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Tight Ergonomics - 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited November 2015 in Mazda
imageTight Ergonomics - 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Long-Term Road Test

Let's take a closer look at some of the ergonomic challenges in the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • Those cupholders are never going to work. I have two compact hatchbacks, both with handbrake levers on the console and six-speed manual transmissions. My wife has a subcompact hatchback with a handbrake lever and a five-speed manual - so I understand the problem with real estate on the console...but all three of our cars have cupholders that are the equal in function of those in the minivan that we used to own...so there IS a way to do it...the touchscreen has to become part of the solution, that control knob has to go away, and the steering wheel controls have to be tweaked.

    You want to go for a drive on a crisp morning, drop the top...and you can't even bring a travel mug of coffee with you? That's wrong.
  • 5vzfe5vzfe Posts: 161
    I really like Miatas even though I'm more of a truck person. The cupholders would bother me, I'd probably have designed them into the door panels. If the infotainment knob bothered me that much, I'd just go without the system. None of my cars have had one - most of the features on the aftermarket stereos I've owned have gone unused - give me Bluetooth and I'm fine.
  • For fun short drives, I would put away the cup holders so I can shift unhindered. On a road trip, I'd put the cup holders back in as I don't expect to do much shifting on a long highway drive. So no, this is far and away not a deal-breaker. As for the volume knob, if you don't want to use the steering wheel control, the alternate technique would be steer with your right hand, and reach for the knob with your left.
  • daryleasondaryleason TexasPosts: 501
    In real life, the cup holders will get lost or broken within a year.
    I'd rather hear an engine than a stereo in a car, so the controls aren't an issue for me.
  • I have long arms & this would annoy me.
  • nuievenuieve Posts: 43
    Mazda can't figure out center console design. Updated Mazda 6 has NO center armrest, it is pushed way back, it doesn't even work as an elbow rest. You rest your arm on storage cover/dials and knobs. The door's armrest too recessed and far away to be useful. It's just Mazda, they're so obsessed with driving dynamics that they completely forgot ergonomics.
  • Being japanese designed and a relatively low volume niche car the cupholders don't surprise me. A lot of the euro sportscars consider them afterthoughts as well, with odd placement. As for the knob: I wonder how many of these cars are actually sold with sticks these days? You know Lamborghini and Ferrari don't even sell manuals anymore...
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    NC has superior interior IMHO. ND is superior in all other areas.
    As to Craig's comment on automatics I can tell you that very few Miata are equipped with the 6 speed automatic. While the auto is quite good, it's about as popular as diarrhea.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Yes, the ergonomics are a deal breaker! What works on the 6 does not work on the Miata. Infotainment system is not needed in this vehicle, the joy this car delivers does not require a touch screen.
  • Forget about the radio controls, tell me how actual people fit behind the wheel. I tried to sit in a friends old Miata,, and I couldn't fit behind the wheel. There was no room for my legs under the steering wheel. I am only 5' 10" and 160 lbs - hardly a giant.
  • reminderreminder Posts: 383
    Can that manual parking brake. Make it a button.
    Slide that infotainment knob over.
    Problem solved.
  • cjasiscjasis Posts: 274
    Please don't get rid of the manual parking brake. Ditch the stupid cup holders (anyone drinking in a Miata deserves a throat punch anyway) and make the infotainment screen a touch screen. Problem solved.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I miss parallel parking in the snowy winters with a power slide handbrake turn in my '82 Tercel 5 speed.

    My former neighbors probably don't miss it. :p
  • s197gts197gt Posts: 485

    Forget about the radio controls, tell me how actual people fit behind the wheel. I tried to sit in a friends old Miata,, and I couldn't fit behind the wheel. There was no room for my legs under the steering wheel. I am only 5' 10" and 160 lbs - hardly a giant.

    this.

    drove my dad's 1999 miata home from his house (2 hours) last night. (to sell it)

    non-adjustable steering wheel. i'm 5'8", 162 lbs. I would have liked to move the steering wheel up a notch or two.

    i found the interior space quite narrow. good head room (top was up). it is an auto with no cruise control. (cramped right calf at end of trip)

    he has only owned it since this summer. i helped him scratch the roadster itch he has had since young and found him a clean '99 with 70k miles. only 2500 miles and a triple-bypass later he is ready to sell it. doesn't feel safe it in, too small.

    i love the suspension tuning. sporty but not brutal. right now turn-in. a little twitchy on the highway but great in-town. seats are so-so. fast enough for me at my current age.

    our z3 is a more comfortable roadster by quite a bit; faster, but a softer suspension. a younger me would take the reliability and go-cart feel of the miata.

  • nuieve said:

    Mazda can't figure out center console design. Updated Mazda 6 has NO center armrest, it is pushed way back, it doesn't even work as an elbow rest. You rest your arm on storage cover/dials and knobs. The door's armrest too recessed and far away to be useful. It's just Mazda, they're so obsessed with driving dynamics that they completely forgot ergonomics.

    A long time ago, cars didn't have center consoles and elbow rests, yet were perfectly drive-able. But I get it; it's natural to miss something that you once had. I've noticed some luxury German makes eschew the center console armrest too. Maybe it gives more room and promotes a relaxed driving posture -- arm all the way down and hand on your lap. I'd have to take a test drive before bashing or praising this.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    A Miata with a bench seat and a six-speed manual would be novel. :)
  • bc1960bc1960 Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 171
    The console is designed for right-hand drivers and may create problems for people in countries that drive on the left. Another "feature" where owning it vs. occasionally borrowing it from the motor pool might make a difference over time. The Mazda6 armrest slides over the top of the console to adjust and seemed perfectly comfortable to me, likewise the door armrest, although most of the time I drive with both hands on the wheel.
  • subytrojansubytrojan Monterey Park, CaliforniaPosts: 120
    I have not had a single instance of hitting the cup holder or Multi-Function Commander Control while driving my 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club 6MT (exactly the same as Edmunds' except it's black). I think this is unfortunately dependent on one's anatomy. I am 5'8" with a 32" inseam.
  • For the first few days of ownership, I was hitting the right rear cupholder every time I reached for the volume control in the center console, but once I started using the steering wheel control it became a non-issue. Also, moved the right rear cupholder to the front passenger side, which helped too. I have yet to hit the Commander Control while shifting after five weeks. The cupholders themselves seem pretty durable so far and easily snap into place.
  • I rarely use one and would remove the cupholders if they were in my way.
  • pauljaypauljay 21787Posts: 19
    I have the "sport" trim, so no problems with my elbow hitting any control knobs. But I have several other interior issues. The CD player is poorly located where it can not be reached while driving. Why it wasn't put in the dashboard near the radio I can't understand. The GPS receptacle is also located near where the passenger's feet would be and therefore can not be reached from the driver's seated position. The sun visors are very small, thin and don't pivot to the sides, so they're basically worthless. There is no spare tire, probably because the trunk is so small, and instead you get a tire repair kit. Even the driver's floor mat is very thin and not reinforced where the driver's clutch foot heal comes into contact with it. In my Mazda3, which has similar cheap floor mats, I wore a hole completely through the floor mat at about 20,000 miles. Hopefully some of these issues can be corrected in future MX-5 models.
  • As someone who has used an ND for a year as a daily driver, I can tell you that the cup holders work, the infotainment control knob is not in the way, and anybody who cites either as a reason for not owning one is simply looking for an excuse.
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