WASHINGTON — This week, we take a quick look at the all-new MX-5 roadster from Mazda. Coming up a little later, I will have the car for a week and give a full review.
This new Miata seems to be a bit smaller than the 2014 model when you park them side-by-side. It looks leaner and lighter when you take a look at the side profile. Indeed, it’s dropped about 150 pounds since the previous model.
This new MX-5 goes back to its roots: No more power hard top, just a simple, manual cloth top that takes about five seconds or less to operate. You can lower or raise the top right from the driver’s seat without having to get out of the car. The interior is very driver-focused, with easy-to-see gauges. Everything is in easy reach, and the materials seem nicer and more up-to-date. There is now Bluetooth and a USB port, helping to make this a more modern Miata.
There’s also a more modern look to the outside, with a more sinister and serious front-end styling. I have to say I like it for now. Once I live with it for a week, I might change my opinion. You can tell there is less car here: There isn’t much overhanging body past the wheels.
The 2016 MX-5 Miata has three trim levels. The basic one is the Sport, with cloth seats and a standard manual transmission. If you want more focused handling for possible track or autocross events, look at the Club trim level, with tight suspension and available Brembo brake and lighter BBS wheels. It’s not for everyone. The third level is the GT, or grand touring, with its leather-lined interior and NAV system; it’s the one to pamper you — as much as a Miata can, anyway.
I spent my time with the Club trim level, and it handles very well. It’s a firmer ride than the others, and the Brembo brakes work very well at slowing down this little roadster. The manual transmission is a delight, and 155 hp seems like enough for the short time I was behind the wheel.
I will have a week with the Grand Touring trim level soon, and we’ll see what it’s like to live with a small sports car in a crossover world.
Mike Parris is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association. The vehicles are provided by Drive Shop, FMI or Event Solutions for the purpose of this review.