2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club PRHT new car reviews

Dodging some cones in the new Miata.

We got to drive the most recent rendition of the classic Mazda roadster. It has a lot to live up to, coming from a long line of what many consider to be the best sports car in the world. What does the last model year before the long awaited ND chassis have to offer?

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David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

It's like someone Mazda R&D said, Hey, let's build an MX-5 for David: sporty Club package plus the civil folding hardtop. And I even like the color. Yes, there's a weight penalty with the hardtop, but let's be serious: It's not like I'm vying for first place.

This one got a bit of a workout, too. First, some highway miles. Okay, I admit, lots of highway miles. I love Miatas, but that soft top can be a bit booming on the highway. For a shorter trip, fine. For a full day of interstate driving, it gets a little tiring. (True fact: I'm getting old.)

The folding hardtop turns the MX-5 into a little coupe. And, as an added benefit, it doesn't eat up the trunk space. What was that line about having your cake and eating it, too?

Then there's the rest of the car, in this case the MX-5 Club. That's the sporty version of the MX-5, so it comes standard with the six-speed, close-ratio gearbox, 17-inch summer tires, limited-slip diff and stiffer suspension. On the highway, it's still comfortable. Back in the day, the Miata R and 10AE models seemed to buck a bit on the open road.

We snuck in some autocross time with this one, too--specifically an SCCA National Tour event. Going in, my biggest concern was that six-speed gearbox. How badly would I run out of second gear? Turns out I didn't, and this was very much and up-and-back course.

The rest of the car, even in bone-stock condition, performed perfect. The stock brake pads offered plenty of modulation, the power was totally adequate, and even the stock tires did fine.

If I were MX-5 shopping today, this is the one I'd buy.

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View comments on the GRM forums
turtl631 Reader
6/6/14 2:20 p.m.

A Mazdaspeed version of this current MX5 rendition would be delicious. They are pretty stingy with the potent engines at Mazda these days though.

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