- Sport and Club models go manual-only
- Added stability for improved cornering
- New color combinations
Nothing is perfect, and that includes the Mazda MX-5 Miata — though it's about as close as you can get. The fourth generation of Mazda's classic, lightweight two-seat roadster has been putting giant smiles on driving enthusiasts' faces since 2016, and in 2019 the automaker added more power and performance to the plucky rear-drive sports car. Now, the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata soft-top convertible and RF power-folding hardtop receive a couple of updates that advance its sporting credentials even more.
Like it did last year, the 2022 MX-5 Miata convertible comes in Sport, Club and Grand Touring trim, while the RF is available only in Club and Grand Touring specification. However, the optional automatic transmission is now only available with the Grand Touring trim. All Sport and Club versions come exclusively with a delightful six-speed manual gearbox.
Few people can row their own gears, so this change seems counterintuitive. And though we wouldn't admit it in enthusiast circles, the automatic is paired well to the car's 181-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. But, despite its paddle shifters, the automatic does sap some of the natural joy in driving this car. A Miata without a clutch pedal is like Hawaii without aloha, a Reese's without peanut butter, or Woody without Buzz Lightyear. It just ain't right.
Mazda is also adding a new handling technology to the 2022 MX-5 Miata. Kinematic Posture Control (KPC) has nothing at all to do with your position behind the steering wheel and everything to do with improving what Mazda calls "high-g cornering precision and confidence." In other words, the car's posture on the road.
The way Mazda describes it, when the driver pitches the MX-5 Miata hard into a curve or a corner, KPC will add subtle braking to the inside rear wheel. This action helps reduce body roll, which Mazda claims will make the steering feel more linear and natural. Then, after you've clipped the apex and your right foot is mashed down on the accelerator pedal again, Mazda uses slightly stronger rear-wheel braking to create what it says is a limited-slip effect.
Now, these are just Mazda's claims about KPC. To make sure it works as intended, we're really gonna need to spend a week with the 2022 MX-5 and put it through its paces. Maybe two. Or three. You know, just to thoroughly test the technology and report back to you on our experience.
There are a few additional changes to the 2022 Mazda Miata. A new color called Platinum Quartz Metallic joins the menu and is available on all three trim levels at no extra cost. Imagine a silvery sand color, and you'll get an idea of what this color looks like. To make room for Platinum Quartz, Mazda is phasing out the Arctic White paint it previously offered with the Sport and Club trims.
Additionally, a new reddish-brown leather color that Mazda calls Terracotta is optional on the Grand Touring versions. It replaces the 2021-only white leather, which replaced the 2020-only red leather. So if you like it, you might want to get it while you can.
For 2022, there is more to love about the Mazda MX-5 Miata. More manual transmissions. More handling stability near the limit. And a more appealing leather color. Hands-down, this is one of our favorite cars. And if KPC delivers on its promises, the 2022 edition could prove to be the best Miata yet.