2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long-Term Road Test - New Updates
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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long-Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Monthly Update for October 2016

by Jonathan Elfalan, Senior Road Test Editor

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Where Did We Drive It?
The Edmunds long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata may not have seen as many miles in October as the previous month — 1,440 miles versus last month's 4,870 — but that doesn't mean it wasn't eventful. Vehicle Testing Assistant Michael Massey made a point over a long weekend to get some quality seat time, forming a driving bond so strong he even began to turn a similar shade of red.

A short time before that, Dan Edmunds demonstrated how easy it is to install a navigation system if you've got a Club model like ours with the necessary hardware — and likewise, how you might prank a friend by turning the navigation system into a digital compass.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: A Joy to Drive

by Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant on November 4, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

I put over 400 miles on our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata during a three-day weekend. It was my first real chance to drive the convertible. I had the top down so much during my travels to Malibu, Ventura and Big Bear Lake that my face and left arm got sunburned.

It was a small price to pay for learning what the Miata's all about.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: No Nav? No Problem!

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on October 31, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is the Club variant, which is my favorite trim level because of its Bilstein shocks and limited-slip differential. It's the only version that has these nifty bits. The one thing I want that the Club lacks is a navigation system. But that's a shortcoming that can be overcome.

I'm not talking about running Google Maps on a smartphone, although that does work. Some people don't want to drive with a smartphone stuck to their windshield or balanced in an inconvenient nook. Others live in places where data coverage is slim to nonexistent. And not everyone owns a smartphone.

Built-in native navigation solves these problems. Here's how we added it to our Club.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Transmission Noise

by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on September 22, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata has a subtle buzz that occasionally emanates from the transmission.

Not to worry, there's nothing wrong. In fact, it suggests something is very right.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: I Like the Stereo

by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on September 21, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

I have no idea what Sadlier is rambling on about. The Bose stereo in our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is great. Okay, so it doesn't have the sophisticated sound or controls that audiophiles might be looking for, but you can drive it with the top down and still hear the music. And for this little roadster, that's enough.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Setting Fuel Economy Records in August

by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on September 19, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata set a couple of new high-water marks during August, breaking the records for both range and single-tank fuel economy.

How, you ask? Terrific question. Turns out, it wasn't very difficult.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Stops Short

by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on September 15, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

I really enjoy driving our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. It's easy to steer, easy to park and, perhaps most importantly, easy to stop. The brakes are well-calibrated for stop-and-go stuff, which is always nice, but the Miata's heavy-braking skills are worth noting, too.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: To Ripley and Back, Believe it or Not

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on September 13, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Much of my time in our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata has taken the form of bite-sized chunks: trips to the mall, dinner and a movie, minor Home Depot runs, shuttling my daughter to a sleepover. I'm blown away every time by its uncanny ability to inject fun into routine errands.

But I've never driven it very far. Each session behind the wheel could only be counted in minutes, not hours. Would I still love the MX-5 as much (or at all) if 6-foot 2-inch me had to spend all day in the saddle? Could I really see myself owning one of these?

My opportunity to answer these questions came last Saturday, when I woke up before sunrise for no good reason. I couldn't sleep, so I did what I've done on previous mornings like this: I grabbed the keys and headed east into the desert with no destination in mind.

By the time I got home, I'd covered 503 miles, burned through a complete tank of gas and gotten partway into another.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Caption This

by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on September 2, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

It was a hot day in Southern California. I hopped in our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata and got the message above. I suppose that's one of the drawbacks of having one of those tablet-like displays that don't retract or aren't covered by a hood.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Power Error 404 Not Found

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on August 23, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

When we perform instrumented testing on vehicles, we use a VBOX from Racelogic. The setup we have requires a 12-volt power receptacle, also known as a cigarette lighter socket. With space at a premium in our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata finding that socket proved difficult.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Will Golf Clubs and a Passenger Fit?

by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on August 9, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

I've already demonstrated that our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata has no trouble transporting both a golfer and a golf bag, as long as you don't mind putting the bag in the front seat. But what if your wife's car is in for service, and she needs a ride somewhere, and the only way it'll work is if you drop her off en route to your tee time?

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Fuel Economy Update for July

by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on August 5, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

It's a genuine challenge to get bad fuel economy in our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. I submit the 104.4-mile trip depicted above as evidence. I was on the throttle hard for most of those miles, shooting around town between zero and maybe 50 mph, often leaving it in a lower gear to keep the revs up (because sports car, not because this engine needs 'em).

The blasted thing's still giving me an indicated 27.6 mpg.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: I Found the Bose Logo

by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on August 2, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Just a brief note here for posterity. In my stereo evaluation of our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata's standard Bose system, reader hank39 asked if Mazda had "stopped placing the Bose logo on the speaker grilles." I confirmed that the grilles had no logos, and I theorized that "maybe Bose requires a certain level of component quality if you want to use the logo."

I was not correct.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Temperature Indicator Barely Moves

by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on July 27, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

I'm used to temperature needles staying on the low side of the gauge so as not to freak drivers out. But I've never seen a fully warm reading as low as the one in our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Bose? Oh Noes!

by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on July 22, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Mazda has a checkered past with Bose stereos, and when I say "checkered," I mean I can't remember a Bose setup in a Mazda that really cranked. They sound OK, don't get me wrong; they just tend not to meet the higher expectations that the premium branding creates.

Which brings me to the nine-speaker Bose system in our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Does it break with tradition? Let's see about that.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: The Golf Clubs Technically Fit

by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on July 20, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

It's what every golfer wants to know about any convertible:

"Will my golf bag fit?"

And I can attest that the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata does indeed have room for your golf bag, as long as you don't mind if it rides shotgun.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Getting In and Out, Made Easier

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on July 18, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

"Why did we take this car again?" This was my wife's quote to me as she was trying to get out of Edmunds' long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. We had gone out to dinner and she had dressed up with stylish 3-inch heels.

"Because it's cool, obviously," I replied.

"Whatever. Help me out." 

It's true that the Miata is harder to get in and out of compared to most other vehicles. It sits low to the ground and, with its top raised, doesn't give you much clearance for your head. But as sports cars go, the Miata is pretty typical. There are worse offenders, in fact, such as our long-term Dodge Viper. And that made me think of something I bought for our Viper and never followed up on: it's time to test out the Car Cane.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Fuel Update For June - Holding Steady

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on July 14, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata had another quiet month, totaling up about 800 miles in June. Maybe you can blame me, since I've been the one driving it a majority of the time. In my defense, the lack of miles has more to do with the car's lack of practicality (compared to other vehicles in our long-term fleet) than anything relating to my desire to drive it. For those 800 miles, though, our Miata put up fuel economy numbers similar to what we observed in prior months.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Will the Luggage Fit?

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on July 12, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Will the luggage fit? To answer this question we loaded (our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata) with bags in different configurations and took photos. What constitutes carry-on luggage varies depending upon who you ask. So for the sake of standardization we used the same blue carry-on bag--size (21 x15x10 inches) and red checked bag--size (30x20x13 inches).

Take the jump for photos and more detail...

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: More Fun Than a Frog in a Glass of Milk

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on July 8, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Should you find yourself driving a 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata on a road that twists and turns like a politician avoiding an inconvenient question, you're going to have fun. Lots of fun. I guarantee it, just like the suit guy with the beard does, but without the "like the way you look" part.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: A Touchscreen That's Not Always A Touchscreen

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on July 6, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Mazda graciously gives you two ways to interact with the 2016 Miata's optional infotainment system: the 7-inch touchscreen, proudly perched atop the dash (not unlike that Samsung 70-inch 4K Ultra HD TV you just put in your living room) and the controller knob-and-button array located on the center console. Redundancy is good, right? There's just one problem. Only one of these methods works while you're driving.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Top 10 Qualities You'll Like About The Miata

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on July 1, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Originally, I planned on writing a list of my top five favorite things about our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. But it quickly became obvious that I was going to have trouble choosing just five. Enter the Top 10.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Which Version Should You Get?

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on June 29, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Let's just assume that you've been reading our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata updates the past few months and have decided to pull the trigger on a new Miata. Congrats! But the next thing you're going to have to decide on is a trim level. Do you pick the Sport, the Club or the Grand Touring?

Thankfully, Edmunds.com pays me to help you out on such things.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: In Defense of the New Engine

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on June 24, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

My coworker Josh Sadlier wrote a couple updates about 2016 Mazda Miata that's I've been meaning to respond to. In the first one, Josh said he'd rather buy a used Honda S2000 instead of our Miata. In the second, he noted his disappointment with our Miata's "SkyActiv" engine.

In both cases, the crux of Josh's argument is that our Miata's engine isn't special enough because it doesn't deliver an extra rush of power at high rpm or even rev very high to begin with. I originally thought about titling my update "Why Josh is Wrong." But to his credit, Josh soundly defended his arguments. He even explained that his opinion is an "outlier by American standards."

Well, Josh, I guess that puts me in the majority, as I happen to find our Miata's motor pretty enjoyable.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Avoids the Chin Scrape Through Geometry

by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on June 21, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a diminutive little thing that looks pretty low-slung. It wouldn't be at all surprising if its nose scraped everywhere.

And yet...

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Lightning-Quick Top

by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on June 17, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

We've already determined that the top on our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is so easy to operate a toddler can do it. Luckily, adults can do it, too. And, since it's a manual-folding top, you can actually fold it down or put it up while waiting for a stoplight to change.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: First Scheduled Service and Unexpected Rear Tire Wear

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on June 15, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

There were two reasons I grabbed the keys to the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata last weekend. First, I had just spent a family vacation during which I split chauffeur duties with my stepfather, and I was getting a little stir-crazy to Drive Something Fun. A week in a rental Dodge Grand Caravan can do that to a person. I also had a funky travel schedule coming up, and that weekend was the only time I had free to take the Miata in for its first scheduled service. I knew the Miata was on the threshold of crossing the 10,000-mile mark before I took it home, so I rang up Puente Hills Mazda and set an appointment for 8:00 a.m. on Friday.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Fully Restored by the 10,000-Mile Mark

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on June 10, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

It's taken a little longer than expected, but our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata just passed the 10,000-mile mark. Over the last 5,000 miles, it has been the subject of several road trips, including Reese's adventure to Death Valley for the wildflower "super bloom." Mark subjected it to a punishing sandstorm test during another (the Miata lost, by the way). He, Dan and I spent a good chunk of time restoring it to its pre-sandstorm condition, which included an extensive detailing job, air filter replacement, headlight restoration and a new windshield (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3).

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Staying the Fuel Economy Course for May

by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on June 7, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

We drove our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata into a sandstorm recently, and during May it went to the shop for a new windshield. The maintenance-heavy month meant its 776-mile monthly total fell far short of our usual 1,700-mile target. But in the meantime we found a few things to scrutinize, such as its seats and steering wheel.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Will a Cartful of Groceries Fit?

by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on June 1, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

We haven't been kind in describing the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata's cargo capacity. As Editor Frio noted a while back, one of our Cons in this year's review is "limited cargo space inside the tiny trunk," and we go on to explain that the "trunk is rather pathetic...measuring just 4.6 cubic feet. That's small even by roadster standards."

Indeed, while the drop-top Alfa Romeo 4C (3.7 cubes) and Nissan 370Z (4.2) are stingier still, there are a number of compact convertibles that offer more, including the Porsche Boxster (9.9 cubes between the trunk and the frunk) and the Mercedes-Benz SLK (an impressive 10.1).

But what does that mean in the real world? For example, can this relatively minuscule trunk swallow a legitimate cartful of groceries? If I were a betting man, I would have put it all on "nope."

I found myself at Ralph's the other night with a chance to test that hunch.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Excellent Steering Wheel

by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on May 30, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

A bad steering wheel can ruin a car for me. It's the input device you interact most with in a car. Steering wheels vary wildly from car to car, and every car calls for a certain type. If the wheel doesn't feel right, it can bring down what is otherwise a great vehicle.

That's not the case for our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. In fact, it might be my favorite steering wheel in the entire test fleet.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Bad Seats Are Getting Worse

by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on May 25, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

I like our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata quite a bit. I've probably had more seat time than anyone else in the office. I've taken it on a couple road trips and the occasional commute, putting several thousand miles on the odometer in the process. With all that time in the driver seat, I think I'm qualified enough to say that the seats in the Miata suck. More than that, I think they're getting worse.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Windshield Replaced

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on May 23, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Here it is: the thrilling conclusion of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata's windshield replacement saga. It began when Mark drove through a sandstorm, which caused deep scratches in the windshield. There was a considerable amount of glare coming from the windshield whenever the scratched area was hit with sunlight or light from headlamps of opposing traffic. It quickly became apparent that a replacement was necessary. I contacted several parties for glass quotes, negotiated a price and finally got a new windshield installed. Like the quote process, this final leg wasn't seamless.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Getting Estimates for a New Windshield: Part 2

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on May 17, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

After a sandstorm wrecked the windshield of our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, I started shopping around for a replacement. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I reached out to Safelite, Kevin Gaines of Gaines Glass and Santa Monica Mazda to get pricing. Here are paraphrased conversations with each, and who we ended up going with.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Getting Estimates for a New Windshield: Part 1

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on May 13, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

A couple months ago, we were reminded that grit and cars don't play nice with each other. Mark drove the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata through a sandstorm, which dulled the paint, dirtied the air filter and damaged the headlight assemblies and windshield. Dan and Mark split the repairs and nearly restored the Miata to its former glory. Since I took on the task of getting the 2016 Honda Pilot's windshield replaced, I volunteered to do the same for the Miata.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Fuel Economy Update for April

by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on May 9, 2016

 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

It was business as usual for our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata last month. We put 808 miles on the odometer — barely a third of our heroic March total — and filled the tank just three times, with a best tank of 32.3 mpg and a worst of 28.3 mpg.

That puts our lifetime average at 30.1 mpg, down a tenth from the last check-in. I may have cast aspersions on the SkyActiv engine's fun factor, but it sure seems to be delivering on the fuel-economy front.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Three Days Will Cure What Ails Ya

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on May 4, 2016

 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

After a few weeks of driving practical, family-friendly cars like the Ford F-150, Volkswagen Beetle, Honda Civic and GMC Canyon, I found my inner child desperate to break free when the weekend signout sheet made its way to me. To my surprise, my prayers were answered as the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata was still up for grabs. I only drove it once, briefly, at the beginning of this year when I picked up Phil from Carmax after he sold our long-term 2015 Ford Mustang. Three days to really acquaint with the little red roadster sounded great.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Arms Fit Fine

by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on April 26, 2016

 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

I like both Ron Montoya and Mark Takahashi. Unfortunately, they have wantonly deceived us all through perspective-based trickery! :::gasp:::

You remember the photo Ron posted of our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata (the one right there ^) and Mark's similar blog post? They complain that there's not enough room and that the knob is in the wrong spot.

They're wrong.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Headlight Restoration

by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on April 19, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

I finally had a little time to continue cleaning up the damage from a desert sandstorm. This time around it's the headlights.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Fits Anywhere, Part II

by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on April 12, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

I don't have much to add to Travis's post other than a couple photos, but I definitely did a double-take when I saw how much room was left behind our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata in this random L.A. parking space.

The new Miata is a seriously small car, and that's a beautiful thing in the city.

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2016 Mazda Miata: March Fuel Economy Is Right on Target

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on April 7, 2016

2016 Mazda Miata

To the surprise of no one, our 2016 Mazda Miata is becoming more popular as the weather warms. Some 2,365 miles were added this month, and they bolstered our impression that the Mazda Miata is one of those cars that can readily match its EPA fuel economy rating.

With 8,228 miles of mixed driving now on the clock, our Miata's lifetime average of 30.2 mpg falls right in line with its EPA combined rating of 30 mpg.

And we beat the Miata's 34-mpg EPA highway rating again, setting a new best tank of 37.5 mpg, with a new best range of 329 miles thrown in for good measure.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Post-Sandstorm Filter Swap

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on April 4, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

You already know that our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata got caught in an immense sandstorm. If there were such a thing as a Fujita hurricane ranking scale for sandstorms, this event would have fallen slightly closer to the Mad Max end of the spectrum that stretches from mere Dust Devil to full-on Fury Road.

I later examined the air filter and decided it might be a good idea to install a new one. The interior smelled of dust and desert, so I thought about a new cabin air filter — if the ND had one.

But the owner's manual made no mention of one, even in the maintenance schedule. The internet seemed to suggest the NC had one because of its tight-sealing power retractable hard top option, and with a new 2017 Miata RF retractable fastback version just announced it seemed that this logic might extend to the ND, too. I called a Mazda engineer I know — in charge of suspension, admittedly — but he wasn't sure.

So I asked about a cabin air filter when I bought a new air filter ($20.11, with tax) at my local Mazda dealer. I peeked over the parts-guy's shoulder as he scanned through the online version of the microfiche. Nothing came up. It seems there is no such thing.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Calm Down, It's Not Ruined

by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on March 31, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

When one of my colleagues said I ruined the Miata, my response was, "Lemme see if the skills/equipment I've acquired will actually fix it first."

Yes, the nose of the car was pretty scuffed up, but the damage was limited to the clearcoat. In bright sunlight, it would look pink in comparison to the rest of the car and the black trim looked grey. But I was nowhere close to freaking out because I knew that the day I spent at Meguiar's learning how to detail our old Buick Grand National would help.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Sandstorm Damage Extensive, Possibly Expensive

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on March 29, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

As Mark Takahashi already said, our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata was caught in a sudden sandstorm on a deserted stretch of two-lane desert road with no cover whatsoever. I drove it home a day or two later and discovered the damage to be even more extensive than I imagined after hearing his description and seeing his pictures.

For one, the car smelled of the desert whenever the fan was on. Not the sweet sage smell you get after it rains, but the dry dusty smell you get from being eighth in line behind a string of Jeeps in a sand wash. A new cabin filter would be in order — if the ND had one.

This led me to pop the hood and have a look at the engine air filter. In the process I got a look at the coarse, sharp-edged grit that had enveloped the Miata because a goodly amount of it had settled on top of the engine.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Sandstorm Damage

by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on March 25, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

As it turns out, the sandstorm I got caught in caused some damage to our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Not surprisingly, the car's nose has suffered some paint abrasion, but I'm confident I can buff that out with all of our detailing equipment.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: The SkyActiv Experience

by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on March 24, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

A wise Edmunds editor (is there any other kind?) once called the Miata's powertrain "the most engaging setup you'll find short of an S2000: The reworked engine winds out to 7,600 rpm like a sport bike while still providing respectable midrange torque."

Except that sagacious fellow wasn't talking about our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. He was talking about the previous-generation "NC" Miata, which received a notable overhaul for 2009.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: A Softtop So Easy a Four-Year Old Can Operate It

by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on March 22, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

How dead-simple is opening and closing the long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata's convertible roof? Simple enough that a four-year old could do it.

Correction: a four-year old has done it.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Temptation, Trepidation and Precipitation

by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on March 18, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5

On my return trip from Pahrump, Nevada, in our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, I decided to take the fun route rather than the quicker, more boring way. I got a bit more than expected, in both good and bad forms.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Comfort vs. Fun

by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on March 17, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Whenever we need to attend an industry event and it's not ridiculously far away, we take one of our long-termers to rack up some miles. For my trip out to Pahrump, Nevada, I was given the choice of our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata or the Viper. Neither are really known for long-distance comfort, but I've made longer trips in far less accommodating vehicles without too much whining.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Bringing a Little Color to Death Valley

by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on March 15, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

I'm still new to California, so it's hard to justify staying home on the weekend when there's so much to see. It's even more difficult when you have a fleet of cars at your disposal and an obligation to tack on as many miles as possible.

This rationale led me to Death Valley in our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: The FR-S/BRZ Problem

by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on March 10, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

My abiding memory of our long-term Scion FR-S is one of fun. It was comfortable, had excellent balance and some of my favorite seats ever. On top of that, we added the whiny supercharger, the Volk TE-37 wheels, and the super-gripy Advan AD08 tires, all of which made it even more enjoyable. I haven't driven an FR-S (or it's Subaru twin brother, the BRZ) since that FR-S left our fleet more than two years ago, but it's certainly a car I'd consider owning and I jump at the chance to drive one whenever it's around. 

What does all of this have to do with the long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata? Glad you asked.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Fuel Economy Update for February

by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on March 8, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Despite its diminutive size and coming up low on the practicality scale, our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata remains very popular in the fleet.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: You Write the Caption

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on March 7, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

This picture of our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata speaks for itself. What does it say to you?

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: How It Makes You Feel

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on March 3, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

We've got some very versatile vehicles in our fleet right now: Honda Pilot, Kia Sedona, Toyota Tacoma. For helping me through my daily life, they're excellent.

Then there's the Edmunds' long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. It seats two, is loud on the freeway, has a dinky trunk, and cupholders in rather inconvenient places. Not very versatile, this one.

But for creating emotions, it's hard to beat the Miata.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Holds Its Own at the Country Club

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on March 1, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a humbly priced car. It starts at around $25,000. Our modestly-equipped version checked in at around $30,000. Yet I believe the new generation's styling allows it to hang with much more expensive sports car crowd.

At the valet line or the country club, it's a car I'd be proud to park.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Fuel Economy Update for January - 30 MPG

by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on February 29, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The EPA says the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata should get 30 mpg combined. That's wildly impressive for a performance-oriented car, even one as dainty and modestly powered as the Miata.

And yet, in January, our long-termer improved by one full mpg to cross the 30 mpg barrier. We're now averaging 30.6 mpg and it's not like we're not having any fun, either.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: The Best of the First 5,000

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on February 24, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

We needed fewer than four months with our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata to reach the 5,000-milestone. Take the jump for the best of the first 5,000 miles as voted on by me.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Shifter Is a Benchmark

by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on February 22, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Simply put, our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata's shifter is a model of how to do it right. Also, our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper's shifter is a model of how to do it right.

You wouldn't want the shifter from either car in the other one.

Confused yet?

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: The S2000 Problem

by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on February 18, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Let me begin by noting that our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata pleasantly surprises me every time I drive it. See, I've never been a Miata guy, for one simple reason: apart from the short-lived Mazdaspeed Miata, the thing has never had a motor. And I can't abide any sporting car that doesn't have a motor.

But the new "ND" Miata's 2.0-liter inline-4 has decent poke for what it is. You don't even need to get the revs up. Just step on it at, say, 3,500 rpm and off you go. It scoots. Color my expectations exceeded.

Having said that, I just couldn't consider a new Miata myself when minty-fresh Honda S2000s are still out there for thousands less.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Performance Tested

by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on February 16, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

We've had our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata a little while now. It was time to see how it would perform at our track. We took our Miata to the track to have some unrestricted fun and gather the numbers.

We know that the Miata is about more than just pure speed. It's never going to outpace our Viper or Mustang around a circuit. Read on to see how it compares.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Freakishly Lightweight

by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on February 12, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Well, duh. There's nothing illuminating about saying that our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is lightweight. But in the context of today's cars, it's staggeringly lightweight.

Consider that at 2,350 pounds, the new model weighs the same as a 1994 Miata. This despite the modern car's vastly stiffer chassis, superior noise isolation, significantly increased performance, a far longer features list, and crashworthiness that's lightyears beyond the old car.

But even that comparison doesn't really do the situation justice. For that we need to turn outward. To Italy.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Clever Coolant Temp Gauge, But What About Oil?

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on February 10, 2016

2015 Volvo S60

From the simplicity of the roof to its swappable cup holder system, our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is full of clever and simple ideas. The coolant temperature gauge in the instrument cluster is no different.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Where The Trunk Is The Button?

by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor on February 8, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Walking up to your car with hands and arms full of stuff, it feels like a recurrent relay race against gravity as you struggle to gain access to the cabin. Your keys have sunk to the deepest reaches of your pocket or handbag (or man-bag), conspiring to break your resistance against placing your personal effects on the ground. Yes, this sounds ridiculous, but you've probably been here too.

For cars with keyless access, this scenario is a distant memory. If I'm driving any type of four-door, my preferred loading location is the driver-side rear passenger door. But for coupes or roadsters, like our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, it's the trunk.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Easy Driver, Great Teacher

by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor on February 4, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

About seven years ago, I taught Christine, my then-girlfriend and now wife, how to drive a manual transmission car. The trainer car: A 1991 Mazda Miata I'd rescued from an owner that had stripped it for parts and sentenced it to a salvage yard. It cost me $200 and a tow from AAA to get it home safely, due to missing seat belts and four flat tires, then roughly another $300 to get it road worthy. Essentially it ran like clockwork forever after.

Our new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata has come a long way since 1991, but it's also very much in essence the same car it was 25 years ago. I'd argue it's also the easiest manual transmission car to drive, which makes it the best car to learn in.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Cabin for Real People

by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on February 2, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

It's hard not to be impressed by our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Clever design clues abound and it's clear that engineers spent a lot of time sweating the details.

Take its cabin. By cold, hard numbers, the cabin is smaller than that of the outgoing car. Yet there's actually more usable space inside. I'm 6 feet 1 inch tall, with a long torso, and I never feel cramped in there (I even have to slide the seat forward on its track a few clicks).

The sill is easy to navigate, but not so low that the bottom edge of the door drags on standard-height curbs (the large-radius trailing edge helps with this and furthermore allows the latch pillar of the chassis to be stouter). The seatback is designed to give you a couple extra degrees of recline than before. Its armrests are scalloped out a bit near your elbow. Footwell space is ample. The underside of the seat bottom is a skotch closer to the floor — all several minor revisions that make a real difference in its livability.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Does Riswick Fit? VIDEO!

by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on January 29, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Ah yes, that grand-old question that stretches all the way back to 2007 when my fellow editors started placing me places (front seat, back seat, third-row seat, trunk, Tesla Frunk) to see if I would fit. The "Riswick" actually became a unit of measurement. My granddad would be so proud?

Anyway, in that tradition I decided to tackle that question in regards to our teeny-tiny 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. And to properly address it, I did it in vlog form. Follow the jump to view.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Reminds You Why People Buy Convertibles

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on January 25, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

It's easy to scoff at the idea of buying a convertible like our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Two seats, tiny trunk, and a roof you can cut through with a pair of scissors. Then you drive it on a nice day and all those things suddenly seem like minor inconveniences.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Genius Shines Through at Two-Tenths

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on January 21, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

I signed out our new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata last weekend. But I didn't get a chance to drive it as much as I'd hoped. There were lots of homebound chores to do. At times it was raining felines and canines. And the four of us had places to go together on two different occasions.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Rock-Hard Headrests

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on January 19, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Bentley made waves last week when it announced that, like Mercedes-Benz before it, buyers will soon have the option to order their Flying Spur or Continental with a stone-trimmed interior. But while Bentley buyers will have to pay an obscene amount of money for their stone veneers, I found something just as rock-hard in our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

And this car only costs $29,850.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Does the Bike Fit?

by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on January 15, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

You may not know this, but the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is not a very large car.

Does the bike fit?

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: VIDEO! Tech Interface and Cupholder Vlog

by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on January 13, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

I've been told that my first post on our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata can't simply be called "Weeeeeeeee!" with the text reading "Heel-toe! Downshift. Upshift, upshift. Turn for no reason. Turn again for no reason. Yaaaay!"

As such, I've shot a video blog (or "Vlog" as it is called on this here Interwebs) about one of the few drawbacks I've discovered about this wonderful little car. Please click through and enjoy. 

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Fuel Economy Update for December — Future Looks Bright

by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on January 11, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Since our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata was added to our fleet late last month, we didn't have much time to accumulate fuel-economy data in November. At the end of December, there was more data to look at and we've got our first glimpse of what we can expect from the Miata over the next year.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Not A Miata - Driving the RX-7 GTO at Goodwood

by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on January 8, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

It is the sad trombone of the automotive world: The rapidly diminishing groan of a starter motor straining to crank with too little current. It's a start-line diminuendo that terminates in an awkward anticlimax before 150,000 or so spectators.

I did this. Go me.

It's the Goodwood Festival of Speed last June and I am driving, or attempting to drive, the 1991 International Motor Sport Association's GTO championship-winning RX-7 up the hillclimb course.

It's not a Miata. In fact, it's not even really an RX-7, at least by the standard Mazda offered in the production car. But it is powered by a Mazda engine and it is made for driving hard, traits that it shares with our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Click through for a video of the whole fiasco, as well as the run up the hill.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Fits Anywhere

by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on January 6, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

One of the best cases for buying a 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is its size. Big Cadillac over the line in the Whole Foods parking lot? No problem. Only open spot is between a bush and a Prius? Easy. Tandem parking with an eighteen-wheeler? Room to spare.

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2016 Mazda Miata: What a Manual Should Feel Like

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on December 28, 2015

2016 Mazda Miata

This little shift lever here is one of the most satisfying things about our 2016 Mazda Miata. And I'm not talking about its mere existence either. That's another argument entirely.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: All the Gauges You Need

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on December 18, 2015

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

I'm not the least bit surprised that our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata has a nearly perfect set of gauges. When the sole mission of a car is driving enjoyment, you don't need to crowd the gauge cluster with extraneous extras.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: A Gram Here, a Gram There

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on December 16, 2015

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

There's weight savings and then there's cheap.

Our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is brilliantly light and responsive, and nimble and athletic and lithe, and any other number of other auto-journo adjectives you could use to describe a car that generally moves exactly where you point it, when you point it. And no doubt its bantamweight 2,332 pounds is a key component of this character.

But some of the weight savings go a little too far.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Engine Looks Like an Engine

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on December 15, 2015

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Does it really matter that the engine in our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata actually looks like an engine? Not really. But it does say a little bit about the people who designed it.

As you can see, there are no big plastic covers in this engine bay. Nothing obscuring the mechanical bits underneath in the name of "cleanliness." It looks like the machine that it is and that's the way the engineers and designers wanted it.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: If It Ain't Broke...

by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on December 14, 2015

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

I recently spent a weekend with our new long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. I was pleased to find that operating the convertible top was a one-handed process that took just a few seconds.

It's the same basic, elegant solution Mazda has used in the Miata for years.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Promotes Poor Posture

by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on December 9, 2015

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a heckuva fun little thing to drive around on the right road.

It's those times when you're not on a fun road that you realize that this thing doesn't really put you in a very good seating position.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Plenty a' Room

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on December 4, 2015

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

In our Edmunds review of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, we wrote that trunk capacity is rather pathetic, even by roadster standards, at just 4.6 cubic feet. For reference, a typical family sedan's trunk is about three times as large.

But that doesn't stop the Miata from stepping up when it's all you've got to pick up BBQ supplies. Those 4.6 cubes proved just enough when it came time for a little late fall char-be-cue to welcome a few friends passing through town. The photo above shows the trunk after the first stop.

Here's how much more it could swallow:

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: At Goodwood, This Mazda Thoroughbred's Badge History Runs Deep

Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on December 2, 2015

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

This is not a Miata. Not even close.

In fact, if the Miata is a respected sports car with an undercurrent of charm, then this is a glory-covered, purpose-drenched period piece built for annihilating apexes. It makes downforce. It spits fire. Only wimps use its clutch pedal. Its powerplant, the best-sounding race engine ever built, produces 750 horsepower. That engine, Mazda's four-rotor R26B, is virtually identical to the mill that won the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1991.

This is the 1992 Mazda RX-792P, a prototype racecar built to compete in the International Motor Sports Association's GTP category.

Only two were ever completed and this one is worth a million bucks. Literally. We drove it up the hill climb at last summer's Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England.

Here's a full account with video.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Filing for an Extension

by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on December 1, 2015

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

My love for our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is nothing new by now, but as promised, here's an imperfection: The steering wheel doesn't telescope.

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2016 Mazda MX-5: Leave Your Baggage Behind

by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on November 30, 2015

2016 Mazda MX-5

The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata doesn't have a lot of cargo space. Also, water is wet and our political system is broken. Thank you, Rear Admiral Obvious.

If you don't "get" the Miata, that's fine. It's not for you. One of my favorite quotes to live by comes from Randy Pausch and it goes something like, "never underestimate the power of fun."

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Tight Ergonomics

by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on November 25, 2015

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Editor's note: Both Ron (author of this post) and Mark (author of the previous MX-5 post) submitted similar thoughts about the MX-5's kooky placement of its infotainment controls within a day of each other. Herewith, Ron's take on the setup and other cabin confines.

Our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a blast to drive. And if you only focus on that, the ergonomics are just fine. Any other task will require +1 to your dexterity skills. The green squiggly lines in the above photo comprise my "Punch-Out!!"-inspired driver's arm.

Let's take a closer look at some of the ergonomic challenges in the MX-5.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Bad Place to Put a Knob

by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on November 25, 2015

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

As I noted in my first post, I love the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata for it's fun-loving nature. But perfect it is not. Case in point: that infotainment controller.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Introduction

by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on November 24, 2015

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

There's an old adage that says the nail that sticks up gets hammered down. This new MX-5 bucked an industry-wide trend of bigger, more powerful and quieter by going back to the formula that put this plucky, little roadster on the map. Everyone loves the MX-5 Miata when the roads are open, windy and reasonably level. What happens the rest of the time?

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Past Long-Term Road Tests