“This is a very fast car on twisty roads. Even the famously enthusiastic Spanish drivers in their hot hatches and entry-luxury sedans might as well be bolted to the ground by comparison. The MX-5 is deceivingly quick; more than once we started to gripe about lack of grip and then noticed that the speedometer was indicating perhaps a third more pace than we'd thought we had. As a pure driving proposition, it's entirely superior to nearly every other sporting vehicle on the market. You'll become a better driver from learning how to hustle it, too; it teaches with subtle feedback in the hands and seat of the pants and it rewards at all speeds.” -- Road & Track
Mazda's newest MX-5 Miata is deceivingly quick, nimble and didactic, too
“It'd be easy to assume that the odd combination of unfamiliar roads and the less powerful 1.5-liter engine that will be used in Europe and Japan would make it hard to get a good read on the new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. That would be wrong. This all-new Miata is so thoroughly good that it reset our brain in the first kilometer.
The diminutive 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine turns out to be surprisingly willing, pulling hard up to its 7,500-rpm redline and emitting the same sort of rorty exhaust rasp that was so emblematic of the first-generation 1.6-liter car. Working up and down the gearbox is wonderfully familiar, too, thanks to perfect pedal placement, very intuitive clutch engagement and the sort of satisfyingly direct shifter the Miata is known for.
The smaller engine does feel down on torque, but only a little. The 148 lb-ft we're scheduled to get from our Skyactiv 2.0-liter -- some 37 lb-ft more than this one and 8 lb-ft more than the current car -- should more than cover the perceived shortfall. But even this 1.5-liter engine has enough sauce to make the new MX-5 feel more capable than the 1.6-liter original.” -- Edmunds.com
“And while the driver’s longitudinal position in the 2016 Miata is about the same, the focus on the driving experience is seriously enhanced by first scooching both occupants closer to the car’s centerline (benefitting side-impact safety), perfectly aligning the steering wheel and pedals before the driver (nothing’s offset), finagling the car’s pitch axis to be just about behind your shoulder blades (rattling your head less and making it easier to keep your eyes trained on a visual target), and contouring the smooth door tops to spill air (when the top’s down) onto your torso (good) and not your head (buffeting). I was amused to hear Nobuhiro Yamamoto, the car’s program manager, explain why the steering wheel is slightly raised and there’s no passenger-side glove box: Since 1990, drivers have grown 2 cm (about 0.8 in) taller -- but it’s been almost entirely in their ‘leg lengths’ he said. Politely, he didn’t mention that these legs’ thicknesses are probably greater, too. Small bins behind the seats now provide for glovebox knick-knacks.” -- Motor Trend
“Critical to using the car's modest output, the brilliant six-speed manual is of the increasingly rare "actually mechanically connected to something" variety. Short throws and perfect ratios make it more fun to shift than anything priced south of an Audi S5, and engineers employed a unique trick to help: Unlike most modern 6-speed transmissions, the Miata's 6th gear is direct drive rather than an overdrive ratio. To preserve fuel economy and keep rpms down, a taller final drive ratio is used; the overall "ratio spread" at the wheels ends up about the same but without the weight and complexity introduced by multiple overdrive ratios. Even if you don't understand the engineering, you'll appreciate the results -- this is a great gearbox.” -- Autoweek
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