2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long-Term Road Test - Performance
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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long-Term Road Test

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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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