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All the Gauges You Need - 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited December 2015 in Mazda
imageAll the Gauges You Need - 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Long-Term Road Test

Our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata has it easy. With such a singular mission, it can keep things simple, which probably explains why it has some of the best gauges I've seen in a long time.

Read the full story here


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    miata52miata52 Member Posts: 114
    Glad to see they got rid of the faux oil pressure gauge.
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    daryleasondaryleason Member Posts: 501
    I like how they went simple. It's even got what's now considered "old style" trip odometer reset. Just about everything else now has a menu tree you have to run through to reset the trip odometer.
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    jmick1jmick1 Member Posts: 9
    Agree with the temp gauge and numbers. 2014 MZ6 has two colored lights; blue for 'not warmed up yet' and red for 'too hot'. I'd prefer the numbers.
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    7driver7driver Member Posts: 145
    Those pie sections in the lower right corners of the tach and speedo do look kinda funny, though.
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    nate001nate001 Member Posts: 102
    I give it 7 out of 10, its a bit off balance with screen on the left, analog fuel and temp gauge would have been better but I can understand why they went with this design. I like how they went with a single color (OLED?) screen vs full color. I have a similar screen in my car and it is easy on the eyes at night.
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    darthbimmerdarthbimmer Member Posts: 606
    The gauges are nice and legible. I don't like having the tach large and centered with the speedo smaller and pushed off to the side, though. Yeah, the tach is important and it should definitely be in the cluster. But for road driving-- not track driving-- the speedo is more important than the tach. And road-legal driving will account for 99%+ of most Miatas' miles.
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    desmoliciousdesmolicious Member Posts: 671
    Interesting that the redline has dropped from 7200 to 6500 (?) compared to the previous model. Yeah I know it is a different engine but less revs is a bit of a bummer.
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    s197gts197gt Member Posts: 486
    edited December 2015
    Autoweek states redline is at 6800. Good news is they claim it is smooth all the way up to it.

    Interesting that the redline has dropped from 7200 to 6500 (?) compared to the previous model. Yeah I know it is a different engine but less revs is a bit of a bummer.

    I disagree. In a car like this I would want the tach front and center.

    Low-hp 4-cylinder with manual shifter. Gonna be watching that tach a lot; even on the street.

    Slow car fast.

    Most every other car I see your point.

    But for road driving-- not track driving-- the speedo is more important than the tach.

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    speed12silspeed12sil Member Posts: 23
    Road driving? If you drive this car often enough you shouldn't even need to look at the speedo to check; Knowing what gear you're in and what rpm the engine is spinning at would tell you how fast you're going. This is a miata, not a camry.

    but for road driving-- not track driving-- the speedo is more important than the tach. And road-legal driving will account for 99%+ of most Miatas' miles.

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    nate001nate001 Member Posts: 102
    edited December 2015
    There might be a digital speedo in that little triangle by the Tach, I can't photos of what belongs in that triangle, but that is my guess.
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    wheelmccoywheelmccoy Member Posts: 97
    nate001 said:

    There might be a digital speedo in that little triangle by the Tach, I can't photos of what belongs in that triangle, but that is my guess.

    Yes, a digital speedometer is displayed in the little triangle.

    This gauge cluster works for me! It's classic and modern at the same time.
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    allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878
    Like it. Simple, clean and easy to read. The only change I would make would be to replace the analog speedo with a display that could be customized. The digital speedo in the tach would be good enough, The customized display could be the a multi info display for everyday use or on track day oil pressure and oil temperature gauges.
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    roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 17,501
    Is the temperature gauge buffered- i.e. an analog idiot light? I HATE that practice.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport-2020 C43-2021 Sahara 4xe-1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica
    Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i
    Son's: 2018 330i xDrive

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    allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878

    Is the temperature gauge buffered- i.e. an analog idiot light? I HATE that practice.

    Actually I've learned that those "buffered" temperature gauges are better. Those gauges will get to a certain point and stay there with no fluctuation when all things are normal. However if the computer notices that coolant temperature is constantly rising despite it calling for maximum cooling (cooling fans on high speed) it will command the gauge to show an overheat condition BEFORE the coolant temperature gets dangerously high to prevent engine damage. My old Accord had one cooling fan motor go out and according to my OBD scan tool the coolant temperature was about 245 when the gauge was in the red. Engine coolant doesn't boil until 265-270 on average.
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    ProfRobBobProfRobBob Member Posts: 8
    edited December 2015

    nate001 said:

    There might be a digital speedo in that little triangle by the Tach, I can't photos of what belongs in that triangle, but that is my guess.

    Yes, a digital speedometer is displayed in the little triangle.

    This gauge cluster works for me! It's classic and modern at the same time.
    Actually the triangular window in the tach reminds you of what gear you are in and suggests gear changes to maximize fuel efficiency... at least in my manual Miata.
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    roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 17,501
    I don't care that the gauges fluctuate- I want to know what the temp is right now- not the temp that the car thinks is important.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport-2020 C43-2021 Sahara 4xe-1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica
    Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i
    Son's: 2018 330i xDrive

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    texasestexases Member Posts: 10,766
    One problem - speedometer is compressed, with all the useful information (speed <75 mph) in 1/3 of the gauge. Common to lots of cars, even plain grocery-getters. I'd rather have a needle that went to 100 mph in, say, 300 degrees of rotation, plus a digital readout.
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    dvanosdvanos Member Posts: 52
    Perfectly executed!! I wish BMW would follow this set up on the M235i.
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    jay_lazjay_laz Member Posts: 8
    edited January 2016
    Gauges are illegible in the daytime with lights on.

    Unfortunate, since "Lights On For Safety" is standard practice and all the more important in a wee-itty-bitty vehicle that's all too easy to overlook.
    miata52 said:

    Glad to see they got rid of the faux oil pressure gauge.

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    jay_lazjay_laz Member Posts: 8
    edited January 2016
    dvanos said:

    Perfectly executed!!

    False.

    Daytime visibility aside, oil pressure's a vital indicator of engine health. NA's was correctly implemented and positioned. NB's was a badly implemented, but properly positioned "Analog Idiot Light". ND's taken TWO steps backwards in this regard.

    Baphomet forbid Mazda delivers Miatas undeserving of aftermarket tweaks!

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    jay_lazjay_laz Member Posts: 8

    redline has dropped from 7200 to 6500

    Factual, but irrelevant.

    Fuel cutoff solenoids exist for a reason. It's a called "rev limiter" or "upshift indicator", depending...

    I've only test-driven brand new vehicles, so I've not tested said functionality.

    Anyone who's done the experiment should chime in now.

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    jay_lazjay_laz Member Posts: 8
    nate001 said:

    ...suggests gear changes to maximize fuel efficiency...

    1. Kindly explain why I'd even attempt combining the terms "Miata" and "fuel efficiency" in the same sentence. Or paragraph. Or essay...

    2. The audio enhancement engineering provides all necessary shift cues.

    3. The 6500 rpm fuel cutoff *enforces* upshift requirements.
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Corvette owners do exactly that. They brag about loafing along on the freeway getting 30 mpg. (corvetteforum.com)

    I'd like an older Miata for boulevard cruising and good mpg would be a nice bonus.
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    roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 17,501
    stever said:

    Corvette owners do exactly that. They brag about loafing along on the freeway getting 30 mpg. (corvetteforum.com)

    They loaf so that their hairpieces don't blow off and become entangled in their gold chains... B)

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport-2020 C43-2021 Sahara 4xe-1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica
    Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i
    Son's: 2018 330i xDrive

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    texasestexases Member Posts: 10,766
    Every carmaker has mpgs at the top of their priority list. So even if Miata owners don't care (I think some do), Mazda sure does!
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