2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review: Fabulous Sports Car, Just Enough Technology

The world’s iconic sports car, a Mazda MX-5 Miata, grows some-more fascinating for 2019, with 26 some-more horsepower from a higher-revving engine and as many friendly top-down fun as ever. Entering a 30th year, a Miata has a smattering of motorist support record — not too much, not too tiny — to assistance drivers when they wish or need it.

Of a 300 automobile models now sole in America, it is a 2019 Mazda Miata that spot-on nails a selected mission: sporty pushing for dual full-size adults in a automobile tuned to surpass on twisty open roads, not a racetrack. The Miata is a automobile we merit to possess during once in your lifetime and knowledge automotive perfection. The 2019 MX-5 is a one we should get.

For a MX-5, there are now 7 variants, 4 for a soft-top convertible, 3 for a hardtop convertible. Mazda formerly offering an entrance trim (MX-5 Sport, automobile only), afterwards for soft-top and hardtop a sporty trim for enthusiasts and racers (MX-5 Club), and a some-more gentle cruising trim (MX-5 Grand Touring). But then, a GT throng wanted a child racer tools (Bilstein shocks, singular trip differential), so now there’s an MX-5 GT-S as well. No automaker turns down business who wish some-more options boxes to check.

The Car That Doesn’t Need Every Last Driver Assist

At Extreme Tech, we’re organisation believers that motorist assists, generally, are a Good Thing. They make learned drivers improved in their off moments, and they keep foolish drivers out of accidents. Honda and Toyota lead a approach with branded reserve packages. Mazda has many of them, too, underneath a powerful i-ActivSense, nonetheless a reserve rigging varies from automobile to vehicle.

The Mazda MX-5 cockpit is a thing of morality and beauty. It’s roughly like being in a 1950s sports car, reduction a oil leaks, brief circuits, breeze noise, oppressive ride, and deficiency of reserve features. (Mazda photo)

So: What we get new this year is a behind camera, customary in all trim lines, “a initial for a North American MX-5 model,” Mazda says. (It’s also here since it’s compulsory on all cars now.) The Grand Touring models (GT, GT-S) come customary with line depart warning, blind mark showing with behind cross-traffic warning (also customary on Club models), trade pointer approval (stop signs, speed limits), involuntary high beams, steering headlamps, and rain-sensing wipers. The Sport and Club trims offer, as options, intelligent city stop support, blind mark monitoring, and line depart warning.

The one pivotal repudiation is adaptive journey control, that is useful both on prolonged trips and in stop-and-go commuting, both of that MX-5 owners competence do, and a case is large adequate for a integrate with 3-4 duffel bags. The MX-5 also lacks approximate perspective cameras, though afterwards a automobile is flattering tiny during 154 inches prolonged (8 reduction than a Honda Fit).

Mazda fans (read: fanatics) fretted over a redline of a new ND2 engine (red line) vs. a prototype ND1 engine (orange) and progressing NC engine (gray). Mazda says: It’s 7,500 rpm for transients such as 0-60 mph runs (no need for 2-3 upshift now) and apparently for behind highway twisties. For longer stretches, a engine won’t rev over 7,200. (Mazda graphic)

7,500 RPM Redline for Mazda Faithful (Or Is It 7,200?)

The 2019 MX-5 is a midlife modernise of a fourth-generation Miata line that initial shipped in 2015. Gen 4 ushered in a RF — retractable fastback — hardtop conversion. From 2015 to 2018 a MX-5 used a 155-hp, 2.0-liter Skyactiv engine from a Mazda3, called a ND1. The 2018 ND2 various ups horsepower 17 percent; torque improves marginally, by 3 pound-feet to 151; and a redline (max rpm) jumps from 6,800 to 7,500 rpm. It means we can strech 60 mph in second rigging (in about 6 seconds) but a 2-3 upshift. And on back-road twisties, we might be means to stay in third rigging but an upshift to fourth afterwards a downshift to third for a corner.

The Mazda bar true got their hands on a allege press lecture PowerPoints and freaked out when they saw a opening bend (above) that appears to uncover a 7,200 rpm redline, not 7,500. Mazda explains: “[7,500 rpm is a] low-gear, transient-condition redline … [when] driven aggressively,” for instance when racing or using adult a gears underneath tough acceleration. That turns out to request to twisty roads if we don’t reason a stifle above 7,200 rpm for extended periods. A wider powerband also means a energy doesn’t dump off significantly before a redline, forcing an upshift. (Horsepower does not always go adult with combined RPMs.)

The 2019 Mazda RF (retractable fastback), or hardtop convertible. It’s a viable choice generally in areas where a tip is sealed some-more than open. (Bill Howard photo)

Living a Dream Along a Pacific Coast

If there’s a ideal match, it’s a respectful sports can and California Route 1, a 655-mile Pacific Coast highway that stretches from San Diego roughly to Oregon. Mazda incited lax a organisation of reporters in San Luis Obispo, California, with instructions usually to uncover adult in Monterey a day after and in downtown San Francisco a day after that. It was probable to feel and smell a salt atmosphere of a ocean, afterwards zip adult and down roads to a internal and temperatures as high as 110 degrees, afterwards lapse to a seashore and a summer rainstorm.

Both Mazdas are good fun to drive, a soft-top and a RF retractable fastback, or automobile hardtop. The RF is quieter with a energy tip sealed and is preferable if you’re doing a lot of long-distance driving. The six-speed primer is as sharp as a gearbox can be, nonetheless a involuntary is flattering good, we hear — no one unequivocally wanted a sole involuntary in a fleet. (After we drove, Mazda brought in bloggers and lifestyle journalists, and transposed many of a manuals with automatics.)

According to Dave Coleman, handling operative for Mazda North America, a MX-5 is designed for roads people can expostulate but going to a track. It’s disappointing, he says, to have a 450 hp BMW coupe that loafs on open roads. Tromp a stifle and you’re in speeding-ticket domain a second or dual later. What’s a point, Coleman asks, for all a owners who never do BMW bar lane day events: “[They’re] pushing a quick automobile slow.”

There are many improvements, nonetheless a 2019 Mazdas import usually about 20 pounds more. The soft-top weighs 2,339 pounds, 42 some-more for a automatic. The hardtop RF six-speed weighs 2,453 pounds, 122 pounds some-more than a soft-top, and a involuntary adds 46 pounds.

Improvements over a engine? Customers asked for a telescope steering wheel. Mazda done it occur while adding only a half-pound of weight. To boost energy but going to a turbo, Coleman says Mazda used classical hot-rodding solutions, improving airflow into and out of a engine. Minor weight assets helped a engine rev higher: Each piston is 27 grams lighter (1.0 ounce); joining rods are 41 grams lighter (1.4 ounces). Mazda rates a soft-top six-speed during 26 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, 29 mpg combined; a involuntary is 26/25/29. The RF 26/34/29 manual, 26/35/29 automatic. My co-driver and we got about 30 mpg in both a primer soft-top and hardtop in energetic driving.

Mazda speaks mostly about “Jinba Ittai,” or a feeling of equine and radar as one. The Mazda MX-5 and this supplement uncover a ideal 50-50 weight balance. Just don’t benefit weight. (Mazda photo)

Should You Buy?

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata — that’s Mazda’s identifier for cars sole in a US — is a best Mazda sports automobile ever, with due honour to a rotary-engine RX-7. Last year Mazda sole 11,294 MX-5s, a 19 percent increase, overdue in no tiny partial to a appearance of a hardtop convertible. Fiat sells a MX-5 as a Fiat 123 Spider and sole 4,478 final year; Fiat sells improved (relative to a MX-5) in other tools of a world, Mazda says, and it’s a corner attribute that assured Mazda to continue a MX-5 into a fourth decade. While sales seem tiny compared with a Ford Mustang (82,000 sales final year) or Chevrolet Corvette (45,000 sales final year), it still outsells 100 other cars in a US including each Porsche offering as a convertible.

If we wish alfresco driving, a MX-5 and messenger 124 Spider are flattering many in a category of their own. Also in an affordability category of their possess for critical performance. The MX-5 RF (Club) will start during $33,240, including $895 shipping. The GT is $34,230 and a GT-S comfort options supplement $750. The homogeneous MX-5 Club soft-top was about $2,200 reduction for a 2018 RF hardtop.

Buying an MX-5 might be some-more of a personal preference than other cars. If we have a associate or partner, make certain both of we expostulate both soft-top and RF. The hardtop automobile creates a lot of clarity to an augmenting series of buyers. Also, there’s no contrition in shopping a involuntary over a hang (also no opening options); it’s also a parasite improved in highway fuel economy. Our one recommendation is removing a i-ActivSense motorist assists package, a discount during $450. Conversely, a Club package of Brembo brakes, Bilstein startle absorbers, and Recaro seats is $4,670. At that point, you’re shutting in on a expected bottom cost of a resurrected BMW Z4, that earnings as a 2019 model, along with a identical Supra.

It bears repeating: If we adore cars, we should possess a Miata during slightest once.

Now read: 2018 Hyundai Kona Review: Standout New Subcompact SUV2018 Mazda6 Review: Great Performer, Good Tech, Near-Luxury Cockpit, and Which JD Power Study Should You Trust a Most?


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