2021 Mazda MX5 Miata Club review
The Auto Channel
Roller coasters and Miatas appeal to folks who both love an exciting ride and could care less about getting a group of people or a bunch of cargo from place to place. Mazda's little convertible keeps its iconic sportscar styling for the 2021 edition and there is nothing wrong about that. Classics like the Miata that is the best-selling two-seat sports car in history don't have to change when they have decades of smiling owners.
Powered by its SKYACTIVE-G 2 liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine that creates 181 horsepower with 151 lb-ft of torque that push the rear wheels, the MX5 moves its lightweight aluminum body effortlessly. But acceleration takes a back seat to eye-widening handling. A beautifully sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks, high performance tires, and front and rear stabilizer bars are the ingredients for that yield fantastic cornering that transform curvy mountain roads into roller coasters of fun.
The six speed manual transmission - yes, there are still a few around - is controlled by a wonderfully short shafted shifter, which, as my dad used to say: "It's all in the wrist." But then again he also used to laugh and say, right after I would make a shift without the clutch all the way in: "Just grind 'em down until they fit." EPA numbers have improved to 26 mpg city | 34 highway | 29 combined.
An earlier model Miata driver shook his head in disbelief that the two latch top release had been changed to a single latch making the top down conversion into a one-handed move. Open air driving is always a good feeling unless you happen to be driving with a fashion-conscious 20 year-old granddaughter concerned with the look of her purple hair - but in this case the wind deflectors kept everything cool and somewhat in place.
With a cargo volume of 4.59 cubic feet, this is not the vehicle for Costco shopping, but a three or four bagger from your local grocery works.
Safety systems are even more important in a lightweight small sportscar so Mazda packs the Miata with a bevy:
Front Side Air Bags
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
Electronic Stability Control
Daytime Running Lights
Blind Spot Monitor
Lane Departure Warning
Anti-theft engine immobilizer
Side impact door beams
Seven days of test driving goes by quickly when you are having a Miata-load of fun.