2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata (1061)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata. The perception of a sports car is that it will handle the road better than larger cars; it will do better on fuel and it will be more economical overall. Myth?

One voyage over the Angeles Crest Highway for the Crest Test and I’m humbled by larger cars that rush up on my back side bumper and zip around me like I was standing still. Okay, yes the lower center of gravity should and does make cornering easier but the suspension of larger cars has improved so much there is little difference in the handling characteristics of either car. That coupled with far more horsepower than this Miata make larger cars and even trucks as capable these days .

General Information: It is assembled in Hiroshima, Japan, Classification is 2-seater Cars. Cars from Mazda: CX-5, CX-7, CX-9, Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda5, Mazda6, MazdaSpeed3, MX-5 Miata, RX-8 and Tribute.

Opinion:

The Ferguson effect, Missouri, USA.

In the news these days we see yet another reason for black indignation over the perception of mistreatment on one segment of our society. It occurred to me that when I drive on the highway and feel abused by the CHP for speeding there is some similarity. I see a citation as taxation without representation. I can’t or don’t want to afford the cost of a ticket for minor infractions. But it is the officer I blame, while in reality it is the system that is at fault.

It is the arbitrary application of speed laws leading to unreasonably high fines coupled with the helplessness you feel that makes you angry. I thought perhaps it is what causes a black man’s anger at something he has no control over. Any event of ill treatment of a black man is responded to and toward the police officer. Lynch him is the cry that goes out.

In the final analysis, it is a government out of control that is the cause but they are in the shadows passing laws to increase taxes on the people to pay for the excesses of their irresponsible use of those tax dollars. I could shrug off the anger if I knew our government was doing good things with those tax dollars.

So it is tyranny of government that is what needs to be changed, which is not so different from the basic problem of the culture of black America that also needs change. That’s my thoughts on the matter, what are yours?

Handling & Performance:

Of course the size makes this car easy to zip around town and find parking spaces that most other cars are unable to access. But it is not nearly as stingy with a gallon of gas as one would expect.

On the highway at normal speeds it is geared to run at between 3 and 3,500 rpm most of the time. But the 157 horsepower is amazingly sufficient to provide the power you need for most situations. It pulled the Crest mountain course in 5th gear with ease. It took little shifting changes to negotiate 90% of the 30 miles of travel along that route to get around the San Gabriel mountains to greater Los Angeles.

Styling:

Miata has maintained a traditional classic look over the years since its debut in the 1989 Chicago Auto Show. Its design was influenced by sports roadsters of the 1960s such as Triumph Spitfire, MG MGB, Datsun 2000, Fiat 124 Spider, Alfa Romeo Spider and the Lotus Elan.

I’m happy they stayed the styling course along the way. Nice.

What I particularly enjoyed was the modern power convertible hard top. It is well designed and takes up none of the car’s trunk space. My grandkids thought it was the cooooool-ist.

Fit and Finish:

Very Good.

Cost:

The cost is not bad, but you can’t judge it on utility value. You don’t buy one of these as a family car.

Conveniences and comfort:

The most convenient thing about small cars like this is that apart from accessing the trunk space you can reach every nook and cranny from where you are sitting. And the ride was comfortable but getting in and out is a chore. When you want to feel the wind in your hair the power retractable hard top makes it effortless.

Consumer Recommendations:

Nearly a million Miata’s have been sold worldwide since production began in 1989. Mazda has always had a very good reputation as to reliability in my experience in the industry generally and specifically my experience in owning an automotive repair facility. So if you are in the market for a small sport car it is a defensible decision for more than just being a fun car to drive.

Recognized Competition:

Mazda MX-5 Miata $29,000, BMW Z4 $50,000, Ford Mustang $29,000, Chevrolet Camaro $32,000, Honda CRZ $23,000, Nissan 370Z $46,000, Volkswagen Beetle $30,000.

Good News:

Fun to drive, good reputation for quality.

Bad News:

Single use vehicle.

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter157 horsepower 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed manual transmission, front engine, rear wheel drive, 17” alloy wheels, power side mirrors, aluminum hood, power retractable convertible hard top, tilt leather wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, power windows and locks, tire pressure monitor, ABS power disc brakes, electronic power assisted steering, double front wishbone suspension, halogen headlights, fog lights, auxiliary audio input jacks, AM / FM MP3, CD changer, Bose audio with 7 speakers, remote keyless entry, heated leather seats, climate control, leather wrapped gearshift knob and brake handle, trip computer, stability and traction control, front and side airbags, anti theft engine immobilizer.

Gas Stats:

$3.19/ Gal avg. November 20, 2014

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

21 City and 28 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $29,456

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
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