The Mazda MX-5 Miata is nearly 30 years old. The current car — dubbed the ND — is in its fourth iteration and packs a number of updates for 2019, most notably a bump of 26 horsepower and 3 pound-feet over the 2018 model. The car now makes 181 horsepower at 7,000 rpm while redline has been raised to 7,500. That might not sound like a lot, but when you're moving fewer than 2,400 pounds of steel, aluminum and plastic, it feels plenty strong. Our test car was a Soul Red roadster with a brown top, an odd but striking combination. A power-retractable top is available as the Miata RF. This top-tier Grand Touring trim comes with features like automatic climate control, heated seats and leather seats. It might not be the most practical or versatile car on the road, but it might just be the most fun for the money. Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: I was excited when I woke up to the Miata covered in snow in my driveway. After all, this tester came equipped with Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires. By the time I could pry myself away from my work and take the car for a spin, though, the snow had mostly melted. I still had fun flinging this around on the cold, wet roads. The first thing I noticed was actually what I didn't notice ... I wasn't wishing for just a little more power, for once. Chalk it up to the conditions, or to the extra 26 horsepower Mazda added for 2019, but this felt appropriately potent. If anything, it's just enough to help get the rear end to wiggle a bit and the tires to more readily chirp in second gear. The Miata, fresh from the factory, has learned to do the cha-cha. Oddly enough, though, my wife, who has been salivating over this generation of MX-5 since the first time I brought one home, has cooled on it a little bit. We went out on a date night, and she was hyper aware of the noise and bumps, and I was, too, frankly. Something about bundling up under an icy soft top can kill the mood of this convertible. In the summer, the sound of the engine and telegraphic feel of the road beneath you blend with the warmth of the sun and the tug of the wind in automotive harmony. It's still fun to drive in the cold, but it doesn't quite turn on the charm like it normally does. Associate Editor Reese Counts: I've spent a lot of time behind the wheel of various NDs over the past few years. The weekend I got married, my wife and I drove a Soul Red roadster from Los Angeles to San Francisco for a brief honeymoon. Months later, we took that same car for a 14-hour jaunt through Death Valley to see the superbloom. Everything about the car, from the slick short-throw shifter to the perfectly-weighted steering, feels perfectly balanced. It …
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|MPG||26 City / 34 Hwy|
|Power||181 @ 7000 rpm|
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