Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mazda MX-5 Miata Rocks

People often ask me, as an automotive writer, what my favorite car is. Of course, that's a silly question, since after nearly 1,000, it's hard to pick out a single favorite. However, there is one car that I've enjoyed six times (I believe) since June of 1992, when I drove my first one. It's the Mazda MX-5 Miata, a two-seat roadster.

Mazda has built and sold more than 900,000 of them since introducing it in 1989. Now in its third generation, the MX-5 Miata continues to provide that quick top-down, part-of-you experience that makes it by far the most popular sports car ever made.

I love these cars because they remind me of trips in my father's small Austin-Healey roadsters as a kid. On a summer afternoon, we'd jump into the little bucket seats in the back (kid-size only) and the four of us would motor off to the ice cream place. These were the happiest moments of my childhood--part of what led me to write about cars in the first place.

The Miata is simple--and was especially so when it arrived. You unlatch the top and just push it back behind you--it takes two seconds. The small four-cylinder engine and manual transmission are as simple as the Austin-Healey Sprite of yore--but have today's technology. The electrical system works great--no Prince of Darkness Lucas wiring harness to bedevil you.

I am now testing the 2011 Miata with the recently-introduced electric folding hard top. I thought it might be a drag because it would be slow, or heavy, or somehow not "authentic," but let me tell you--it's heaven. You unlatch a single center clip and push a button. About eight seconds later, you hear a beep and you're done. The metal cover lifts to accept the top, which folds neatly into the space behind the seats, and you still have all your trunk space available. You can perform this trick at a traffic light with little worry of being stuck in the middle of the procedure.

I'm getting about 27 miles per gallon now, but, amazingly, the back of the fuel filler door suggests premium fuel! Still worth it--and that's what I have fed my borrowed Dolphin Gray Mica tester.

Well--gotta run. There's daylight left and I'm off for another drive. Yeah, I guess it's my favorite.

1 comment:

Carry Bacot said...

I couldn’t agree more with your opinion about the Mazda MX-5 Miata. In fact, since its debut in 1969, the Miata has made its mark in the market with superior handling and excellent performance. It combines top-of-the-line designing and exhilarating speed. Those are just some of the factors why a lot of car enthusiasts love this iconic sports car.