I purchased my first Mazda MX-5 Miata 21 years in the past this month. It was a used two year-old second-generation mannequin with a guide transmission and Bilstein shocks. I’ve pushed over 200,000 miles in it – some mere commuting miles, others cross-country trip miles, and plenty of, many backroad and monitor miles. I’ve owned a couple of others over time, however my favourite continues to be that first 1999 mannequin. Climbing into it appears like coming residence for me – it’s comfy, it’s acquainted, and it’s extremely satisfying to drive. I’ve no intention of ever eliminating it however after driving this 2022 Grand Touring mannequin, it presents a dilemma as a result of the present mannequin is SOOO good that I discover myself wanting one. Desperately.
First, and most clearly, have a look at that paint. They name it “Soul Crimson Crystal Metallic” and it’s attractive. Within the solar, it actually glows and appears inches deep. Draped over the lithe, flowing strains of the automotive’s physique, it highlights all of the design cues and gives the look that it’s a way more costly automotive than it’s. It’s actually solely about $33,000 however many individuals anticipated it to price twice that.
The inside is a large step up from earlier MX-5 interiors. The leather-based seats are supportive and comfy, the inside leather-based and plastics are top quality, the A/C reliably and strongly blows chilly with out dragging on the engine, and all of the controls are intuitive and straightforward to succeed in. The door sills are nonetheless elbow excessive (for taller folks). The shifter continues to be probably the greatest (if not THE finest) available on the market. The steering wheel feels good within the hand and the steering ratio is intuitive and precisely what you’d need it to really feel like. And the heated seats that I’ve waited years for at the moment are out there and so they’re fantastically efficient.
Driving it’s a revelation, even should you’ve frolicked in different MX-5’s. It’s such a clean and pure automotive to drive that you just’ll marvel why different, costlier vehicles don’t really feel as pure to drive. This doesn’t occur by chance. Mazda claims that it spends a whole lot of effort and time to make the MX-5 really feel like an extension of your physique and the proof is within the drive.
It’s fast, too. A lot faster than my previous automotive. “This factor is a ROCKET!” my spouse exclaimed the primary time I planted the throttle and wound out a pair gears. It’s true. The MX-5 weights little greater than 2300 lbs (roughly what my ’99 weighs), but boasts 180 hp (against my 140 hp) so the power-to-weight ratio is great.
The clutch is gentle, the gearbox shifter is direct and mechanical, and the steering is direct, agency, and intuitive. It appears like an extension of your physique.
The experience is agency however not harsh. In all honesty, it’s a little bit on the softer aspect of agency. There’s extra lean than you’d anticipate in corners, nevertheless it’s not floaty or sloppy. It simply extra accommodating of dangerous roads and it’s designed to not put on you out on longer ones. Push a little bit more durable in corners and also you’ll discover that the Miata Magic (TM) is just not solely nonetheless there, nevertheless it’s extra fantastic tuned than ever earlier than. The suspension communicates what’s happening like few vehicles I’ve ever pushed. On a moist street in a rainstorm you’ll be able to really feel if you’ve reached the knife edge restrict of adhesion. You possibly can really feel via your butt and your fingers and your toes that should you push simply one other mile or two quicker, the tires are going to slip. It’s amazingly communicative.
In my ’99, I’ve all the time liked that I can drop all the way down to 45 mph, throw the highest up and latch each latches with relative ease. Likewise, I can drop the highest at 45 mph or much less by merely unlatching each latches and throwing the highest again. This mannequin requires even much less effort – the spring-loaded high pops up from from behind the rear bulkhead so you will get your hand below it, it simply pulls up into place and solely requires ONE latch to lock it into place. It’s excellent.
And the extra I drove the 2022 mannequin, the extra I discovered myself considering that possibly – simply possibly – it’s time to replace my experience to the brand new mannequin. Which makes me really feel a little bit responsible as a result of my ’99 has been a loyal, dependable automotive for thus lengthy. However the present mannequin is SO GOOD that each one my arguments towards it amounted to “I don’t need to surrender my previous automotive fairly but.” It’s an previous buddy at this level. The A/C doesn’t work anymore. I’m having to restore it extra ceaselessly. It’s not as comfy or as succesful or as fast as the brand new automotive. However I’ve spent so many miles driving with a smile on my face in it that I can’t fathom ever giving it up. However after I do, it’s both as a result of an accident took it out or as a result of a brand new MX-5 Miata lastly gained me over.