Just Car Blog
|2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club Review & Test Drive||
When I say ‘cheap thrills’ I mean that I can’t find any other two-seat pure sports roadster for under $30,000.00 that gives so much sports car thrills and driving pleasure with a power-retracting hardtop. I just finished testing and photographing the new Club model and it is a real ‘kick-in-the-pants’. For a pure two-seat sports car the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata ‘Club’ has it all.
The Club model that I tested has styling that is pure with a wide-mouth front grille finished with a piano black upper brow, black splitter with a flat underside, an aluminum hood, projector-beam headlamp clusters with black bezels, new projector-beam foglamps with black matte surrounds, flared fenders stuffed with 17X7 inch dark gunmetal alloy wheels wrapped with Bridgestone 205/45R17 inch street-sticky Potenza RE050A low-profile performance tires, body-color pull-out door handles, black power-remote outside mirrors, black ‘MX-5’ lower strip, a ‘Club’ medallion on each fender, seat back bar garnish is displayed in a glossy dark gray motif, rear diffuser and finished with dual sport-tuned, polished stainless steel exhaust tips. The power hard-top is painted in glossy black to give the body a bolder look. The power hard-top just takes 15-seconds to raise or lower and I just have to release the center lock on the inside and push a lighted button.
Power and performance easily back up the bold looks starting with the high-revving (7,200rpm redline), MZR 2.0 liter, all-aluminum, DOHC, four-cylinder engine with VVT for excellent low-end torque. It generates a healthy 167hp at 7,000rpm and 140lb.ft. of torque at 5,000rpm. I tested the engine mated to the six-speed, short-throw manual transmission that comes with an Induction Sound Enhancer that consists of a series of tuned pipes and a passive resonance membrane. It delivers the engine’s natural induction sound to the cowl, just ahead of the windshield, so more attractive engine sounds can be heard at a satisfying volume without resorting to simply being a loud, obtrusive noise. Mounted front mid-ship for precise handling and balance, additional engine features include a forged steel crankcase, forged steel connecting rods with floating wrist pins, and revised pistons with stronger wrist pin bosses, stiffer valve springs and engine oil cooler when exercising the MX-5 for long periods of time on the backroads.
The stubby, leather-wrapped, short-throw six-speed manual that was mated to my test MX-5 was perfectly placed and a pleasure to use. Each time I changed gears to the next I felt a push to my back, the harder I pushed on the throttle, the more the push back into my seatback. The MX-5 also comes standard with aluminum Power Plant Frame for exceptional stiffness and weight saving, plus a limited-slip differential to put the power down to the pavement.
The MX-5 ‘Club’ comes standard with a sport-tuned fully independent suspension for precise handling when cornering and a solid feel when driving at triple-digits on the highway. Even though the weight is only 2,511 pounds the MX-5 feels like it is riding on wheels. Up front is a double-wishbone setup with forged aluminum arms, coil springs, monotube gas-filled Bilstein shocks and a stabilizer bar. The rear features a multi-link setup with an aluminum baring support, monotube gas-filled Bilstein shocks, coil springs, tubular control arms, an aluminum knuckle and a stabilizer bar. For added stiffness and control the MX-5 comes standard with front/rear subframes, a monocoque unibody with a backbone frame construction. These items further eliminated any noise, vibration and harshness when driving.
Away we go with a perfectly calibrated electronic power-assisted rack & pinion -steering system that moves the MX-5 exactly where I want the car to head-just a little tug on the leather-wrapped/tilting steering wheel moves its direction with precision. A front strut tower brace further adds to the stiffness and cornering prowess. On-center feel and my feel for the road are exceptional. This system is just perfect for the MX-5 to keep it up-to-date and pure.
Quickly and safely slowing the MX-5 ‘Club’ down from speed are power-assisted, steel disc brakes. Up front are 11.4 inch vented discs clamped with large single-piston aluminum-housed calipers with the rear equipped with 11 inch solid discs clamped with single-piston aluminum-housed calipers. Standard brake enhancements include ABS, EBD, Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control. For real pulse-quickening times I shut off the Stability/Traction Control system off to let rear slid out when exiting a steep corner.
On the inside the ‘Club’ theme continues with a body-color-matching decoration panel feature trim-specific graphics, red contrast stitching on the deeply cut yet comfortable cloth bucket seats with manual adjustments and driver’s-side height adjuster, a dark gray contoured surround meter around the stunning gauges, A/C, power express down windows, power door locks, cruise control and AM-FM-CD-MP3-WMA-Sirius radio controls on the steering wheel, rear center console storage, storage baskets at the bottom of each door, mesh aero board, center console with dual cupholders and storage bin, front open storage tray, map light, dual vanity mirrors, auxiliary audio input jack, remote keyless entry, trip computer and floor mats. All buttons, switches and dials are easy to reach and fully illuminated for safe nighttime travel.
Standard safety systems include 3-point safety belts with pretensioners/load limiters, advanced dual front and side airbags, front/rear crumple zones, anti-theft engine immobilizer and side-impact door beams.
The new 2014 Mazda MX-5 Club Hardtop Convertible is one of the best values in two-seat sport roadsters. More than 900,000 consumers have purchased the MX-5 so far and the owners that I spoke to raved about the fun-to-drive elements. I would recommend that consumers over 6ft. 3in. get inside first with the top up before a purchase because I had only ½ inch of headroom and I am 6ft. 3in. Other than that its ZOOM-ZOOM fun!
COPYRIGHT: 2014: HARVEY SCHWARTZ
- Price: $28,665.00 as tested
- Engine: 2.0-liter DOHC inline-4-cylinder 167 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm / 140 ft-lbs. of torque @ 5,000 rpm
- Wheelbase: 91.7 inches
- Total length: 157.3 inches
- Total width: 67.7 inches
- Total height: 49.4 inches
- Headroom: 37 inches
- Legroom: 43.1 inches
- Turning circle: 30.8 feet
- Ground clearance: 5 inches
- Fuel tank: 12.7 gallons
- EPA fuel mileage: 21mpg/city, 28mpg/highway
- 0-60 mph: 6.1 seconds
|Mazda’s Clever Marketing – Fastest Convertible in the World||
Mazda has launched a new marketing video that promotes their MX-5 Miata convertible.
In recent days, the video has gone viral and exploded all around the internet.
The premise of the video, is that Mazda’s MX-5 Miata convertible is the fastest convertible in the world – an impressive feat if you consider that the video features the MX-5 Miata competing in a drag race against world renowned, prestigious convertibles: The Lamborghini Gallardo, Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, a Ford Mustang V6 and a Porsche 911 Carrera.
There is a little twist to this tale, however – and that makes this a great marketing video.
Check out the video below to find out exactly how the Mazda MX-5 Miata beats it’s stiff competition:
Source: Automotive News
|Chris Harris Offers His Personal Concession For ‘Sort Of’ Hating The Mazda MX-5 Miata: Video||
You can always find a select group of people that will never think of the Mazda MX-5 Miata as a worthy driver’s car or ‘prize’ vehicle for the every-day enthusiast. You could jam a Chevy small block in one with ease and still have frowning-faced onlookers provoke you in shame. Some, on the other hand, have naturally placed the Japanese convertible on a pedestal considering how it has championed many autocross and track events during its 2-decade-long stint. Chris Harris happens to be one on the impermeable fence about liking the Mazda MX-5 Miata truthfully expressing his part-hatred towards the vehicle. In his latest DRIVE On Cars video Chris attempts to give the MX-5 Miata a second go and “reform” his opinion to express it to us the best way he knows how. Quite the entertaining delight here. Enjoy!
|Next-generation Mazda Miata To Be The Lightest Version Ever||
Mazda Miata is best remebered for being one of the world famous lightweight cars. Now, the news is that the next generation model will be even lighter than those available in the markets.
Reports indicate that that engineers have been tasked with cutting at least 720 lbs (327 kg) from the current curb weight of 2,480 lbs (1,125) kg. This means the model will weigh just 1,760 lbs (798 kg).
As part of making it lighter, Miata features a high-strength steel body, a smaller engine and a minimalist interior. Besides, the glovebox and owner’s manual would be replaced by a digital version on a USB flash drive.
Though all these sounds good, it remains to be seen whether Miata will be able to achieve the target weight.
(via Inside Line)
|2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring Hardtop Convertible Review & Test Drive||
For more than 20 years, the MX-5 Miata has offered sports car enthusiasts a pure, simple, fun-focused roadster at an attainable price. Sticking to that simple formula has made the MX-5 the most popular two-seat convertible sports car in the world with more than 850,000 sold.
Substantially refreshed in 2009, the 2010 MX-5 receives minor updates such as a chrome strip on the door handles, and chrome bezels in the headlight clusters. The easy-to-lower-and-raise soft-top of the original Miata, and the 2010 model continues to set the industry standard. Unlike competitors’ models, the top can be lowered or raised with one hand, from inside the car, and requires no bulky or complicated snaps or external latches. The Z-fold design uses a simple, central latch handle that requires only a simple wrist movement to stow.
Introduced in 2007, the Power Retractable Hard Top model remains available in two trim levels-Touring or Grand Touring. This addition to the MX-5 lineup builds on the soft-top two-seaters’ zest for life by enhancing year-round comfort and security. Rather than consuming interior or trunk space, the folded roof descends into the same storage well behind the seats where the soft top would have stowed. Opening and closing cycles last only about 12-seconds, making this the fastest power-operated retractable hard top on the market. It work silently and helps with the vehicles ability to give you that sun in your face and wind in your hair exciting driving experience.
The heart of the MX-5 remains a highly-responsive MZR-series 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine making 167hp at 7,000rpm and 140lb.ft.of torque at 5,000rpm for driving exhilaration throughout the rev range. The all-aluminum MZR is light and compact, and mounted front mid-ship for ideal handling balance. It features chain-driven DOHC, a lightweight flywheel, variable intake valve timing, electronically controlled port fuel injection, a forged steel crankcase, forged steel connection rods with floating pins, revised pistons with strong wrist pins, stiffer valve springs an engine oil cooler, and coil-on-plug ignition. It quickly and smoothly revs to its 7,200rpm redline and reacts to your commands with lightning-quick reflexes, and offers progressive power delivery.
This potent engine is mated to a standard close-ratio five-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed manual, that I tested, with gear ratios close-stacked to enhance the joy of driving. A Sport A/T automatic transmission dimensions to the MX-5’s personality. Six ratios are provides to improve acceleration, driving refinement and freeway comfort. Paddles mounted behind the steering wheel command upshifts while buttons positioned on the spokes are used for downshift. Coordinating engine torque with the shift sequence results in smooth, seamless, and fast gear changes. The Sport A/T-equipped car is a joy to drive, with gear ratios perfectly matched to the engine’s horsepower and torque output. While the automatic is fun and easy, I really enjoyed the close-ratio 6-speed manual with its ability to quickly grab each gear, up or down, for real ‘hands-on’ driving excitement when attacking steep, curving roads.
The ability to successfully tackle steep curving roads is the race-car bred, sport-tuned, fully independent suspension that is so well balanced, quick, and nimble, reacting to your inputs from the sporty, tilting, 3-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The monocoque unibody has a backbone frame construction with front and rear suspension subframes that increase stiffness for less noise, vibration and hardness with hardly any cowl shake when traveling over poorly paved roads.
The unique front suspension features double-wishbones with forged aluminum control arms, coil springs, Bilstein monotube shocks, in the sport package, and a thick stabilizer bar. The rear multi-link setup features tubular control arms with aluminum knuckles, Bilstein monotube shocks, in the sport package, coil springs and a stabilizer bar. With the addition of a strut tower brace up front, the car’s reaction to your inputs using the standard power-assisted hydraulic rack & pining steering system is lightning fast. Just like a race car, the car moves left or right at the slightest touch of the wheel, enhancing that sports car feel that all enthusiasts covert.
Quickly slowing the car down from speed are 4-wheel, power-assisted steel disc brakes. Up front are 11.4in. vented discs clamped with single-piston calipers while the rear features 11in. solid discs clamped with single-piston calipers in aluminum housing. Enhancing your control and braking power are standard ABS and Electronic Brake Force Distribution, EBD).
The standard MX-5 rides on 16.5in. aluminum wheels and 16in. all-season radial tires while the Grand Touring model that I tested rides on 17.6.5in. aluminum alloy wheels wrapped with high-performance Bridgestone 205/45R17in. Potenza tires for excellent grip and traction. Also adding to traction is the standard limited slip differential and thicker rear stabilizer bar in the Grand Touring package that I tested.
Whether it’s driven on a sunny day or thrust through the corners on a race track, the MX-5 legendary performance will put a smile on your face. It power is ample, its nimbleness is astounding and its looks timeless, yet fresh and new.
Form follows function beautifully with the MX-5’s fun and modern exterior design that retains the iconic feel of the earlier generation XM-5 Miatas while simultaneously moving it into the future. The body is shaped to make the cockpit the widest portion of the car, delivering a roomier, safe design that still expresses the compact look of a lightweight sports car. Side surfacing is rounded, yet taut-like the skin over a muscled body. Head and tail lamps are mounted inboard to reinforce the sense of compactness that is so central to the car’s design philosophy. Joining this modern shape are tail lamps and rearview mirrors that harkens back to the elliptical shape of the first-generation MX-5 Miata and a silhouette that could be mistaken for nothing else.
The front of the MX-5 features an aggressive face with a five-point grille and highly-sculpted triangular front fog lamp bezels. The design is functional as well. The bulge below the front fog lamps, the wide air deflectors ahead of the front tires, the lower side sills, the rounded lower corners of the rear bumper and even the taillights all contribute to a low coefficient of drag. Dual round exhaust tips let drivers behind know that the new MX-5 is powerful yet well mannered.
The interior design theme balances comfortable snugness below shoulder level with openness above, to give the impression of riding in open air. I am 6ft.3in. and found that to be true with plenty of legroom and 1in. of headroom available with the top up.
The T-shaped instrument panel is consistent with Mazda design-DNA while the center console accentuates the backbone of the car. Strong horizontal and vertical theme lines connote rigidity and sports car capability. The black center stack is as simple and functional as possible. The arched hood over the easy-to-see, aluminum bezel instrument cluster and four circular vents are part of the MX-5’s cabin identity. All buttons, dials and switches are easy to reach and fully illuminated for safe nighttime driving pleasure.
Wind in the hair is one thing, but nobody enjoys cockpit turbulence and buffeting, especially on long drives. Small corner windows block drafts between the windshield pillars and door mirrors into the cockpit. An aero board located between the seat back hoops is tall and perforated to slow down reverse-flow air that rushes into the cockpit.
The quick acceleration and nimble handling of the MX-5 is due to its light weight as weight slows acceleration, lengthens braking distances, dulls handling and cripples fuel economy. Weight saving measures in the MX-5 include the use of an aluminum hood and trunk lid while the unibody makes widespread use of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel, boosting body strength. The 2.0 liter engine has an exhaust manifold made of lightweight tubular steel instead of cast iron, and the intake manifold and cam cover are made from lightweight composite plastic. My top-of-the-line Grand Touring Premium Package MX-5 Miata weighs only 2,511lbs. yet is holds the road like a more heavier sports car.
Standard equipment not mentioned above includes dual power-remote door mirrors, automatic AC, power windows with one-touch down, power door locks, remote keyless entry, heated/leather trimmed sport bucket seats, leather shift knob, leather trimmed hand brake, auto dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, dual cupholders under a sliding door on the center console, silver seat back bar trim, steering wheel mounted cruise control and audio buttons, AM-FM/MP3/6-dics CD with Bose 7-speaker premium audio system, auxiliary audio input jack, trip computer, rear center console storage, glove box, lighted trunk, driver seat height adjustment, dual map lamps, thick pile-cut carpeting and Miata signature floor mats. My top-of-the-line Grand Touring with Premium Package MX-5 came with these options: sport-tuned suspension, Bilstein shocks, anti-theft alarm, Mazda Advanced keyless entry system, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, Xenon headlamps, disc brakes with Traction Control, Limited Slip Differential and SIRIUS satellite radio.
Standard safety features include 24-hour roadside assistance, tire pressure monitoring system, dual front airbags with passenger-side deactivation, side impact airbags and door beams, front/rear crumple zones, vehicle stability control, and 3-point safety belts with pretensioners/load limiters.
You can spend much more money on a more powerful, hardtop convertible roadster but you will not come close to the fun and excitement that the new 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata hardtop convertible brings to the fore-an inexpensive, fun and easy-to-drive 2-seat roadster that is solidly planted on the freeway at high speeds and can tackle any curving roads that you my encounter.
Price: Base Sport – $22,960 Base Grand Touring Hardtop Convertible – $28,400 As-Tested – $30,550
Type: Compact Convertible
Where Built: Japan
EPA Class: Two Seaters
Length: 157.3 in.
Width: 67.7 in.
Height: 49.4 in.
Wheel Base: 91.7 in.
Ground Clearance: 4.6 in.
Curb Weight: 2593 lbs.
Gross Weight: 3122 lbs.
Front Head Room: 37 in.
Front Hip Room: 50.6 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 53.2 in.
Front Leg Room: 43.1 in.
Luggage Capacity: 5.3 cu. ft.
Maximum Cargo Capacity: 5 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 2
Engine Number of Cylinders: 4
Engine Size: 2 liters
Engine Type: Inline 4
Horsepower: 167 hp
Max Horsepower: 7000 rpm
Torque: 140 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 5000 rpm
Drive Type: RWD
Turning Circle: 30.8 ft.
0-60mph: 6.8 seconds
Fuel Tank Capacity: 12.7 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway/Combined)
Manual: 21 mpg / 28 mpg / 24 mpg
Range in Miles:
Manual: 266.7 mi. / 355.6 mi. / 304.8 mi.