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 Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant on November 4, 2016
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.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on October 31, 2016
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.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on September 22, 2016
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.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on September 19, 2016
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.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on September 13, 2016
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.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on September 2, 2016
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.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on July 8, 2016
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.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on July 1, 2016
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.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on June 29, 2016
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.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on June 21, 2016
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.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on June 17, 2016
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.
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 June 10, 2016
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).
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on June 7, 2016
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.
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on May 25, 2016
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.
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 Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on May 4, 2016
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.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on April 12, 2016
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.
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 Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on March 29, 2016
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.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on March 22, 2016
How dead-simple is opening and closing the long-term 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata's convertible roof? Simple enough A four-year old could do it.
Correction: a four-year old has done it.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on March 18, 2016
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.
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on March 15, 2016
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.
by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on March 7, 2016
This picture of our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata speaks for itself. What does it say to you?
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on March 3, 2016
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.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on March 1, 2016
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.
by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on February 24, 2016
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.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on February 22, 2016
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.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on February 18, 2016
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.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on February 12, 2016
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.
by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor on February 8, 2016
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.
by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor on February 4, 2016
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.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on February 2, 2016
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.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on January 25, 2016
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.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on January 21, 2016
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.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on January 19, 2016
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.
by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on January 15, 2016
You may not know this, but the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is not a very large car.
Does the bike fit?
by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on January 8, 2016
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.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on December 18, 2015
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.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on December 15, 2015
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.
Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on December 2, 2015
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.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on November 30, 2015
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."
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?