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Which Version Should You Get? - 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited June 2016 in Mazda
imageWhich Version Should You Get? - 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Long-Term Road Test

Which trim level of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata should you get? We've done the legwork for you.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • You're wrong because you don't base the value of a brake/wheel upgrade package on braking performance alone, and you don't base brake performance on a couple of panic-stops - you get a brake upgrade so that after 3 laps at a track day, your brakes don't go away.

    And I understand why Edmunds gets loaded cars for long-term tests, because they want to report on the performance of the extras, but I don't see how they can then usually recommend the base model to keep it simple...when they have had next to no experience with the base model.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Posts: 1,021
    Why do you think that the base car brakes would go away after 3 laps at a track day? With a car as light as this I would expect the brakes to hold up adequately for most people at a track day.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    NC Club has greater appeal to me. And NC is 100% preferred over the RF. Look for a low mileage NC in the flavor of choice, save some major coin, and avoid the train wreck of ergonomics of the ND interior.
  • slyons89slyons89 Posts: 11
    I just picked up my Club yesterday. I preferred the Club over the sport because I prefer the better handling suspension and I do not plan to modify the springs/shocks until after the 3yr/36k mile warranty, so paying a bit extra for 3 years of better handling is worth it. Additionally, the limited slip differential is helpful when driving in snow and slush in cold climates (with winter tires, of course). I will be driving mine year-round in New England. Also, at 5'10, I have no problems with the ergonomics of the ND, including the controller behind the shifter, I have yet to bump it accidentally and it does not bother me when shifting or resting my arm in that area. Although I could see someone taller with longer fore-arms maybe having an issue with it. And finally, it does provide a better stereo, the head rest speakers are a nice bonus when driving with the top down, and help justify the cost. The BOSE system is OK, not amazing, not terrible. I will probably end up replacing the door speakers in the future after the initial warranty.
  • blarescare25blarescare25 Posts: 4
    edited June 2016
    I'm a month in into a owning a sport MT ND, I'll share my thought process as to why I got this over the other trims and some things I've noticed.

    I test drove the GT trim first on a cold raining day, the thing wouldn't stop beeping about everything. I wasn't flogging it, to wet for that, just driving around. It was rather maddening, plus I couldn't tell what each noise was alerting me to, so I'd have to check the dash. Now if I got more time in it I'd get used to it, but it just spoiled that trim and almost the car.

    Second go was on a great sunny day, with the club trim. Salesperson let us have it for a extended test drive. On that day with that weather it sealed it for my wife and myself.

    I thought long and hard about what I wanted out of the club, and really it was just the diff. The screen and controller my wife loved, I hated them but came around to the screen not the controller, I too bumped into it on both test drives. The one thing that would of swayed it to the club was if it had a back up camera, which I know sounds crazy but my wife really wanted it and with the top up it would be nice. Top down it's not needed.

    So we asked them to trade for a sport, a couple of weeks later it was in our garage. Now I never stepped in or drove the sport prior to buying it, kinda wish I had, for a back to back club vs sport comparison. So going off memory here's some observations from a sport owner.

    Interior trim: The sport lacks the red contrast stitching on the seats which is stated, but also lacks the vinyl trim on the dash. This does makes it feel a bit cheaper. The color door panels while nice and a slick looking wasn't a huge deal to me. Plus I got a dog and was worried he scratch it up. The push start button lacks a chrome bezel around it. While minor things add up to a rather dark, cheaper feel to that of the other trims.

    Handling: The club was a bit stiffer just mildly not bad, I liked it. My theory is the bulk of that came from the larger tires and front shock brace. The springs are the achilles heel of this car a bit much body roll across all trims. I don't race just spirited drives and honestly I have not minded having a open diff. Yea a couple of times I wish I had the lsd.

    Sound: The bose system was better then the stock radio speakers, I find it kinda pointless though on highway speed any system would be fighting the wind noise. The sport trim lacks the sub that's placed in the foot rest on the passenger side. I was hoping in the sport that that real estate would be freed up for leg room but no they place a styrofoam place holder in it's place.

    Can't go wrong with any trim, I really liked that in the sport trim with the MT it weighs 2277 lbs the bulk of that weight savings coming from smaller tires. Sometimes when I am driving I do wish the interior had the other trims garnish, but I figure as time goes on those parts will end up on ebay/junkyards.

    If you enjoy tinkering/modding your car I suggest giving the sport a serious thought it's a great platform to start with and make the car truly your own.

  • djd352djd352 Posts: 31
    Leather holds up much better in a convertible, especially because it is going to get some rain drops at some point. Also, nothing beats a convertible with heated seats on a fall or spring evening. However, if I lived in L.A. I could understand why you would not think these points as important. For me, I would have the Fiat 124 Lusso, quieter, looks better (in my opinion) and it has torque! But I live in Germany and hills on the autobahn or even B roads with low torque are detrimental to fun. :D
  • desmoliciousdesmolicious Posts: 671
    "As a wise staffer who used to work here used to conclude, "tell me why I'm wrong."

    The base model looks weaker with the smaller wheels and the interior looks cheaper. Just the wheel and tyre package as well as the interior bits makes the Club a better option. And that is before thinking about stuff like the suspension and lsd.

    If I got the base model, I know I would be wishing I didn't listen to Brent and ponied up to the Club. Nuttin' worse than wishing u had after the fact.

    The Miata is an emotional, spirited vehicle. If you have to convince yourself down from the trim package you want, you're doing it wrong.
  • In my time in my sport I never felt punished for going the cheaper trim.

    $3500 can get you a lot of stuff for this car, and that's not factoring the bbs package then it's over $5k.

    You can't go wrong in any trim.
  • Why do you think that the base car brakes would go away after 3 laps at a track day? With a car as light as this I would expect the brakes to hold up adequately for most people at a track day.

    There is also the consideration that you might not have the brakes go away, but you might glaze the pads, necessitating replacement, and you might warp the rotors. The BBS/Brembo package takes you from a single-piston sliding caliper on the front to a 4-piston, fixed caliper...I would bet you the pads are 50% larger in surface area, which means the friction surface has lower clamping forces for a given area, which means less heat concentration, and the larger size and mass of the pads and more pistons means better ability to dissipate heat. Yes, it's a light car, but the front rotors are only 11"...something like a PP GTI, that has more front weight bias and more weight period and more power, has a front rotor that is well over 13" in diameter, and large rear rotors that are ventilated, rather than solid like the Miata.

    The car has 50/50 weight distribution, but has a lot softer suspension than most 50/50 cars, and more brake dive, so the fronts are taking a lot more of the braking load, proportionally, than say with a Corvette, which dives less and lets the rear brakes do more of the work.

    And most people who do track days will get the package because it brings sticky 205/45-17" tires on forged BBS wheels, instead of less sticky 195/50-16" tires on cast wheels. With those wheels and stickier tires, and the limited-slip, the car will carry more speed everywhere and work the brakes a lot harder.


  • And most people who do track days will get the package because it brings sticky 205/45-17" tires on forged BBS wheels, instead of less sticky 195/50-16" tires on cast wheels. With those wheels and stickier tires, and the limited-slip, the car will carry more speed everywhere and work the brakes a lot harder.

    I get for track day the bbs package is good, but for me it's asking insane money for it.

    While the wheels are nice (I really do love the way the look), yes forged and pretty light at 16 lbs each.

    The sport also comes with 3 season tires, and is 2lbs lighter per wheel not including tire too. (everyone 1lb of unsprung weight is worth... goes the saying)

    The brembo brakes only upgrade the front and add paint to the rear, and it limits what pads you can put on them. A far cheaper and more advantages solution is a aftermarket front caliper upgrade.

    If you are arguing for a trim for the track, it stands to reason even more that you should start with the cheapest and then modify to your needs.

    The Club with BBS package is msrp 32k vs 25k of the sport, that's over seven thousand difference. If your goal is to track it heavily seven thousand dollars can get you a lot of stuff.

    Per, Goodwin Racing
    Willwood front caliper kit $549 (4 piston front caliper upgrade without as bad pad restrictions as in the brembo)
    Set of whatever wheels light/big/wide with high end tires just say $2500
    OEM LSD is around $1200 with install say $2000
    Springs of your choice with install $500

    That's about $5500 above, so letting you still save $2000 or splurge and get whatever else you want: sway bars, engine tune, exhuast, coil overs.

    As I said before you are the type of person who will not modify or has no interest too, buy whatever you want.

    If you are the type of person who is chasing 1/10's of a second. Seven thousand dollars is a ton of freaking money to get the car track ready.
  • The choice of trim so depends on what kind of driving you are planning to do. If the track is your thing then the Club is for you, but I do most of my driving on back roads and I want to drive my car at least 9 months in a year. So for me ultra high performance for me are out. I have tried them on my supercharged NB and they are ridiculous when the temp dips below 45 degrees. Also back road surfaces are far from perfect especially these days, so that the 17" wheels and the thin tires that go with them don't do as well on rougher roads. So I am thinking for the kind of driving I do, that the Sport will do just as well if not better than the Club. As to the sound system being better on the Club, I say, "Who cares?" I upgraded the sound system in my NB but never turn it on. The sound of the exhaust is the best music to my ears. Everything else about the Sport is more than adequate for spirited real back road ripping. That is what I will get when the time comes.
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