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2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Overview
The Mazda MX-5 Miata was an instant hit as soon as it hit the market in 1990, combining the classic British roadster layout with Japanese reliability. Now in its fourth generation, it enters 2018 with minimal updates.
The MX-5 comes in two basic flavors. Soft Top is a full convertible version, aptly named because of its manually-folding cloth top, which comes in either black or a new Dark Cherry Color. RF was introduced last year and features an electronic top that folds away electronically in just 13 seconds beneath the sleek rear cowl. Otherwise, both versions are the same. There’s room for two and their luggage.
There’s one engine for the MX-5 across the range, and it’s a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder unit that produces 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. These numbers won’t set anyone’s heart on fire compared to even a four-cylinder Chevrolet Camaro, but the MX-5 is all about doing more with less. Plus, since the curb weight is just over 2,400 pounds for the lightest models and the best of Mazda’s SKYACTIV weight-saving technology, that’s actually a lot of power per pound. Naturally, the MX-5 comes only in rear-wheel drive configuration. A 6-speed manual is standard while a 6-speed automatic is an optional upgrade. Fuel economy is 26 city mpg, 35 highway, and 29 combined for the automatic or 26, 33, and 29 for the manual.
Sport is the base trim for the MX-5. It comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, high-performance tires, LED headlights, keyless access and start, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth audio, USB and auxiliary jacks, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake handle, and a 6-speaker audio system with AM, FM, and CD. Sport is solely available with the Soft Top option.
Club can be had in Soft Top or RF guise, and it adds a sportier suspension with 17-inch gunmetal wheels, Bilstein shocks, a shock tower brace, a limited-slip differential, LED daytime running lights, a front air dam, a rear lip spoiler, XM radio, a 9-speaker Bose audio system, 2 USB audio inputs, and heated seats.
Lastly, Grand Touring also comes in both body styles. It carries dark-silver 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, an auto-dimming driver’s side mirror, automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, navigation, and an alarm.
As far as safety, the MX-5 gets dual front and side airbags, plus curtain airbags for the RF body style, and a reversing camera. Club tacks on blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, while Grand Touring tops things off with lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and adaptive front lighting. As this is a driver’s car, adaptive cruise control is absent in any guise. The MX-5 has not been crash-tested by any major agency.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata has never been better, from its svelte interpretation of Mazda’s current design standards to its capable and lightweight frame, to the still-new RF option. For a car with modern conveniences and safety features in the spirit of the original sports cars, you’d be hard-pressed to do better.
Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.
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