Mazda's MX-5, or Miata if you're still not happy with Mazda's name change, is the modern classic two-seat roadster. It arrived in 1989, and four-generations later the formula is still the same. Front-engine, rear-drive, a curb weight that barely tickles the scales and a roof that opens wide to let in the outdoors. Last year, Mazda gave the little sportster a more powerful engine that added just enough more power along with more rpm to play with.
This year, the MX-5 adds larger standard wheels and some extra leather inside on the base model along with new paint and soft-top colour options. Top-trim cars can get a new red leather interior that really pops.
The Mazda MX-5 comes with a 2.0L four and your choice of manual or automatic gearboxes. Base GS comes with 17-inch alloys, a black top, LED lights, and rain-sensing wipers. Infotainment is via a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Cruise control is standard, along with a tilt/telescope wheel, and the active safety suite includes smart city braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and automatic high-beams.
GS-P adds a strut-tower brace, limited-slip rear differential, and sport suspension with Bilstein shocks to manual-box cars, and a noise-isolating window, Bose adui, and heated seats on all.
GT comes with gunmetal instead of black wheels as well as a liner for the convertible top and body-colour mirrors. It adds automatic climate control to the HVAC, navigation to the infotainment, leather seats and a 4.6-inch digital gauge display.
Other than the automatic, options are limited on MX-5. The GS-P can have a sport package with Brembo brakes, Recaro leather and Alcantara sports seats, and special wheels, while GT can be had with brown and grey roof options and red Nappa leather interior.
The Mazda MX-5 has an estimated fuel consumption of 9.0/6.6/7.9 L/100 km city, highway, combined with the automatic transmission and 9.0/7.0/8.1 with the manual. It requires premium gasoline.
While there aren't many small affordable roadsters left, the MX-5 competes with the Fiat 124, a version of the same car with different bodywork and a turbocharged engine. It also competes with lower-spec versions of Audi's TT and BMW's Z4, as well as the convertible version of the Nissan 370Z.
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