2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata

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2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata — Flash Drive

This 2011 review is representative of model years 2006 to 2015.
By Staff of MSN Autos

I applaud the Mazda MX-5, formerly known as the Miata, for still being relevant after all these years. After reinvigorating consumer excitement for convertibles when the Miata first came out in the late 1980s, it continues to be a great little car. Amazingly, Mazda is still able to keep the design current, although I miss the original pop-up headlights. The best improvement is the retractable hardtop. It reduces interior noise and is quick to open and close. The driving experience is so pure in the MX-5 — the handling is balanced and the steering is responsive. Inside, there is decent headroom for adults around 6 feet tall. And the trunk has enough space for luggage for a weekend trip. I love this little convertible! –Joe Chulick

I know that some people who've never driven a MX-5 think it's a "girl's car." Something about being cute and not overpowered, I guess. Well last time I drove a Mazda MX-5, I said, "It was more fun, even in rush-hour traffic, than anything else on the road." I still think that, with one minor change. The MX-5, still better known as the Miata, is more fun than anything else, but especially so in rush-hour traffic. It's more fun in rush hour because it feels faster than it actually is. At 60 mph, the roadster feels as if it is going 70 mph. On slower-speed roads, it feels as if you're slicing through corners with precision and skill. I guess that's good for your driving record, and I know it's good for your sense of fun. It's just a big blast without being scary. And it's far too much fun to be just a girl's car. –Paul Hagger

With the demise of Saturn and Pontiac, the MX-5 is once again the only 2-seat roadster in its class. Mazda has done a wonderful job evolving the MX-5 to be a more useful everyday vehicle without losing the essence of what it was originally: a lightweight, inexpensive, fun-to-drive roadster. The small 2-seater actually has plenty of stowage space in the cabin and a surprisingly large trunk. The retractable hardtop operates quickly and makes the MX-5 a more secure and all-weather car. But the best part about the MX-5 is the way it drives. Steering is quick, and the short shifter feels perfect as you cycle through the gears. Power is more than adequate. Add a satisfying exhaust note and rear-wheel drive and you've got a great driving package. With prices starting around $23K, enthusiasts can get their sports-car fix without breaking the bank. –Perry Stern

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