of a new Corvette or the Miata MX 5 I would be hard pressed to decide but lean to the Miata. It is just so much fun to drive! The Miata is unchanged since it’s update a couple of years ago, and for driving enthusiasts that is a good thing.
The Miata is offered in two basic styles, a convertible and a Targa model. There are 3 trim levels, Sport, Club and Touring. If you’re buying the car because you love to drive I recommend the Club with the 6 speed standard transmission and the Brembo Package that includes larger brakes, forged wheels and Recaro seats. However, if you have a budget the base Sport model is still a blast to drive. The Touring trim offers as much luxury and technology as a Miata can provide and retains the sporty attitude.
If you are looking for a powerhouse
that can smoke the tires off, blast 6 second 0 to 60 speeds and hit over 150 miles per hour the Miata is definitely nor for you. If driving twisty roads, zipping in traffic and feeling the light nimble response of a well tuned suspension excites you I would surely suggest taking a Miata for a spin.
The Mazda dual overhead cam 2 liter 4 cylinder engine produces only 155 horses, but those are put to great use in the light and limber car. You can opt for either a 6 speed standard or 6 speed automatic transmission but some of the suspension performance enhancements are limited to stick shift cars only. In either case you will have a fun car to drive, but the standard allows you to participate more in the fun.
There are a few shortfalls on the Miata
the chief of which is the small cabin space. If you’re over 6 foot you should try a fitting before buying. Not that you couldn’t get in and out, you just may have to put the top down to do it. Technology is a bit lacking if your expecting mid-size car standards but everything you need is there. The infotainment is basic with Bluetooth that works well but no navigation or back up camera. Blind spot and cross traffic alerts are optional, forward collision mitigation, radar cruise control and automatic emergency braking are not available. Also missing are Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Keyless entry and push button start save the car from being a technology desert.
Once in the Miata you will find that it is more like wearing a car than sitting in one. The Recaro seats hug you into place and with the height adjusters it is easy to get in just the right position to drive. As you Zomm-Zoom with the Miata it feels as if you are glued to the seat and the car is glued to the road. Everything is close at hand, clearly marked and easy to use. The 7 inch touch screen is properly located, allowing a quick glace without breaking your driving sight line.
The base Miata Sport retails for just over $25,000 and the Club begins at $29,155. Our test car with the 4400 dollar Brembo package stickered at 35,240 with destination charges . This puts true sports car performance in the working mans budget.
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