2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Short Takes From Our Editors


2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Short Takes From Our Editors

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Short Takes From Our Editors


I may have written the First Drive review for Motor Authority, but I wasn’t the only member of the Internet Brands Automotive team at the 2016 Mazda MX-5 press drive in Westlake Village, California. We were lucky enough to have five journalists at the event, including one former first-gen Miata owner, Marty Padgett. Here we present each writer’s take on the fourth-generation of Mazda’s delightful little roadster.
Marty Padgett
I’ll take the driver’s seat here as the voice of the Miata purist. From 1995 to 1999, I owned one of the originals, a red 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata, with a few options (power windows, headrest speakers), bought secondhand from a fanatic who only clocked 27,000 miles before me.
I drove the hell out of that little red car in the brief interlude I called a freelance career. Up and down the east coast, from Atlanta to Washington, stuffed to its gills with luggage and pets. It was a terrible long-distance car, so loud the radio was an afterthought, so cramped I stopped every hundred miles to reset my hips.
But for the “final mile” of driving at either end of an interstate slog, it was a diamond, pure, brilliant. Nothing steers like the original Miata. Nothing comes close to extracting as much pure driving joy out of an undulating country road.
After driving the new ND Miata, I can already pinpoint where OG NA fans will pick nits. Some of the differences with the ur-Miata make it a better car to drive, but stray further from that elusive first-gen mechanical harmony. The snicky, stubby little shifter from 1990? It’s supplanted by a sweet-shifting gearbox with a lever motion that’s technically, vastly superior in its shift action–but it’s been shorn of the tactile pleasure of having to wait out the original’s half-second of reluctance.
This new Miata rides like a car two sizes larger, it’s so well-isolated. The doors are higher at my shoulder. You can carry out a conversation at 70 mph on a crowded freeway. It’s an adult version of the toy car I used to grow into my twenties.
Ugh. Adult.
By the time I sent my MX-5 to a new home–I found a really nice farm for him to live on, I swear–every body panel had been repaired and repainted. Other drivers, including a dump truck and a duallie, casually elbowed it aside at highway speeds a couple of times. I’d replaced the top with a new one sporting a glass window, so no more dumb-ass friends could poke a hole in the plastic window crack, turning it from a nuisance into a $500 shop bill.
I gave it a next life with only 54,000 miles on the clock, and have regretted its drive-off regularly ever since.
New-car press drives always are tougher when you’ve owned the car in question. The new roadster’s definitely rekindled my MX-5 love, but the Miata I want lives on a Craigslist classified ad yet to be found.
The search goes on.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Sign up for our Daily Newsletter Get daily news, spy shots and more!

Posted in:

Follow Us

Get daily e-mail updates

People Who Read This Article Also Read

Sign up for our Daily Newsletter Get daily news, spy shots and more!

From dealers near you

Most Popular This Week


Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area.

More from High Gear Media

Source: CarConnection

DrivePulse is your source for new car reviews, research, ratings, used car research and the latest industry automotive news. Connect and follow us today!

Leave A Reply