While there are many that like to discredit the Mazda MX-5 Miata as being a little soft, when you look up the Guinness World Record for the world’s “best selling two-seat sports car
” you’ll see this humble roadster.
Mazda was onto a winning formula when it devised plans for the original MX-5 Miata launched all the way back in 1989. Since then, the car has only undergone two complete product redesigns though a series of upgrades have kept it fresh. Now we have the latest 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata, which once again follows that special formula that's made the car a standout in the market for more than two decades.
That formula was essentially to build a classic lightweight roadster but make it reliable, safe and handle brilliantly, and that’s exactly what the MX-5 Miata is noted for. The only downside is that there are few frills but with this many thrills, who cares?
Buyers looking for a bare bones speedster should opt for the soft-top model, while those after something a little more livable and likely to last the years should select the automated hard-top version. Unlike many other retractable hard-top cars on the market, the MX-5 Miata actually looks good with its top either up or down.
Sitting up front and sending drive to the rear wheels is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 167 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque on tap. This may not seem like a lot but remember that the 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata has a total curb weight of less than 2,600 pounds, which means the car’s still good for 0-60 mph dashes in around 7 seconds.
Combine this light curb weight with an ideal 50/50 weight distribution and it’s easy to see why reviewers rave about the car’s brilliant handling ability. It feels like a go-kart at low speeds and shows a surprising degree of poise for higher track speeds.
Customers can pick from either a conventional five-speed manual or six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. We’d say definitely go with the manual for maximum fun in the MX-5 Miata. Its engine loves to be revved and most of the fun only starts above 4,000 rpm.
One other major winning factor is the price--you can hop into one for a little over $23,000.
For a complete take on the safety, quality, performance, styling, and features of the 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata, read the full review at TheCarConnection