2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club Review

Discussion in 'Mazda' started by xcel, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, outward vision is an area in which the standards are way too lax, if they exist at all. There's not a whole lot of sense in trying to make cars crushproof if it causes us keep bumping into things we can't see.

    Car ads used to brag about xxx° of clear visibility around the driver; no more.
     
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata Conclusions

    It’s been a week with a solid accounting of the outgoing 3rd generation 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Its strengths are legendary to the point of making it a previous top pick among the auto press elite. Its unique extremely lightweight design and best of most classes handling characteristics for half or less of the price of other two seat sports cars and roadsters were its claim to fame. And rightfully so as in it performs like it is on rails and is as easy to point and go as any vehicle I have driven to date. The double wishbone up front and multi-link out back were superlative for not just on-center and road feel but absorbing bumps without causing the car to get unduly upset. The 1 to 2” entry apron curb test at 21 – 23 mph saw the smallish Miata’s suspension geometry absorb the hit with nothing more than a thump font to back while maintaining the apex as intended.

    2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata

    [​IMG]
    It is a sharp looker from certain angles. KODO 5-point “like” grill opening enhances its “cool” look up front.​

    The slick shifting 6-speed was precise despite being notchy as indicated above.

    At night, the halogens like all Mazda’s make all others efforts with much fancier HIDs and LEDs pale. Mazda knows Halogen lighting and I wish other manufacturers would follow their lead.

    All of this within a droptop with a 12-second open/hidden close auto electro-mechanical system no less. Open air motoring has not reached this level of short driving enjoyment since… Well since ever.

    Truly an excellent piece of engineering and design to make a car this small do all of that.

    2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata

    [​IMG]
    Pups staring intently as it was being driven away this morning.​

    And that is where the accolades end.

    Where do I begin? The third generation Miata has the hardest touch points this side of a 2012 Honda Civic. The interiors high decibel drone when driving down the highway with the “top up” is a headache creator after an hour or two. The cheapest plastic interior bits – god awful sun visors, vanity mirrors, and plastic roof without a liner, hardest leather wrap wheel, storage areas, and fuel door release -- I have experienced in ANY car in decades. Fuel door and trunk release locations that make solving a Rubics cube far faster and easier to accomplish. The most uncomfortable seats I have sat in for any distance as in I had take my wallet and my phone out of my pockets before entering as they would cause backside pain within 10-minutes due to excessive bolstering and the race car seating position. The most cramped and uncomfortable passenger cabin space available from any automaker at any price. If you forget to take out your wallet and smartphone after you fall down into the low slung roadster, you can practically forget about getting anything out of your pockets without gymnastic contortions. A driver’s side blind spot with the top up that will make you wish you had an exterior camera looking down the driver’s side of the car to make sure nothing is there. No Bluetooth in a $29k car and the stereo is best fit for a B-segment loss leader, not a premium world renown roadster.

    For a 1-hour top down toy with ingress/egress precautions listed above, it can be a joy to drive. For a daily driver, this 6-footer dreaded having to open the door and fall into it knowing what was in store during the drive and how I had to get out once the drive was over.

    2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata and the 2014 RAM 1500 Tradesman

    [​IMG]

    Why the above pic? Both vehicle retail within $1,000 of each other yet one weigh twice as much, has three time the power, is vastly more comfortable even with the base trim, can tow 9,200 pounds along with featuring an 8’ bed for payload. Worse yet, the 2014 RAM 1500 Tradesman with the EcoDiesel and the Mazda MX-5 Miata has similar FE ratings!

    2014 RAM 1500 with the 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel on diesel fuel - 20/28/23 mpg city/highway/combined
    2014 Mazda Miata with the 2.0L I4 and 6-speed MT on premium fuel - 21/28/24 mpg city/highway/combined

    The Mazda Miata will probably have a slightly better overall FE result as it is so much lighter yet why is it not 50 to 100 percent more efficient given the two platforms vastly different design attributes?

    The Fourth Generation Miata

    Fortunately an all-new 2016 Miata is just weeks away. It is said to have lost another 200 pounds and is somehow physically smaller? Not sure how they pulled off that trick given the current one is maybe 35 cu. ft. of passenger volume and 5.8 cu. ft. of cargo volume – read trunk space.

    If it were to receive the base 155 hp and 150 lb-ft. of torque SKYACTIV 2.0L and 6-speed MT that we have had great success in within the Mazda3 and CX-5, its efficiency would be vastly improved over the 167 hp and 140 lb-ft. of torque 2.0L buzz bomb currently residing under the hood while its 0 to 60 time of just under 7-seconds would remain unchanged or be even quicker given the 200 pound weight loss! Knowing Mazda, it will be that engine but with an additional 30 to 40 hp and lb-ft. Available from the right go pedal.

    Expect vastly improved interior touch points, possibly roof material, and a more logical layout of the fuel door and trunk opening. A much improved infotainment system is surely in order. As in this setup had no infotainment other than an AM/FM/CD with a digital clock head unit. I think I had a Pioneer head unit in a 1981 Chevrolet Chevette Scooter that included all of that and more. ;)

    All-in, extraordinary highlights within a sea of lapses. The taller you are, the worse it will feel. Yet I highly recommend that everyone get into one at least once. It’s open air driving experience you will not soon forget despite all of the occupant comfort lapses everywhere else.

    Wayne
     
  3. antrey

    antrey Well-Known Member

    I have a 2nd gen Miata (2001) and absolutely love it. I used a first gen as a daily driver for years with a one way commute of 30 minutes. My 2nd gen I have taken on a 10 hour road trip through nothing but curvy roads and in those conditions it does not get tiring, even with stiffer aftermarket suspension. I also refuse to ever drive it with the top up. In the winter, heater on full blast and a beanie is all you need to stay comfy. It helps that we don't get much precipitation here in the desert southwest. In the Summer a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses protects you from too much sun damage. Visibility is amazing, with the top down of course. A pillars are not a problem on the second gen. If you care about thin a-pillars I believe Subarus still have thin A-pillars thanks to the incorporation of extra high strength steel in those areas. As Wayne found though, MPGs for such a small light weight car is not that great and if you hypermile it, it feels as though you are doing a disservice to its sporty nature. In the Miata, I am thankful for the lack of electronic dohickies as you have no distractions to take your focus away from the driving experience. For me, it is a magical car every time I get in it.
     

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