2016 Mazda Mx5 – Test Drive, Review, Ratings, Specs

2016 Mazda Miata MX5

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the Best Roadster Yet

The Mazda Miata has earned its prestigious trademark in defining what a sports roadster should really be. Tight, fast, nimble and fun seem to be the successful ingredient for the last 2 decades with its first generation debut going as far back as 1989.

2016 Mazda Miata MX5

The 4th generation MX-5 Miata continues to push the envelope of both performance and styling with the introduction of the all-new SKYACTIV-G 2.0 naturally aspirated engine while adopting Mazda’s Kodo Sou of Motion design language.

Impressive Improvements

In order to further improve the Miata’s performance from the result of 27 years of research and development, engineers had to scan through its design with a fine-tooth comb. The end deliverable is a weight reduction of 150 lbs from its 3rd generation while improving the rigidity and safety of the chassis using high-strength steel and improving fuel efficiency by a staggering 25 percent with its EPA ratings at 27/36 mpg city/highway respectively.

Performance Metrics

Powering the Mazda Miata MX-5 is a 2.0 SKYACTIV-G naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine producing 155 horsepower and 148 lb.ft of torque. It’s not a plentiful of power, but just like the rest of its predecessors, the design philosophy of the Miata has always been about maintaining speed around corners, and so shall the 4th generation be.

SAMSUNG CSC

Apart from a new engine, the Miata MX-5 also gets an electric power steering system as opposed to a traditional rack and pinion system from the 3rd generation. The modernized electric assisted power steering helps reduce the steering twitch feel identified from last generation’s rack and pinion system while still retaining road feel.

The Ultimate Driving Experience

Most think that bigger horsepower means more fun, but that’s certainly not true given the fact that the acceleration and handling is extremely short-lived. The Miata simply slows down time to prolong the fun factor by opting for a more genuine ride as opposed to a sophisticated one.

With its feather light curb weight of only 2,332 lbs, the Miata is extremely quick and agile for stand-still acceleration. The 6-speed manual transmission’s got a good throw and a nice catch. Being light and fast also means the Miata can stop or accelerate very quickly, resulting in an encouragement to engage and work its gearbox frequently especially on the low-end speed range.

Engine tone gives a raw mechanical indication of its engine and transmission status. And with that said, there isn’t much need to glimpse at the tachometer to shift as the audible engine tone is a sufficient shift indicator; allowing the driver to focus more on the road.

2016 Mazda Miata MX5

It’s real bread and butter lies in its handling capability. There really is, no other car like the Miata that can deliver a unique sensational feeling around corners. Throwing the Miata into a corner makes a slight delay before its suspensions accept driver command and perfectly acts on the road that somehow plants all four wheels on the ground with optimal traction. There is some chassis roll, but not enough to create uncomfortable and unassuring body roll, which is what makes the Miata feel so special.

Final Thoughts

Our tester model comes equipped with a sports package that comes with 17″ forged alloy wheels and Brembo front brakes and Recaro bucket seats. The enlarged alloy wheels and Recaro suede leather bucket seats definitely brings a nice touch, but I can’t say for sure whether the Brembo brakes are worth the added cost as I found the brake feel to be a bit mushy. Still, the brakes provided plenty of power, but just not the “stop on a dime” level of performance I was expecting from a named brand.

2016 Mazda Miata MX5

Base MSRP comes in at $35,300. With all said and done, along with our performance package ($4,700), the final price tag comes in at $41,795. It is quite a heavy price tag, and there are other sports cars out there that can be had for less namely the Toyota FR-S. But it really is, the Miata that can truly deliver a direct bio-mechanical link that heightens and spans furthest on driving enthusiasm.

2016 Mazda Miata MX5

Specifications

  • Vehicle : 2016 Mazda Miata MX-5
  • Model : Miata MX-5
  • Vehicle Type : Roadster
  • Seating Capacity : 2
  • Engine : 2.0 SKYACTIV-G
  • Transmission :  6 Speed Manual (6-Speed automatic available)
  • Price: $41,795

Pros

  • Beautiful styling
  • Trademark legacy of one of the finest roadasters
  • Ultra light weight and fuel efficient

Cons

  • Expensive.  Price-as tested was $41,795
  • Brembo brakes don’t give a good brake feel.  Only front calipers are equipped with Brembo brakes when configured.