This is a serious sportscar with the practicality of a weekend cruiser, plain and simple
My little Porsche. This is the only true successor to the British roadster. The essence of a true sports car. This is a driver's car.
The performance is simply fantastic. With all the federal regulations in the US, the car is still 2500lbs, something that is truly remarkable. This is no accident, but is instead the result of deliberate and tedious redesign. This generation Miata (NC chassis code) shares not a single component with previous generation Miatas. The trunk and hood lids are made of aluminum. The body is a monocoque, made of high tensile steel. The wheels are a lightweight allow (since I own the Grand Touring). The suspension and brake components are also aluminum alloy. The Mazda engineers know exactly the value of a low unsprung weight.
The weight distribution is perfect at 50/50. The car is a FMR layout since technically, the engine is behind the front axle. The wheelbase is short.
The engine is surprisingly torquey, and the power delivery is flat and predictable. The engines are simple, and with proper maintenance, will run forever.
The transmission is the real highlight however. Mazda engineers invest R&D into not only picking the perfect gear selector lever, but also researching the most optimal amount of resistance when shifting gears. The result is serious amounts of fun simply driving the car around town.
The looks are fantastic. The orange leather interior is gorgeous, and is reminiscent of the more expensive BMW roadsters.
The steering is super-short. Forget your SUV truck or your family sedan, one full turn of the wheel and you're ready to make a sharp right turn. The road feedback is fantastic due to the sharp rack and pinion setup. And don't forget the careful caster tune that provides almost no self-centering tendency.
All of this combined and what do you get? The funnest car to drive in the segment, period. Not only that, this is the BMW M killer at the local autocross chapter, make no mistake about it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 7th August, 2011