2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata review: Simply the best

Why get the Miata in white when Mazda gives its superior Soul Red?

Emme Hall/Roadshow

What can I say about the Mazda MX-5 Miata that hasn’t been mentioned earlier than? It’s the best-selling two-seat sports activities automobile in historical past, with greater than 1 million bought round the world. It’s been known as the reply to all the pieces and the best automobile ever made. We at Roadshow prefer it a lot we’ve got 5 in our personal-car fleet, and I personal two: a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata and Buddy, my lifted 2001 Miata. Suffice it to say, I really like this automobile.


  • Excellent dealing with
  • Happy, high-revving engine
  • Oodles of smiles per gallon

Don’t Like

  • Lackluster infotainment
  • Taller drivers are not noted of the enjoyable

But the Miata is not good. If you worth the newest tech, ergonomic consolation or oodles of storage you may positively be disillusioned. If you are taller than 6 toes, you may have a tough time dwelling with one. But should you’ve made it previous these hurdles and are nonetheless good to go, you are rewarded with a driving expertise like no different.

Weighing in at a svelte 2,339 kilos, the 2021 Miata pushes 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque out of its 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine. Power runs completely to the rear wheels, and whilst you can go for a six-speed computerized transmission, so far as I’m involved you might be required by regulation to buy a Miata with the six-speed handbook. It’s simply higher.

With its tight gearbox and ideal clutch, I need to row by way of the handbook’s gears as a lot as I can. But hop on the freeway and plunk it into sixth gear, and you may cruise at 70 mph low in the engine’s rev vary. My older Miata appears like an offended bumble bee on the freeway, and the fuel mileage displays it. The 2021 Miata, in the meantime, is cool and picked up, and might return as much as 34 mpg freeway, which I’ve no drawback seeing in common use.

The Miata begs to be revved excessive always, and peak horsepower arrives at a lofty 7,000 rpm. Although this fourth-gen Miata is the strongest but, it is nonetheless not precisely a high-powered sports activities automobile. Instead, it is what we name a momentum automobile, one thing you may carry on boil all the time. Never raise, use the brakes sparingly and you may assault corners at speeds that’ll make Mustangs weep.

These 17-inch wheels are a part of the Club trim.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The Club trim is the best method to expertise the Miata, with its limited-slip differential, Bilstein suspension, entrance shock-tower brace, Brembo brakes and 205/45-series Bridgestone Potenza summer season tires wrapped round 17-inch cast BBS wheels. All issues thought-about, the MX-5 is straightforward to drive at the restrict. Sure, its again finish will step out once in a while, but it surely’s all in good enjoyable and a fast flick of the steering wheel fixes any playful skid.

On my favourite again roads I can maintain the Miata in third gear, winding by way of curves and not using a care in the world. On a number of straightaways I can seize fourth gear for a bit, however then brake, downshift again into third, float by way of the flip and speed up out with all the engine’s torque simply accessible proper beneath my foot. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

There aren’t any drive modes, both. The shocks are stiff all the time, the electrical energy steering is pretty heavy and chatty and the throttle tip-in is constantly good. The Miata is about up from the get-go for max driving enjoyable and I’m completely right here for it. You’re not going to interrupt any data on the drag strip, although. It takes practically 6 seconds to hit 60 mph, which may seem to be an eternity when trendy sports activities vehicles can do the identical dash in half the time.

Still, the expertise is pure pleasure. Better but, it is inexpensive pleasure. My Club trim begins at $31,285 together with $995 for vacation spot, and should you do not want all the efficiency extras, a base MX-5 Sport prices $27,825.

Room for 2 and never a lot else in right here.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

As I discussed earlier than, the MX-5 does have its foibles. I do not count on large quantities of area in a little bit two-seater automobile, however the incontrovertible fact that the Miata does not also have a glove field is loopy. There is a lockable storage cubby constructed into the vertical area between the seats, but it surely’s awkward to entry when seated.

The trunk has a tiny 4.5 cubic toes of area, hampered by a small opening. However, I’m in a position to match my carry-on baggage in there with a little bit of room to spare. Pro tip: It’s at all times simpler to pack a Miata trunk with soft-sided containers or utilizing no containers in any respect, stuffing single cans of Diet Dr. Pepper into any small out there area somewhat than leaving them in a 12-pack field.

There are solely two USB-A charging ports, however then once more, there are solely two seats. The cup holders are detachable and drivers will inevitably need to use the passenger-side holder that attaches to the middle console somewhat than the arm-bending place on the driver’s facet. Wireless charging is not right here and only some driving aids are supplied. Lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring are the solely driver-assistance techniques supplied, and the latter is particularly delicate.

The Mazda Connect infotainment system comes on a 7-inch show and it is undoubtedly the worst factor about the Miata. When stopped, I can management it through touchscreen, however as quickly as I begin shifting I’ve to make use of an awkwardly positioned rotary knob on the middle console. The menu structure is hard to navigate and the graphics are lower than spectacular. However, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are actually normal and any incoming textual content messages are learn by way of the headrest audio system. Sounds like a good suggestion till I crank the tunes, that are performed by way of the door audio system. Siri does not regulate the quantity robotically and blasts these phrases proper into my ear drums.

What’s to not like?

Emme Hall/Roadshow

As for total driving consolation, taller of us can have a tough time in the MX-5. I’m 5 toes, 9 inches tall and I would not need to be a lot greater. My tester’s heated Recaro seats are supportive, however some of us may discover it troublesome to extract themselves. Me? I’ve obtained a patent-pending lean-out-and-cross-one-leg-in-front system that I’ve perfected over the years.

The handbook smooth high is straightforward to make use of, even from a seated place, and whereas it definitely retains extra street and wind noise out of the cabin than in earlier years, you may nonetheless have to talk as much as have any form of dialog along with your passenger. If you desire a quieter journey, look to the MX-5 Miata RF with its power-retracting hardtop.

The Miata is arguably one in all the best vehicles on the street at the moment, even when it isn’t good. But if it is pure driving pleasure you need, by way of smiles per greenback, it is laborious to beat the MX-5.

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