Go into work a little earlier and stay a little later. You’ll always want less traffic on the road when you drive the hilariously fun Mazda MX-5. I was going to supply five reasons why (get it, 5?) but that’s so bloggy. Besides there are more reasons.
You’re close to the ground.
The MX-5 is tiny and easy to park. If you can’t find a spot, pick it up and put it in your pocket.
You feel a unity with the road comparable to that of a MINI or downward dog position. With this lack of height, you don’t need much speed to feel very involved in your drive. Speaking of which…
It’s a blast to drive.
So the MX-5 is much more showpiece than muscle drive. A 4-cylinder engine that bravely emits 167 ponies at 7,000 rpm prefers life in the middle lane, but that’s OK. See above re sense of speed. Besides, it only weighs 1145kg with A/C. So you have a light dart that can flit between lanes, almost like you’re bunny-hopping sideways, the steering almost reading your intentions. Go for the 6-speed manual transmission. It takes you further into the experience and makes steep hills that much more thrilling. 17-inch tires provide more surface grip in the corners. Take it to an empty parking lot and do some donuts.
You do look pretty cool – if small.
A corollary of the aforementioned lightness is a feeling of vulnerability. You can clearly see beneath trucks. With the roof down, the thrill and sense of vulnerability increase, and knowing those dual front and side airbags are there is only so comforting. Still, it’s not like you won’t drop the roof at every opportunity. We were fortunate to have magnificent weather the entire week of this pretty little convertible roadster’s loan. The roof slides transformer-like into the trunk. Presto, you’re on show. Literally.
You’re being watched.
This is the latest from Mazda in the longish line of Miatas. Introduced in 1989, this car changed the rules, almost the way the Mustang did in the ’60s. Consequently, like Jeeps, Hummers and Beetles, there’s a subculture of Miata geeks who smile and salute you on the road. (Eager to admire, they also pace you, which at first is disconcerting.) A lot of these drivers are women, most of them lovely. Be sure to floss.
Base Price for GX: $28,995
As Driven: $39,995