Review: 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring

Thursday March 12th, 2015 at 3:33 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring

By David Colman

Hypes: Handles Like an Open Wheel Race Car
Gripes: Slippery Steering Wheel

25 Years ago, Mazda introduced their Miata sports car, a concept so radically right that it has hardly changed over the intervening two and a half decades. Miata means “little pearl” in Japanese, and the oyster that nurtured this gem of a car could not have been more perfect. In an automotive world increasingly concerned with devising mnemonics to help you avoid accidents, the Miata takes care of safety business the old fashioned way: through agility. In this diminutive two seat dervish, you won’t need buzzers to alert you to side or cross traffic because you can simply see everything you need from the driver’s seat. Lots of cars used to offer such impeccable, decision-making vision in all directions, but lithe road toys like the MG and Triumph are long gone from our marketplace. However, they’ve bequeathed the mantle of true sports car to the sole survivor of the breed, today’s Mazda’s Miata.

I just completed a joyous 50 minute drive from Petaluma to Stinson Beach along Coast Route 1 in the latest Miata. Thanks to the storm induced closure of Route 1 south of Stinson, there was almost no traffic on the Coast Route. With a clear road empty of cars, the trip unfolded like a television commercial’s dream car sequence. Mazda has the foresight to equip the Miata with the best high performance street tires available today – Bridgestone Potenza RE 050A radials (205/45R17). These premium grabbers adhere to post storm wet pavement with leech like security. Of course, the Miata’s inherent balance is responsible for its accurate handling. This car’s configuration is based on the front engine/rear drive platform of the classic British sports car. Our test MX-5 gained further improvement from its $850 optional 1SP Suspension Package” which includes sport tuned suspension, Bilstein shock absorbers, and a limited slip differential (LSD). Stiffer springs and more resistant dampers flatten ride through corners, while the LSD improves propulsion on corner exit. A Miata with the 1SP refinement is your ticket to slot car handling.

2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring

The Miata is still a tiny package. At a curb weight of just 2,610 lb., the MX-5 is one of the lightest cars on the market, a bonus that helps account for its nimble maneuverability. But the downside of downsize is a cramped interior. Inside the cockpit, there’s absolutely no room behind the seats to store any gear. A small cubby between the seats, a double beverage holder between the seats, and a couple of bottle holders in the doors constitute the limit of storage Mazda gives you. Anything else either fits in the 5 cubic foot trunk or else stays home. Although the Miata is available with a manually operated cloth roof, our test sample was equipped with a power-retractable hard top (PRHT) that behaves like a fixed roof when up. A simple latching procedure on the windshield header is required for operation. If safety, security and cockpit quiet are important, than opt for this PRHT.

2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring

Powering the Miata is a 2 liter engine good for 167hp and 140lb.-ft. of torque. This double overhead camshaft, 16 valve engine features variable valve timing (VVT) and drives through an excellent 6-speed manual gearbox. The transmission ratios are so closely spaced that the engine hardly ever loses momentum on up shifts. The stick’s throws are close and tight, and the sheer pleasure of shifting becomes a major attraction of driving a Miata. During passing maneuvers, however, you become aware that the 167hp motor quickly runs out of zip. An extra 20 hp would be a welcome addition to the Miata equation.

2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring

Early in 2015, Mazda will introduce the successor to the current model. While it will undoubtedly be bigger and faster than today’s MX-5, it will just as surely lose some of the charm and finesse of the original package. Since its introduction in 1990, this petit sports car has become the perpetual performance yardstick for the sports car fraternity. Currently, more Miatas race each other in club racing than any other single make of car. When the last of the current crop is sold in 2015, the first Zoom-Zoom era of unforgettable motoring will draw to a close.

2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring

  • Engine: 2.0 liter DOHC, 16 valve inline 4 with VVT
  • Horsepower: 167hp
  • Torque: 140lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 21 MPG City/28 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $32,935
  • Star Rating: 9 out of 10 Stars

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Mazda MX-5 Miata Essential Buyer’s Guide

Thursday October 6th, 2011 at 2:1010 PM
Posted by: Derek

Mazda MX-5 Miata (Mk1 1989-1997 & Mk2 1998-2001) – The Essential Buyer’s Guide by Carla Crook

The iconic Mazda Miata has been around for 22 years offering a true, top-down, sports car experience. With its 50/50 weight distribution, nimble handling, and simplistic approach to engineering, the Miata MX-5 is inexpensive, easy to maintain, and fun to drive.

Now available is the Essential Buyer’s Guide for the Mk1 (1989 – 1997) and Mk2 (1998 – 2001) generations of the Miata MX-5. The MX-5 is a true testament to itself as the ‘world’s best-selling sports car,’ and with the earlier MkI and MkII available for modest prices, it is the perfect choice as a fun and enjoyable daily driver, a weekend track car, or a project base for a kit car. This book will help you get the MX-5 of your dreams.

Key points about the book:

  • Like having a real marque expert at your side – benefit from years of real ownership experience
  • Coverage of the MX-5 (Miata/Eunos Roadster) 1989 – 2001 models including special, limited editions and desirable upgrades
  • Where and how to buy an MX-5
  • Advice on choosing the right model and condition, including those with modifications
  • Key checks – how to spot a bad car quickly
  • Comprehensive inspection guide with unique scoring system
  • In-depth analysis of strengths and weaknesses
  • Key technical specifications
  • Photo illustrations of the important areas to check and foibles to be aware of
  • Details of clubs, forums, suppliers and specialists dedicated to the MX-5
  • MSRP $19.95

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Four New Cars From The Foreign 4 Knocking at the Door

Monday February 23rd, 2009 at 2:22 PM
Posted by: m35man


Who would have dreamed a year ago that the big names at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show would be Acura, Hyundai, Kia, and Mazda? Who would have ever imagined that a U.S. auto show would be dominated by companies from Japan and Korea?

Everyone thought the Chicago Auto Show would be a great opportunity for the Big 3 to pull out the stops and put a positive spin on a bad situation. But, instead of a much-needed infusion of confidence, all the Big 3 got was an old-school whuppin’ at the hands of the Foreign 4.

While the Big 3 was busy taking private jets to Washington D.C., closing production facilities and laying off workers at an alarming rate, it seems that the Foreign 4 has been hard at work.

Sure, the Big 3 did unveil some great new cars. But, questions still remain. How quickly can they get these vehicles to market? Are they earmarking bailout money for these projects? (They must be.) But, while the Big 3 wonders, the Foreign 4 plunders, and that’s the name of that tune.

4 new cars from the Foreign 4: The 2010 Acura TSX V-6, the 2010 Hyundai Genesis coupe R-Spec, the 2010 Kia Forte, and the 2009 Mazda MX-5 were displayed at the Chicago Auto Show.

Read the article from Kirk Bell, contributing author to CarReview and Search Chicago, after the jump:

(Continued on page 2)

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Posted in Acura, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Press and News |Tags:, , , , , , , , || No Comments »

New Miata Debuts In Japan

Wednesday December 10th, 2008 at 10:1212 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Mazda MX-5 Miatasa-WEET! I love these little guys. Sure, a lot of people, men mostly, look at Miatas as being “girls cars”. They either don’t know the first thing about sports cars, have never ridden in the passenger seat of one when a competent driver is at the wheel, or are in the midst of some heavy Freudian psychology (e.g. compensation and denial).

If MG/Austin-Healey/TR had been making cars like this in the 70s, they’d still be in business … but alas, they did not, and for too many years, the affordable drop top was not seen on these shores (or anywhere else for that matter). In ’89 Mazda changed all that with the introduction of the Miata. It’s in its third generation by now (if you ignore a couple of half-gen updatings here & there), and no longer officially called the Miata. Now Mazda calls it the MX-5 here in the U.S., and in the home country it’s referred to as “The Roadster”.

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2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review – Can it Really be Improved?

Friday January 4th, 2008 at 9:11 PM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

Mazda MX-5 Overview Mazda MX-5 Specs
Mazda MX-5 Consumer Reviews Mazda Miata MX-5 Photo Gallery

By Kurt Gensheimer

2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata PRHT


  • Telepathic, idiot proof performance
  • More fun than your first go-kart
  • Retractable hardtop is genius


  • Intrusive door panel cupholders
  • Retractable hardtop still isn’t a true hardtop

Ruling: A legendary weekend sports car becomes a legendary every day sports car.
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