2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata – Click above for high-res image gallery Remember back when you were a diapered enthusiast-to-be and you weren't allowed to venture beyond the end of your family's tree lawn? The sum total of your 'driving' experience was probably a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. If you were like us, your toddler self was all big dreams, bustling feet and arms akimbo, twirling around those front caster wheels, savoring your first taste of automotive freedom. Mazda created a timeless masterwork upon minting the very first MX-5 Miata back in 1989. Small wonder, then, that Little Tikes' now 30-year-old bauble of rotation-molded plastic was last year's best-selling car – it's timeless. Combine classic styling, unburstable robustness, an inexpensive sticker price and the fact that it remains just quick enough for its target audience, and you've got a recipe for lasting success. The CC's whimsical, animated face; rounded, friendly styling; unfussed interior; nimble handling and general affordability has meant that despite a decidedly casual model update schedule, the folks at Little Tikes still have the whole fun-to-drive thing knocked. Sound like anyone else we know? Oh, it may have taken them a decade longer to cotton on to the idea, but Mazda's designers eventually stumbled upon the same secret sauce as those wondrous toymakers from Hudson, Ohio. Perhaps inadvertently, they, too, created a timeless masterwork upon minting the very first MX-5 Miata back in 1989. All these years later, just like the Cozy Coupe, you can't help but smile a little when you see one. Just like the Cozy Coupe, you have to adopt the same mildly vulnerable, elbows-out-the-window driving position because of the cabin's pronounced narrowness. Just like the Cozy Coupe, both cars have more than their fair share of plastic in their interior. Just like the Cozy Coupe, road imperfections are transmitted directly through the modestly sized wheels into the driver's hands and back pocket – and in both cases, it's part of the fun. Most importantly, just like that Cozy Coupe of your youth, Mazda's minimalist masterwork will help you rediscover your inner enthusiast's childlike heart. %Gallery-74457% Photos copyright ©2009 Chris Paukert / Weblogs, Inc. It all starts with the dimensions. The Miata may have grown a bit over its twenty years, but unlike the rich kid down the street with his powerful, complex and expensive Power Wheels, it hasn't sold out to whatever trendy of-the-moment fashion is popular, and it isn't larded down with gee-whiz technology. It is still stubby at only 157.3 inches long and a titchy 67.7 inches wide. Despite the fact that it has gained a bit of size over its original incarnation, the MX-5 remains lightweight (well under 2,500 pounds) and significantly smaller than anything on the road this side of a Smart ForTwo. Styling-wise, Mazda characterizes the 2009 Miata's newly retouched nose as "more aggressive," but the effect is very much like CARS' Lightning McQueen trying to puff up when Sally nuzzles up to his bumper in Radiator Springs. Even …
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|MPG||21 City / 28 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd man w/OD|
|Power||167 @ 7000 rpm|
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