For 2007, the Mazda MX-5 – the roadster formerly known as the Miata – goes a step beyond its already-easy-to-use manual top, and introduces a Power Retractable Hardtop option. Hardtop-equipped vehicles also have special chrome accents on the grille surround, headlamp bezels and exterior door handles.
As well, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution become standard on all models. Horsepower numbers have changed, but that is due to new SAE calculations; performance is the same as in 2006. Exterior colours Stormy Blue Mica and Marble White Mica replace Winning Blue Mica; Red Copper Mica and Sunlight Silver Mica now come with black leather interior.
The new hardtop option can be added to any of the MX-5’s trim lines for an additional $2,195; it’s a three-piece roof that folds down electrically at the push of a button in 12 seconds and stores behind the seats, so there’s no intrusion into the trunk. Unlike the soft top, it disappears under a metal tonneau. The roof is made in Germany and mated to the MX-5 on the assembly line in Japan; the trunk lid is steel instead of aluminum and sits 20 mm higher than the soft top version, while the suspension is retuned to accommodate the extra 36 kg of weight.
The MX-5 uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine; in GX trim it mates to a five-speed manual, and in GS or GT trim to a six-speed manual. The GX can be optioned to a six-speed automatic, the GT to a six-speed automatic with wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The GT can also be optioned with a Performance Package that includes a limited-slip differential, dynamic stability control and sport suspension with Bilstein shocks; these features are included as standard on the GS.
Features on the GX include 16-inch alloy wheels, black vinyl soft top, rear glass window with electric defogger, power mirrors, fixed intermittent wipers, fog lights, CD player, cruise control, leather-wrapped wheel, power locks with keyless entry, and cloth upholstery.
The GS adds limited-slip differential, dynamic stability control, and sport suspension with Bilstein shocks, along with 17-inch alloy wheels, strut tower bar, and console tunnel net pocket.
The GT adds tan or black cloth convertible top, Xenon headlamps, air conditioning, Bose CD stereo with seven speakers, Intelligent Key keyless entry and start, heated leather seats, alarm system, and side airbags. The limited-slip differential, dynamic stability control and sport suspension on the GS are only available as an option package on the GT.
The MX-5 remains the benchmark of reasonably-priced sport roadsters, with superb steering, stiff but lightweight construction, one of the industry’s best shifters, and handling that is an extension of your hands and feet. It isn’t for very tall people; those over six feet will probably end up looking at the top of the windshield surround. But for most drivers, it’s very comfortable, with well-proportioned controls and a nicely-sized wheel.
The manual top has always been very easy to operate, and can be put up or down while sitting in the vehicle. That’s a plus over the multi-step roof on the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky; as well, while those two models have only a narrow, shallow trench for a trunk, the MX-5 can handle a weekend getaway’s worth of luggage with ease, whether in soft-top or hardtop configuration.
The new power hardtop may seem unnecessary on a car that’s already easy to open and close, but the benefit is in superior all-weather protection. The taller trunk is well suited to the design – only when you compare the two models to each other do you really notice the difference – but the roofline isn’t quite as handsome as the soft roof when the top is up. Still, with a car like this, how often will that really happen?
No content available
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed