What the experts say about the two thousand seventeen Mazda MX-5 Miata
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In this ongoing series, Boston.com talks with automotive authorities about why you should consider driving — or avoiding — a specific model.
2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata
The nimble, pintsized Mazda MX-5 Miata is a true driver’s car. Low to the ground and effortless to park, the two-seater packages the best of the best: It’s strong on fuel economy, athleticism, and ― beginning at less than $25,000 ― value.
“Enthusiasts adore the Mazda Miata because it is a lightweight throwback to an era when driving a sports car was engaging and joy,” said Michael Harley, an automotive analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “The drop-top is puny, modestly powered, and offers few amenities, but none of that matters as the behind-the-wheel practice is blissful — balanced, agile, and responsive.”
The Miata gets a 155-horsepower, Two.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic is available. The rear-wheel drive convertible comes in three trims: Sport, Club, and Grand Touring. The Miata’s standard soft-top folds down by hand, but the new-for-2017 RF (“retractable fastback”) version raises and lowers the roof with the shove of a button.
The base trim is tooled with Bluetooth and a six-speaker audio system. The Club trim adds features typical for the segment: satellite radio, a nine-speaker Bose premium audio system, and the Mazda Connect infotainment system. The Miata’s Grand Touring trim boasts heated seats and leather upholstery, as well as a navigation system.
Mazda’s convertible has not been evaluated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which does not test sports cars. Unlike rivals, the Miata cannot be tooled with a rearview camera. The Club trim includes blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, and Grand Touring adds lane departure warning.
When tooled with the standard manual transmission, the Mazda MX-5 Miata supplies twenty six miles per gallon in the city and thirty three on the highway.
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What the experts are telling
An industry dearest
“This is one of my beloved cars, period. As an enthusiast, it’s everything I want out of a unspoiled driver’s device — lightweight, fine steering, flawless balance. Every part of the Miata was designed to work around the driver, even down to puny details like the form of the seats’ side bolsters, to permit for better bod movement while by hand putting the roof up and down. A good car for warm weather, the Miata manages to charm me year-round. Despite its puny size and canvas roof, this is indeed a car that’s joy for all four seasons.” – Steven Ewing, managing editor at Motor1
True to heritage
“The latest MX-5 Miata reflects Mazda’s capability to maintain this iconic roadster’s original vibe in a world far more sophisticated than when it debuted in 1989. That growing complexity, involving everything from emissions controls to required safety equipment, could have swept away the MX-5’s nimble and sporty nature. Some might even argue past generations of the Miata did indeed reflect a loss of the original’s mojo. But the current version has restored the MX-5’s core character. It proceeds to be the most engaging and entertaining vehicle you can buy for less than $25,000.” – Karl Brauer, executive publisher, Autotrader & Kelley Blue Book
“There is no customer more engaged in our brand than MX-5 owners. People love the fact that Mazda offers a roadster with such style and driving dynamics for such a fine price. Many customers also cite the reliability and lower cost of ownership. Albeit we don’t sell these cars in the same volumes of our other models, both the vehicle and customers create incredible excitement in our showrooms. This year the retractable hard top has been a big hit and exceeded all our expectations. Cars that are not pre-sold don’t last long. Fresh England customers also like the retractable hard top because many believe it permits them to use it as a more year around vehicle.” – Joe Shaker, holder of Wellesley Mazda and North Shore Mazda