Flash Drive: 2009 Mazda MX-5 PRHT
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2006 to 2013.
By Staff of MSN Autos
When the MX-5 — or Miata, as it was known back then — was introduced 20 years ago, the automotive press dubbed it a modern take on the classic British roadster. While the basic formula has stayed the same for the past two decades, the current MX-5 is not quite as bare-bones as that original. Like the original, the 2009 MX-5 does not pump out a lot of power and it's not particularly fast. Even so, it is great fun to drive. Weighing in at just under 2,600 pounds, the MX-5 feels like a go-kart with balanced handling and excellent grip. It has a smooth, short-throw 6-speed manual transmission and a great exhaust note at high rpm. Our test car was also fitted with Mazda's slick, retractable hardtop, which goes up or down in around 15 seconds, making this a great car to drive even if it's not convertible weather. Remarkably, the hardtop doesn't diminish the impressive trunk space, and there's a lot of useful space in the cabin for storage. Thoroughly enjoyable, the MX-5 is a car I wouldn't mind putting in my garage. – Perry Stern
After 20 years, the Mazda MX-5 is still one of the best roadsters on the market. It does everything right. The MX-5 handles amazingly, drives smoothly and is very reliable. Plus, it is comfortable to drive on your daily commute or carve up the mountain roads. With the top down, the cabin is quiet enough to have a conversation. As you would expect, the trunk size is limited; however, it can accommodate two weekend bags for a quick getaway. The MX-5 is also a miser at the gas station; I achieved 28 mpg in mixed driving conditions. The only thing I would change about the car is the "happy face" front end. If you are a car enthusiast or just a convertible lover, the MX-5 is the car for you. – Joe Chulick
Somewhere, away from your keyboard, are thousands of people each driving their own Mazda MX-5 — or, as it is better known, the Miata. And even if they are stuck in traffic, these drivers are still having way more fun than you are. The MX-5 is brilliant, and is just about the most fun car I can imagine. I've been a passenger in a Miata many times, but from the driver's seat it is a surprisingly good experience. It turns on a thought, accelerates well even with a relatively small engine, and simply glides along the road. I personally own a Porsche 911, and the MX-5 makes me wonder why I bothered. Actually, I hate convertibles, but now with the retractable hardtop that is no longer a reasonable excuse. With the top up, the MX-5 gives me everything I want, and with the top down, it just might be perfect for all of you normal people who like sunlight, too. – Paul Hagger