New Lid Changes Its Character a Little - 1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long-Term Road Test
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1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long-Term Road Test

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1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata: New Lid Changes Its Character a Little

August 18, 2010

94_mazda_mx-5miata_sky.jpg

You can't see it well in this photo, but our long-term 1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata has a new top. It's black, and yes, it's a hardtop. Jay will tell you the particulars about the acquisition and installation of the hardtop in a subsequent blog entry.

For now, I'll just offer a few impressions from my 50-mile overnight visit with the car. To start, our MX-5 absolutely needed a new top. The soft top had begun to self-destruct, as you know, and it leaked water and sometimes came unlatched on the freeway.

In contrast, the new hardtop fits snugly. Top-up visibility is vastly improved. And we now have an extra storage area where the old soft-top mechanism used to be. On the flip side, that new "open hatch" area creates a booming resonance on the freeway as sound bounces off the sides of the hardtop. Oh well. It's still quieter in here than it was under the old soft top; we'll take some decibel readings for you at a later date.

I didn't really miss being able to put the top down while blasting down the freeway at night. But this morning when I walked outside and saw this sky, it bummed me out a little. I took a drive down the coast from Big Sur to Cambria, California, last weekend in a Z4, and the setting sun and salt air are still fresh in mind.

Obviously, the Miata's hardtop can be removed -- we just can't do it on the spur of the moment anymore. I crave that spontaneity, so if I bought a personal Miata, it would have to have a soft top.


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