2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review: Roadster Perfect

There is good reason for Mazda not to put a lot of new things into Miata for each model year. You don’t have to. In 2022, Mazda added new colors on the inside and outside in addition to what is called the Kinematic Posture Control.

Mazda says KPC is intended to help reduce body roll, but in my experience there is still a lot. But that’s not a bad thing.A car that eliminates all movements with a lively driving feel far It’s too powerful for most roads and most drivers, leading to the feeling that every corner of the performance isn’t available. Miata avoids this problem by pitching and rolling the body while braking and cornering. Not only does this improve communication when the car reaches its limits, but it also makes you feel much easier to reach the limits at speeds where you can’t get tickets. The steering is direct and moderately lively, and this Grand Touring model stops in a drama-free rush, even without the club’s optional Brembo brakes.

Combining that realistic approach to dynamics with an engine that produces just the right amount of power, the result is a car that will never be overwhelmed or overwhelmed. Miata’s naturally aspirated 2.0-liter in-line 4-cylinder produces 181 horsepower and 151 lb-foot torque, but hopes no more output. Sure, you’ll have to spend a little more time digging into the throttle to get enough power to perform the pass, but the engine notes are more comfortable at higher revs and use the tester’s 6-speed manual transmission. You will have more opportunities to do it.

If other car makers haven’t dissected Mazda’s 6-speed sticks, they need to. This is the best manual transmission available in any car today. The clutch has a moderate weight and conveys the bite point neatly. The gear lever has enough movement to make a notch in each gate in a comfortable way. The throttle is fully adjusted. I never ask for Miata’s rev matching system, as the accelerator pedal gives me a pixel-perfect blip for a clean downshift every time. And best of all, Mazda has never programmed this car with an inch of revs, whether emissions or not. As soon as the clutch is disengaged, the number of revolutions drops. Smooth shifts are so easy that Geico cavemen can do it.

If all other car makers haven’t bought Miata yet to determine why shifters and clutch pedals are so good, they should.

Andrew Krok / CNET

The 2022 MX-5 gets a flashy new off-white paint color, but my tester is covered with Mazda’s beloved Soul Red. This is an affordable and overall clean option for $ 595. Grand Touring lacks the club’s flashy BBS wheel upgrades, but its standard 17-inch alloy helps to secure enough sidewalls for the Bridgestone Potenza S001 summer tires and soften the ride. .. New dark red interior motifs are also available, but my sport is traditional black leather. The exterior paint color spreads inside the upper door panel, breaking the monotonousness of the monochromatic color.

Since Miata is a roadster, it’s not surprising that practicality doesn’t ooze out exactly from every pore. Door panel storage is limited to hand-closed locations. Detachable cup holders are smart, but short, so the stability of tall drinks is always questioned. In addition, if you put something in while it is attached to the center console, it will block access to the locking cubies between the seats. The pocket under the armrest is large enough to hold a key, but the tray in front of the shifter can hold a wallet or phone. Behind, a 4.6 cubic foot trunk holds two backpacks or some bags of grocery. There isn’t much trunk space, but a devilishly simple soft top doesn’t cut into that space at all.

The Miata cowl is just high enough to prevent me from losing my hat. And at a height of 6 feet, it’s not given in the previous generation of the MX-5.

Andrew Krok / CNET

Like all other Mazdas, the MX-5’s in-car technology remains a lot of hope. The 7-inch touch screen runs the Mazda Connect infotainment system, but it may start slowly and respond slowly. Standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can be used to bypass Mazda’s mundane telematics, but the touchscreen feature is disabled while driving (although the rotary knob swaps the display from Google Maps to Spotify or is based on it. I will put it back). Two USB-A ports offer the only charging option. With wireless smartphone mirroring, it would be nice to see a faster USB-C charging solution here and start using it right away. A small display on the gauge cluster shows a nugget of trip meters, estimated distance to sky, and other relevant information.

Some sports cars are happy to throw away a safe nanny, but Miata isn’t. Mazda has provided the MX-5 with traditional complements to active and passive driver aids, including blind spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. Grand Touring goes one step further with automatic high beams, adaptive front headlights and traffic sign recognition. An automatic anti-glare mirror has also been added. This is a heavenly blessing when the headlights of all pickup trucks are designed to reach behind the cornea.

surely Maybe … Keep the top up, but come.

Andrew Krok / CNET

The Mazda MX-5 doesn’t have many competitive sets. The Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ are more powerful and a bit more spacious, but they don’t feel rewarding to drive, the sticks are inferior to anything, and they’re not convertible. The BMW Z4 is a roadster, but it’s only automatic and expensive. Mini also manufactures convertibles, but the lineup is expensive and overwhelming.

It’s nice to see Mazda offering fun at an affordable price in 2022 as window stickers reach a gloomy new height with each passing month. The MX-5 Grand Touring is packed with bells and whistles, but its base price is $ 33,315, which is delicious enough. With manual (an additional $ 500 for a 6-speed automatic), my tester’s painting work is a destination fee of 1,015. It will be $ 33,910 including the dollar. If you’re cool to stick to the base model, you can slip into the new Miata for just $ 28,315. It’s one of the bargains, but when combined with excellent driving dynamics, it’s clear that the 2022 Mazda MX-5 is one hell of a car as a whole.

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