3 Things We Love About the 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata, and 1 We Don’t
We love the current Miata—even if it’s getting into its twilight years.
That the ND-generation MX-5 is great to drive is not news: Mazda’s little roadster has been setting journalist hearts aflutter for years now. Yet the world is a very different place than it was when this iteration first launched way back in 2015. There are quicker cars. There are grippier cars. There are cars that do both—and for less coin.
Yet still the Miata appeals. Even with the “ND3” facelift incoming, the current model does some things you simply can’t find anywhere else in the modern car world. Here are three reasons we love the MX-5 Miata—and one reason we don’t.
Still puts driving first
Sure, a similarly-priced hot hatch will utterly demolish the MX-5 in terms of lap times. But numbers aren’t what the Mazda is about. The balance of power, weight and—crucially—inputs is so harmonious that it takes seconds to gel with the Miata. Well, provided you fit…
The thin wheel provides great feedback, and is quick without feeling darty. The clutch is so easy to read and the shifter so sweet to throw, that the Miata doesn’t even need one of those new-fangled rev-matching systems.
Every drive in the MX-5 Miata is a palate cleanser, a reminder that you don’t need to break the speed limit to have fun and feel like you’re going quickly.
The ultimate drop top solution
Power-assisted everything has crept into the automotive scene over the last few decades. Look, we get it, it makes sense: a power tailgate is useful on the family hauler, and a luxury car wouldn’t hit the mark without 80-way adjustable seats. And the precise metal ballet of a good power-folding roof is an engineering marvel.
Yet we’ll always come back to the KISS principle, and nothing does drop top simplicity like a Miata. Release the roof lock, and one smooth backwards sweep until a click is all you need. Better than that, the reverse isn’t much harder: pull a release, the roof pops up, and it’s a cinch to re-secure. The joys of a small cabin!
The most affordable convertible around
Goodbye Camaro (next year). See ya later, 370Z convertible. Mercedes’ lineup is going from six convertibles three years ago to a single one in 2024. Open air motoring options are in short supply these days. The MX-5 has continued on for almost 35 years and, thanks to its long generation cycles, Mazda’s enduring little sports car is now the most affordable convertible you can buy, starting at $29,215 ($35,795 CAD) including destination.
It’s a sacrifice
We can wax lyrical about the MX-5 for days, because that’s how long we live with one. Opting for the lil’ Miata over other larger, softer convertibles does require some compromises from its buyer. There’s practically zero (useful) cabin storage. The trunk is tiny. Winter driving is not exactly fun. Taller folks can just forget it altogether.
If you’re looking for pure driving enjoyment without breaking the bank, however, you can’t ignore the MX-5. As the saying (and backronym) goes, Miata is always the answer.
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Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.
More by Kyle Patrick