The Mazda MX-5 Miata: Love Driving Again
When was the last time you enjoyed driving? Most of us look at driving as a chore. It’s a thing we do to get from Point A to Point B, with a lot of stress and bad drivers in between, and it’s often the first step in our daily grind. But wouldn’t that grind be a little less stressful if driving was fun again? That question could be answered at a Mazda dealership near you with a test drive of the 2018 MX-5 Miata. As best described by Jonathan Gitlin at Ars Technica, a technology website, “Driving one will rekindle your sense of joy.”
In its 30-year history, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has remained largely unchanged–an authentic, lightweight sports car. It was first introduced at the Chicago Auto Show in 1989 and featured a short, direct shift that made gear-changing fun, as well as rounded taillights that became a signature design detail.
Over its four generations, minor changes were made to the functionality of the MX-5 Miata, but the overall body design has remained true to its debut iteration.
Now, the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF is the best roadster on the market, and the most iconic.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is more than just a car. It’s a full-on delight for your senses, from the exterior design to the power under the hood; everything about the MX-5 is an experience that begins the moment you see it.
When the sun is out, the top goes down. The MX-5 Miata’s soft-top is now easier to use than ever and can be unlocked and dropped in one swift motion with the flip of a switch.
With a nod to previous models’ design features, the latest MX-5 has undergone some minor nips and tucks. Those iconic taillights got a modern twist with a reduction in vertical height, resulting in a sleeker, more compact design.
The headlights also got a makeover that including repositioning the LED low beam, the LED high beam, and the turn signal layout for more intensity and better visibility. The new design also better complements the aggressive body shape of the MX-5 Miata.
The 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a perfectly balanced feat of modern engineering, and its lighter than ever before. The MX-5 Miata underwent some serious weight (over 148 pounds from the previous generation) and is nearly a half-inch lower in height.
At Mazda, the engineers behind the machine believe that the smallest details have the biggest impact, and that performance should never be compromised by fuel efficiency, which is why they developed SKYACTIV® TECHNOLOGY.
SKYACTIV® TECHNOLOGY ensures that every vehicle is engineered so that driving dynamics and efficiency are maximized, and encompasses body construction, engine technology, and everything in between.
Mazda noticed that conventional internal combustion engines only successfully utilized about 30% of the potential energy of fuel, so they designed a smarter engine. The SKYACTIV®-G 2.0L and 2.5L gasoline engines offer greater fuel efficiency and high compression ratios, extracting more energy from the fuel that powers them.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata RF is available in both automatic and manual transmissions. The SKYACTIV®-Drive 6-speed automatic transmission features a smooth and quick shift for steady acceleration, precision, responsiveness, and efficiency. If you’re a lover of the feel of a manual transmission, its counterpart, the SKYACTIV®-MT 6-speed manual transmission is inspired by the original MX-5 Miata but was designed to be smaller and lighter than previous generations.
Peace of mind–it’s an invaluable concept. And no automaker does a better job of instilling it in its drivers than Mazda. Available i-ACTIVSENSE® safety innovation uses advanced technologies to give you what Mazda calls “a sixth sense for safety,” alerting you to hazards and unsafe driving conditions before they occur.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata offers an Adaptive Front-Lighting System, designed to help you see around corners at night. This technology allows the headlights to pivot up to 15 degrees as you turn into a corner, improving visibility around those scary curves when it’s dark.
High Beam Control automatically switches between high and low beams, downgrading when it detects oncoming traffic or other vehicles ahead.
When driving at speeds of 41 mph or greater, the available Lane Departure Warning System provides the driver with audio and visual alerts when an unintended lane departure is detected.
Rear Cross Traffic Alert comes in handy when backing out of a parking space. The available feature warns drivers of vehicles approaching from the side and provides audio and visual warnings on the side mirrors and display screen.
The MX-5 Miata also alerts drivers to objects in their blind spots with Blind Spot Monitoring.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata comes in three trim levels: Sport, Club, and Grand Touring.
The Sport has a starting MSRP of $26,645, gets an EPA-estimated 26/35 mpg city/highway, and features a SKYACTIV®-G 2.0L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine with VVT, producing an output of 155 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. of torque.
The Club, with a starting MSRP of $29,755, also features the SKYACTIVE®-G 2.0L DOHC 4-cylinder engine with VVT, offering 155 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. of torque. It also offers an EPA-estimated 26/35 mpg city/highway. The primary differences between the Sport and the Club are cosmetic or luxury upgrades–the Club offers 17-inch Dark Gunmetal aluminum-alloy wheels and high-performance tires, a Bose® 9-speaker audio system, and black cloth-trimmed seats with red accent stitching.
The Grand Touring, which has a starting MSRP of $31,270, also comes standard with the SKYACTIV®-G 2.0L DOHC 4-cylinder engine, produces 155 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. of torque. Again, as with the upgrade from the Sport to the Club, the upgrade from Club to Grand Touring comes with cosmetic and luxury upgrades, including 17-inch Dark Silver aluminum-alloy wheels and high-performance tires, auto on/off headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated power side mirrors, leather-trimmed seats, and Mazda Navigation System, among others. The Grand Touring is the top-of-the-line trim on the Mazda MX-5 Miata.
The Mazda Spirit
Racing is at the heart of the Mazda brand–in their blood, and in their DNA. Mazda began racing its cars in 1968, and every vehicle design since has been built with the soul of a sports car. So even when you get behind the wheel of a Mazda at a Mazda dealership near you, you know you’re driving a speedster. Liam Dwyer, Professional Driver in the Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge, describes racing a Mazda as a feeling of pure freedom, of “being one with you and [the] machine.”
Jinba-Ittai is a Japanese philosophy that describes the symbiotic oneness a rider feels with his horse–the ultimate bond. It is a concept that Mazda has worked tirelessly for decades to recreate, and it is infused into everything they do, but it is most strongly associated with the MX-5 Miata, dating back to its inception in 1989.
Owning a Mazda MX-5 Miata isn’t as simple as completing a transaction and driving it off the dealership lot. By purchasing a Miata, you join a worldwide club of owners’ whose love for their Mazda MX-5 has spawned a global movement: day trips, rallies, road runs, overnight excursions, track days, tech sessions, car talks and motorsports events. Owning a MX-5 Miata means joining a family, so head on down to a Mazda dealership near you, schedule a test drive, and learn what it means to love driving again.