About one year ago, we took delivery of a 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. We made sure we got the sportiest version we could, the Club model (which includes Bilstein shocks, a limited-slip differential and a front shock tower brace) with optional BBS wheels and Brembo brakes. We also sprung for the appearance package to give our cute little roadster a modicum of aggression. It was a tad pricey at $32,835, but we enjoyed every minute of it. Well, almost every minute of it. It's not a perfect car, as it's loud and stiff on the highway, and we ran into an issue in which the top had to be replaced (under warranty). But minor grievances aside, just about everyone who drove the little roadster came back with a smile, especially when we took it to a racetrack. Below are final thoughts on the car from our editors. Senior Green Editor John Beltz Snyder: This car is about as car as any car gets. It's so car! That is to say, it's pure in its mission and in its effective execution as a driver's plaything. Its crisp steering, snickety six-speed manual gearbox, and rev-happy engine create the wonderful sensation that you're driving faster than the speedometer reads. Normal speeds never felt so heroic. The view out the front is fantastic, too, and the curves of the hood are nothing short of inspiring as they frame the road ahead. I don't care that it's noisy, jarring, and ergonomically weird. Old and British in spirit, it offers a level of engagement that's hard to find in a new car, especially for under $30,000. Anyone who has a Miata in their stable isn't lucky. They're smart. Senior Editor Alex Kierstein: I'm a bit embarrassed to think back to my first impressions about driving the MX-5 now that I've had so much seat time in this one. While I loved the idea of it as a throwback to the original NA Miata from the moment it was revealed, I was a bit turned off by how civilized it was. And how quick it was. No longer a momentum car, the new MX-5 seemed more forgiving of bad gear selection or a bad corner entry. I felt like something had been removed, a ragged edge, some everyday engagement. Well, a year on, and my feelings have changed. If you stop comparing it directly to the (slow, weedy, rattly, uncomfortable) first- and second-generation cars, it's a brilliant little roadster. I miss the raw edge less and enjoy the livability more — the raw edge was really just a lack of civility. A flaw that forced you to engage with the thing every moment. The new MX-5 can sometimes recede into the background, and it just becomes a little car that you can tool around in. But boot it around a few corners and it speaks to you more clearly, because there's less static between you and its lovely dynamics. I think the engagement is deeper despite being …
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|MPG||27 City / 34 Hwy|
|Power||155 @ 6000 rpm|
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