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Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Editorial Assistant
5/29/15 2:38 p.m.
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We made it. We had traveled well over a thousand miles in the new ND-chassis Miata. How was it? Well you'll have to wait until Monday at midnight for that. All journalists have to wait until June 1 to divulge any driving impressions. But don't worry, we'll fill you in as soon as possible.

At the en…

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Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
5/30/15 5:32 p.m.

That thing is stunning

Rupert
Rupert Dork
5/30/15 6:58 p.m.
Flight Service wrote: That thing is stunning

Unless all the energy is spent into designing how well it connects rather than how well it drives!! An E connected Car is not a Sports Car! IF YOU'RE PLAYING WITH THE STUFF ON THE DASHBOARD, YOU'RE NOT LOOKING OUT THE WINDSHIELD!!!! THERE IS NOTHING SPORTY ABOUT DRIVING A MOBILE HOT SPOT! You might as well take a bus or a train!

If you're more worried you'll miss an instant picture of your granddaughter/son sitting on the commode for the first time than whether or not you carve the next apex, you're not a Sports Car Driver! Buy a Mercedes sedan!

Advan046
Advan046 SuperDork
5/30/15 7:10 p.m.

Maybe I will be authorized to get one by the family in five years or so. I like it.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/30/15 9:32 p.m.

On Monday we can tell you how well it connects with the road. And I have no idea what the above rant is ranting about.

neon4891
neon4891 UltimaDork
5/30/15 9:45 p.m.

I would guess the big, out of place touch(?) screen, and the various non driving features that many of those have these days.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/30/15 10:06 p.m.

Our test car had GPS navigation but, yes, I believe that all MX-5s have the screen. I need to confirm, but I believe it's due to the impending requirement for rear backup cameras across the market. Yell at Washington. Our M235i has such a screen, too, despite not having navi. Why not making the MX-5's screen retract? I'm guessing that would add weight and complexity.

By the way, small teaser: The base 2016 Mazda MX-5 weighs one pound more than a 1994 Miata. Not bad, eh? The new car is also 2 inches shorter in overall length.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
5/30/15 10:28 p.m.

With todays tech, it is unnecessary to have the center stack as it is. A single touch screen can do everything we need, radio, HVAC, seat heaters and what not, for less money and less weight.

Just another improvement. Just remember Automatic transmissions aren't good for road racing, just ask Porsche about the PDK.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/31/15 10:25 a.m.

You can't use a touch screen without looking at it. Some functions (HVAC, volume) are best controlled by a dedicated knob or button. Some work well through a screen. Voice control can help.

There's a version go the new Miata without the screen. Dunno if it's coming to the US. It has what looks like a 70s alarm clock instead.

Junkyard_Dog
Junkyard_Dog SuperDork
5/31/15 11:14 a.m.

So does the screen do anything that the other knobs and dials don't do? Like if it were to somehow fall off the car what would be effected?

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
5/31/15 11:54 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner:

I don't know of anyone who can use anything without looking at it. Back when I did haptic research in college, we found that everyone looks at the center stack for everything. Time varies based on intuitiveness, but everyone looks.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
5/31/15 11:54 a.m.

why is everything bold? weird

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy PowerDork
5/31/15 1:23 p.m.

I expect you to stay up tonight and advise us all about this at 12:01 am.... And east coast time too.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/31/15 1:40 p.m.
Flight Service wrote: In reply to Keith Tanner: I don't know of anyone who can use anything without looking at it. Back when I did haptic research in college, we found that everyone looks at the center stack for everything. Time varies based on intuitiveness, but everyone looks.

Really? I have an iPod with a click wheel that I use when running. It stays in my pocket, I can control my music without having to get it out so I know it can be done without looking. Similarly, my Miata uses a click wheel iPod for a stereo so I can control it without having to look. The way it sits in the car, I couldn't read the face if I wanted to. There's a reason I use click wheel devices for this, because otherwise I'd have to be staring at a screen the whole time.

I know where all the knobs are for my stereo and HVAC on my cars, so I don't need to study them. Possibly a quick glance to calibrate my reach for some of the buttons, but it's definitely not a look-poke-read-poke feedback loop. There's a big difference in amount of attention required to interact with a screen vs a knob that does a single thing. Interacting with a touch screen isn't much different than texting.

Even if we assume that nobody can operate anything without a reassuring glance, the difference between "okay, that one there is the volume" and "select audio controls, find volume, move slider to right" is considerable when we're talking about 1-2 tons of steel filled with gasoline and meat moving at 110 feet every second.

When you were doing these studies, were the subjects dealing with vehicles that were new to them or did they have a couple of weeks (at least) in the cockpit? I'm curious about the results. Anything published?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/31/15 2:05 p.m.

At least in the case of the MX-5, the display can be turned off.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
5/31/15 2:16 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner:

The work was for Honda. There are a few white papers that have been presented. As the only undergrad on the program I received no credit or mention but I am happy to answer any questions. It was cool stuff, right up until we found out your couldn't do drive by wire in the states.

MCarp22
MCarp22 Dork
5/31/15 3:04 p.m.
David S. Wallens wrote: I believe it's due to the impending requirement for rear backup cameras across the market. Yell at Washington.

I thought this was actually a rear visibility requirement that is being solved with reverse cameras?

Either way, in this particular car I'd be happy to have one for those times when the top is up.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
5/31/15 5:33 p.m.

The touch screen foil is real. The FR-S has one to control the tunes. I cannot change stations or functions without looking at it. The buttons on the Pioneer in the 4runner never gave me these problems.

MCarp22
MCarp22 Dork
5/31/15 5:57 p.m.
Appleseed wrote: The touch screen foil is real. The FR-S has one to control the tunes. I cannot change stations or functions without looking at it. The buttons on the Pioneer in the 4runner never gave me these problems.

Does the FR-S have a click wheel like the Mazdas? You're not forced into touching the screen.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/1/15 7:23 a.m.

Now that the media embargo has passed, I can discuss driving impressions--specifically the in-screen dash. After 1200 or whatever miles, I didn't really notice it--other than when looking at the navi. From the behind the wheel, the screen doesn't rise above the wipers so it's not blocking the view. Plus you can turn it off. It's kind of in the right position so you can see it with a quick glance, too. I know, it looks obtrusive. I didn't find that to be the case.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
6/1/15 7:41 a.m.

In reply to MCarp22:

Sorta. There is a knob that will change the station. The pre-sets and function (radio cd aux) are all touch screen.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
6/1/15 7:47 a.m.
David S. Wallens wrote: Now that the media embargo has passed, I can discuss driving impressions--specifically the in-screen dash. After 1200 or whatever miles, I didn't really notice it--other than when looking at the navi. From the behind the wheel, the screen doesn't rise above the wipers so it's not blocking the view. Plus you can turn it off. It's kind of in the right position so you can see it with a quick glance, too. I know, it looks obtrusive. I didn't find that to be the case.

My only issue with the screen is that it looks out of place- as if someone put a touch screen tablet right on the dash.

I'm wondering if that was a late change due to an the new back up camera law. So late that the could not use a more integrated option.

My friend has a 2015 Fusion, where the back up display is in much smaller radio display- I'd have measure the actual size- but that kind of system would be easier to integetrate into the Miata's dash, and make it look less like a tablet.

I get that it's probable that you would not notice it, and that it's required- I'm just suggesting that a better job could have been done doing the same thing.

Oh, and I'm 18 months into owning a MFT installed Fiesta. I still prefer knobs, too. I'll not get it again.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/1/15 8:16 a.m.

Our M235i's dash is so similar regarding its display. Maybe it's the start of a new trend.

NOHOME
NOHOME UltraDork
6/1/15 8:35 a.m.
Rupert wrote:
Flight Service wrote: That thing is stunning
Unless all the energy is spent into designing how well it connects rather than how well it drives!! An E connected Car is not a Sports Car! IF YOU'RE PLAYING WITH THE STUFF ON THE DASHBOARD, YOU'RE NOT LOOKING OUT THE WINDSHIELD!!!! THERE IS NOTHING SPORTY ABOUT DRIVING A MOBILE HOT SPOT! You might as well take a bus or a train! If you're more worried you'll miss an instant picture of your granddaughter/son sitting on the commode for the first time than whether or not you carve the next apex, you're not a Sports Car Driver! Buy a Mercedes sedan!

Rupert:

Besides being a bit of an elitist performance car snob like so many of usYou are missing the genius of Mazda marketing. Mazda wants and needs the sheeple who drive electronic showrooms to buy this car. AND SO DO WE ENTHUSIAST!

It is only by letting the unwashed masses pay for the cost of design and manufacture that Mazda can afford to build us the car that us enthusiast really want. If these people took the bus, we could not have Miatae.

The other group that missed this was the Toyobaru team who went out and designed the car that it thought enthusiast wanted. Look how that turned out even though the cars are quite close in design intent and market segment.

MCarp22
MCarp22 Dork
6/1/15 8:42 a.m.
Appleseed wrote: In reply to MCarp22: Sorta. There is a knob that will change the station. The pre-sets and function (radio cd aux) are all touch screen.

Ah, those are steering wheel controls on the Miata. Makes a big difference.

alfadriver wrote: I'm wondering if that was a late change due to an the new back up camera law. So late that the could not use a more integrated option.

It matches the styling on other new Mazdas, so I don't think this is a late change.

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