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Leave Your Baggage Behind - 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,281
edited November 2015 in Mazda
imageLeave Your Baggage Behind - 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Long-Term Road Test

If you don't buy a 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata for fun, and fun only, you're missing the point.

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Comments

  • kirkhilles1kirkhilles1 Member Posts: 863
    In terms of the trunk, I've always been able to do full grocery runs while having a trunkful of coats (I wear them when its cold with the top down). There's more than enough space for day to day needs.
  • daryleasondaryleason TexasMember Posts: 501
    I've always wanted a Miata, but I've yet to get one. Specifically, I want one of the NA Miatas, preferably from '96-98 because of the larger engine. I'll even admit I'd like to see the "pop-up" headlights come back. As a kid, I thought they were the coolest.
  • banhughbanhugh Member Posts: 315
    edited November 2015
    Forget the trunk space, the real question is,: Do 6 ft tall 220 lbs drivers even fit? Is there enough foam to defoam the seat?
  • thepuffthepuff Member Posts: 87
    Speaking of power, once you get one of these things above sea level you're at moped hp levels. I do not know why they continue to release this car with such a tepid (read: sissy) engine when they have a lot more in their cred. It's hard to have fun when you struggle getting up the mountain pass or every mainstream sedan is passing you up.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    @Banhue, this 6-4 220# driver fit adequately in the prior version, so I would expect to be able to fit in this one.

    As far as not being an every day car, nonesense. Can it be an every day car for a couple with kids? No definitely not. But for a single man or woman, absolutely. The trunk is more than large enough to carry a regular trip to the grocery or Target. If you need to carry something large then that might require borrowing or renting a vehicle (urban dwellers should consider a membership in a car sharing program). But in general minimal sacrifice is required.

    I lived with my '72 MGB-GT as my regular driver for over 3 years (including the very snowy Winter of 2013/14) until pulling it off the road for restoration in Fall 2014. Granted it is a hatchback and so has much more carrying capacity than a Miata, but I rarely used more than the space behind the back "seat" so the Miata trunk would have worked for me 90%+ of the time.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    thepuff said:

    Speaking of power, once you get one of these things above sea level you're at moped hp levels. I do not know why they continue to release this car with such a tepid (read: sissy) engine when they have a lot more in their cred. It's hard to have fun when you struggle getting up the mountain pass or every mainstream sedan is passing you up.

    My MG has well over 100k miles on it. Right now it probably makes 70-75hp at the crank (vs the original gross rating of 95hp) while weighing about the same as the Miata, which makes more than double the (SAE net) HP. I would estimate the current 0-60 and quarter mile times as "yes". But it is also a ton of fun to drive.

    While I would have liked to see the 2.5 vs the 2.0, the power is more than adequate, even at higher elevations, for fun and spirited driving. Power is an overrated component in the fun-to-drive equation.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    It's more fun to drive a slow car fast, and that's been Miata driver's mantra since day one.
  • agentorangeagentorange Member Posts: 893
    thepuff said:

    Speaking of power, once you get one of these things above sea level you're at moped hp levels.

    I could put up with a turbo version that maintained the power at altitude. I live at 3000' and travel to 6000' places regularly, and I'm done with naturally aspirated vehicles for that reason.
  • 7driver7driver Member Posts: 145
    edited November 2015

    thepuff said:

    Speaking of power, once you get one of these things above sea level you're at moped hp levels.

    I could put up with a turbo version that maintained the power at altitude.
    Enter the Fiat 124... :smile:
  • misterfusionmisterfusion Member Posts: 471
    Exactly...Mazda is so obstinate that an entirely different car company had to step in so that we could get our turbocharged Miata.
  • daryleasondaryleason TexasMember Posts: 501
    I've seen two companies that did aftermarket mods to the Miata. One company has a kit to drop a 302 (not the current one) into a Miata. The other company does a Miatang conversion where they graft in a '65-66 Mustang front clip & rear clip onto a Miata. I've always thought it'd be interesting to do both to a Miata. The power to weight ratio would be insane (especially if you went with a Coyote 5.0), assuming you could get the rear end to hook up, considering the weight bias would probably end up being in the neighborhood of 60/40. Plus, it'd look like what Ford could have built, if they'd chosen to make the Original Mustang a Roadster instead of a Boulevard Cruiser.
  • desmoliciousdesmolicious Member Posts: 671
    I think those who complain about the power have never driven one, and are just comparing it to their V6 Camry while sitting in the drive through line at Wendys.
  • desmoliciousdesmolicious Member Posts: 671
    p.s. get these (I use them) if you want fitted luggage for the Miata. No issues packing for a trip, and only $155!!!

    http://shop.geris-bazaar.com/product.sc;jsessionid=083DE055F80BD284A2173AC61FBF6B52.m1plqscsfapp03?productId=21&categoryId=1
  • bgsntthbgsntth Member Posts: 92
    I loved my '95 R-package. 50+ track days and never got out of it without a smile on my face. OK, once when traveling the I-5 in the middle of summer with no air conditioning between LA & SF, but that was it. I did remove a lot of seat cushion, the door handles, the sun visors, and jimmy-rigged the steering wheel column for additional knee room. The NC's+ did not have enough seat cushion to remove too fit, so I moved on. Yet to have a fitting for the 2016. I'm almost 6'4" and 210lb with a 34" waist - not optimistic. At Miata Club track days, I was always struck by the abundance of 6'plus burly men (and ladies) tracking their Miatas........
  • s197gts197gt Member Posts: 486
    been driving my dad's '99 miata around the last few days. have it listed on craigslist for sale. i told him i think he will regret selling it. the thing is fun. much more fun to drive this thing around in the city than my mustang gt. i still prefer the z3 over all. it is more comfortable in a variety of conditions. but straight in-town commuting the miata wins.
  • longtimelurkerlongtimelurker Member Posts: 455
    Actually, for a 2300-lb. car, two liters is pretty damn large displacement...the issue with the Miata is that Mazda spent all its money on the platform and dynamics, and had to settle for using an economy car engine.

    The Skyactiv 2.0 is really good at fuel economy, but it's not real responsive to tuning...in an N/A engine more rpm means more power, and even with a head redesign, adjusting valve events and ignition advance for premium fuel, putting a header on it and a couple of other things, it still doesn't rev any higher and it's still not making any more power in this $30,000 Miata than it does in a $17,000 Mazda 3.
  • wheelmccoywheelmccoy Member Posts: 97

    In terms of the trunk, I've always been able to do full grocery runs while having a trunkful of coats (I wear them when its cold with the top down). There's more than enough space for day to day needs.

    That's the spirit! In a Miata, I would not mind multiple runs to the grocers. :)
  • wheelmccoywheelmccoy Member Posts: 97
    For the commenters still complaining about the Miata, you missed the point of Mark's post. With apologies to Seinfeld, "No Miata For You!!"
  • dgcamerodgcamero Member Posts: 148

    Actually, for a 2300-lb. car, two liters is pretty damn large displacement...the issue with the Miata is that Mazda spent all its money on the platform and dynamics, and had to settle for using an economy car engine.

    The Skyactiv 2.0 is really good at fuel economy, but it's not real responsive to tuning...in an N/A engine more rpm means more power, and even with a head redesign, adjusting valve events and ignition advance for premium fuel, putting a header on it and a couple of other things, it still doesn't rev any higher and it's still not making any more power in this $30,000 Miata than it does in a $17,000 Mazda 3.

    Doesn't the SkyActiv engine line operate on the Atkinson cycle? If so it seems that a revised intake cam or perhaps a revised variable camshaft actuator along with a major tune designed for the standard Otto cycle would increase the usable power significantly...anyone care to chime in?
  • longtimelurkerlongtimelurker Member Posts: 455
    Oh, yeah...they could totally redesign the valvetrain and the ignition timing events, fuel maps, intake, exhaust...but they didn't, because they ran out of money. Mazda is not exactly swimming in cash right now.

    They just turbocharged the 2.5 liter Skyactiv for use in the CX-9 - don't even want to think about the cubic dollars they spent getting that Atkinson-cycle, 14:1 compression-ratio head to play nice with a turbocharger (it's 10.5:1 now...). They got a torque monster with a modest hp curve that starts to die at around 5,000 rpm - that has exactly zero potential for a car like the Miata. So if they wanted to turbocharge the Miata's 2.0, they will have to go in exactly the opposite direction = more cubic dollars.

    And they just announced that they're not done chasing the Wankel performance/durability/fuel economy rainbow just yet...

    So, the Miata is what it is.
  • dgcamerodgcamero Member Posts: 148

    Oh, yeah...they could totally redesign the valvetrain and the ignition timing events, fuel maps, intake, exhaust...but they didn't, because they ran out of money. Mazda is not exactly swimming in cash right now.

    They just turbocharged the 2.5 liter Skyactiv for use in the CX-9 - don't even want to think about the cubic dollars they spent getting that Atkinson-cycle, 14:1 compression-ratio head to play nice with a turbocharger (it's 10.5:1 now...). They got a torque monster with a modest hp curve that starts to die at around 5,000 rpm - that has exactly zero potential for a car like the Miata. So if they wanted to turbocharge the Miata's 2.0, they will have to go in exactly the opposite direction = more cubic dollars.

    And they just announced that they're not done chasing the Wankel performance/durability/fuel economy rainbow just yet...

    So, the Miata is what it is.

    I was mainly thinking that it'd possibly be a viable aftermarket endeavor for those who want more power. :-) Mazda didn't want to un-SkyAktiv their engines, and I get that.
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