Better than: all the British roadsters ever made.
But not as good as: a magic carpet ride, perhaps.
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 95.05
You know what this car is all about: It's the MX-5 we all know and love. This one, though, is the club edition. Club racer? No. There's a badge on the fender in the shape of a club. Not the caveman kind, but the kind you see on a playing card. What this basically means is a bit of cool trim, a body-colored dash, and sport suspension with Bilstein shocks.
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Over the last 20 years automobiles have become absurdly complex. With touch-screen interfaces, bluetooth connectivity, and nearly every car sporting a rear-view camera, it's gotten a little out of hand. Fortunately we still have the MX-5 Miata which delivers visceral driving enjoyment, rather than the sterile video-game like experience that is so common.
This new MX-5 feels nimble, enthusiastic, and all controls fall immediately to hand. Mark Twain once said "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." This holds true with this new MX-5 as it delivers a very similar driving experience to the original Miata. The steering is wonderfully communicative, the shifter is the best in the world, and unlike many modern cars, in the MX-5 you won't have to digest a 500 page manual to figure out the radio, or HVAC controls. You get in and DRIVE!
The virtues of the MX-5 have been widely sung by GRM and pretty much every other publication on the planet—for good reason. This new car holds true to the minimalistic formula, providing a great driving experience and not much else.
Unfortunately as our beloved Mazda has aged, its price has inflated. Although I loved my time in this new MX-5, its nearly $28K price tag made me cringe. With the excellent reputation for reliability that these cars have—a price that high makes a great case for a used MX-5. This car is great, but it has been great for a long time now. I just don't see the logic in buying a new one for nearly $30K when extremely clean, low mileage examples can be had for half that much.
This car is a joy. It's a revelation. After a year of driving bloated street-utes and heavy muscle cars in the press fleet, finally, something that's eager to be chucked around! This car does everything you could want or expect out of a driving machine. But, more to the point, the hot boy-racer car these days is the Scion FR-S (and Subaru BRZ). Which one's better?
The Miata. The driving position gives better visibility. It makes you part of the car rather than burying you inside it. The engine, unlike that Scibaru's boxer mill, revs eagerly and sounds great doing it. Everything's in its right place.
I make it a point to be a cynic. I try to find problems. I pick nits. But I can't find fault with this car, except the obvious that it's an impractical two-seater—but the Miata's always been that. It's just so easy to control, satisfying to drive fast, and is uncluttered, unfettered, and—decals aside—unflashy. It's been a very long time since a car put so big a smile on my face for so long. I'm trying to justify to myself how I can buy one. Selling my '91 Miata is almost certainly a part of that plan, and I don't lament that for a second.
The keys are on my desk right now, and it's been a long day at work. I think I'll go for a drive.
David S. Wallens
You know, I think a lot of us were hard on this car when it came out--too soft, too big, too plush. Know what? It has aged well. I put some serious miles on it over the weekend, and today I don't think there's a better sports car value.
I'm giving five stars across the board.
I had forgotten how pure and fun a Miata is. The new Club edition has all the right options. The limited slip differential works great. The car is so easy to drive and toss around, with just a touch of controllable oversteer. The top is tight and relatively quiet, even at 80 mph. It is by far the easiest manual convertible top I have ever dealt with. One hand puts it up or down from the drivers seat and it easily clicks into place in the open position and stores perfectly. Even at $27,000 for this edition, the Miata is still the perfect sports car.
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