2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Leaner and Meaner

Published: Monday, September 19, 2016 | 9:51 PM

2016mazdamiata475Redesigned for model year 2016, the Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring is leaner and meaner than its predecessor. Instead of gaining weight it has shed some 200 pounds but that doesn’t mean it’s lost any of its goodies in fact it has gained some. So it’s still packed with plenty of fun and useful stuff to make your drive more zoomable.

2016mazdamiatadashFor sports car enthusiasts and gadget lovers alike the new Miata has something for everyone; plenty of twisty road steering fun and great gadgets to go with it.

The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a two-seat roadster offered in three trim levels: Sport, Club and Grand Touring. This review will focus on the Grand Touring trim.

The Grand Touring gets adaptive headlights with automatic high-beam control, auto-dimming mirrors with exterior heating, body-color mirror covers, automatic wipers, a cloth-lined top, leather upholstery, heated seats, automatic climate control, a navigation system and a safety-oriented bundle that includes a blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert and lane departure warning.

Also included on the Grand Touring model are 17-inch wheels with summer performance tires, a sport front fascia, a rear lip spoiler, piano-black mirror covers and roll hoops, red interior stitching, upgraded interior trim panels, a 9-speaker Bose audio system, voice controls and a 7-inch touchscreen interface with an auxiliary control knob mounted on the center console, LED headlights and taillights, air-conditioning, push-button ignition, a height-adjustable driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power accessories, cruise control, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack.

2016mazdamiataintEquipped with a 2.0-liter four banger, the Miata makes the most of its engine delivering 155 horses and 148 pound-feet of torque which makes this little car just zip along. Expect to get 27/city, 34/highway and 30/combine mpg with the 6-speed manual transmission.

Make sure you like you passenger because the Miata is a snug fit up and down. The interior is anything but utilitarian with nice trim panels on the dashboard, console and doors.

Manual transmission drivers will appreciate the Bluetooth connections for both audio and phone that now comes standard on the Miata. The touchscreen interface is intuitive and easy to use.

As for backseat passengers, forget about it. There is no backseat, not even a pretend one like in some sport models. Trunk space is limited to, with just 4.6 cubic, so don’t plan on toting any sports equipment, but wait, it a two-seater so who cares. The convertible top is easy to take down or lift up, easy-peasy.

On the road the Miata is a demon with tight steering and plenty of get up and go power. The interior suffers from wind and road noise, but come on it’s a convertible, just take the top down and enjoy the ride!