2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review: Still the Best Sports Car on Sale Today
Mazda MX-5 Miata will make you laugh, and nearly cry, with tears of joy, on your favorite winding road.
Working with less has always been Mazda’s strategy with their Miata sports car. From day one, which was in 1989, the Miata has had less weight, less power, and less obstruction from driving purity than any of it’s competitors. Oh, and Mazda has managed to always keep the price tag rather modest, as well. For as long as I can remember the Miata has started around $24,000 and gone up to about $34,000 for a top-spec model.
So, unsurprisingly, Mazda has sold a lot of them, and when I say a lot, I mean a lot. The millionth Miata rolled off the assembly line on April 22, 2016. It was a fourth generation ‘ND’ Miata (the first of the four was ‘NA’), just like this one. Each of the four generations has operated on the same philosophy of the light, sweet and simple sports car. That said, for the fourth generation, which debuted in 2016, the ND Miata represents a maniacal fervor and dedication towards lightness. In fact, when Mazda was designing the ND Miata, they employed a tactic called the ‘gram strategy’ wherein Mazda looked at every single part of the car and asked how they could simplify and make it lighter, even if only by a single gram.
As a result of this fanaticism, the 2018 Mazda Miata is one of the lightest cars on sale today, weighing just 2,332 pounds. That astonishingly waif-like figure makes the current car just a little bit heavier than the original Mazda Miata, a car that eschewed air bags because they would ruin it’s outfit and make it look fat. So, the current car (with air bags, and more technology than just a steering wheel) is a modern marvel of engineering.
But does it retain the Miata magic of the original cars?
Nearly 30 years, and four generations on, the Mazda roadster, now called MX-5 Miata, retains one of the most compact silhouettes in the business. Looks are subjective, but I find the aesthetics of the current Miata very endearing. It looks leaner, and more focused on the task at-hand than it’s third generation predecessor.
That slim figure, and noteworthy lack of mass means that even with just 155 horsepower, this current Miata is the fastest one ever made. The 0-60 MPH sprint can be done in about six seconds if you’re quick with the gear changes on the delightful six-speed manual transmission. An automatic transmission is also available, but driving enthusiasts don’t like to talk about it.
However, the Miata has never been about straight line speed. Instead, this MX-5 shines brightest when the going gets twisty, and, joy of joys, that’s exactly where the Miata and I went.
Continue reading about the Mazda MX-5 Miata on the next page.