by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on January 23, 2017
I was in the middle of nowhere in the Arizona desert on the first day of a cross-country trip to Texas in our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata when the tire pressure monitoring system's (TPMS) low-tire warning light came on.
My initial concern turned to confusion after I stopped and inspected the tires. None of them looked low or even different from one another. And I found no embedded debris that might suggest a slow leak.
But I couldn't be certain I was in the clear because I had neglected to bring my tire gauge. Instead I pulled over and tried the trucker's "thump test" and heard no discernible tonal difference. I felt comfortable enough to press on as far as the next inhabited area.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Our long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata stayed local during November, racking up just a tick more than 800 miles. Doesn't sound like an awful lot, does it? No, and part of the reason is that it encountered a spot of bad luck that sidelined it for a portion of the month. You got it — body-shop time.
Specifically, we found a neat perforation in our Miata's nose, just beneath the driver-side headlight. The culprit was likely an inattentive truck driver who didn't see the Mazda while reversing from a parking stall, but we'll never find out.
Perhaps we need to install an orange flag at each of the Miata's corners. Sheesh.
by Jonathan Elfalan, Senior Road Test Editor
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.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on June 15, 2016
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.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on May 23, 2016
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.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on May 17, 2016
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.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on May 13, 2015
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.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on April 19, 2016
I finally had a little time to continue cleaning up the damage from a desert sandstorm. This time around it's the headlights.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on April 4, 2016
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.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on March 31, 2016
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.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on March 25, 2016
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.
by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on November 24, 2015
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?