Jul 21, 2014
Reviewed By Brian Baker and Alex Martin-Banzer
Price as Tested $32,285: 2.0L DOHC 16-valve 14 VVT Engine, 6-speed manual transmission, power hard top, Suspension Package
Likes

Little and peppy, this car zips you around town with ease. The hairpin turns on back roads are easily defeated with the short wheelbase and rear-wheel drive. Rowing through the gears when the light turns green pushes you back into the seat, which makes for a big smile. For a convertible, the stock Bose Audio System is incredibly good. This might be due to it coming with seven speakers. — AM-B

 

Power hard top, rear-wheel drive, classic Miata design, 6-speed, oil-pressure gauge, decent size trunk, no plastic covers over the engine. — BB

Dislikes

This car looks best in angle pictures. Otherwise it is not much of a looker. If the hard top is up, it magically transforms into a clown shoe. It has nice detailed lines on the body, but they are too soft. This makes the car lose at its attempt to be edgy and instead just looks a little too bubbly. — AM-B

 

Basic stereo with LCD screen — no USB port or Bluetooth? Somewhat soft suspension. — BB

Verdict

Lotus Elise is what comes to mind when I describe this car to someone. It has the same go-kart feeling when you’re zooming along curves. A bonus is that getting seated in the Miata is a far less inconvenient. Everything is going for this car until you park it. Then you get out, and when you look back at it you think, “Well at least it drives great.” Once the car gets an edgy overhaul with some sharp lines and loses the cute bubbly look, it will join my list of cars to own some day. — AM-B

 

Upon entering the 2014 MX-5 Miata, I was greeted with familiarity. The gauges, vents and center console are laid out in a similar fashion dating back to the very first Miata of 1989, but with more modern curves. It has aged well. Driving it was exactly what I expected of a small, sporty convertible. It had enough horsepower to get it up and moving, without unnecessary torque that might make it feel unstable. The suspension seemed a little soft, as it launched you back in your seat when you punched the throttle. One of the biggest disappointments for me was the radio. It might sound like a small thing to complain about, but when you think about the price of the car and how little stereos cost, it seemed like an oversight. Not to mention, replacing a stereo in a new car requires purchasing a specific adapter to mount an aftermarket deck. The model I tested had AM, FM, XM, CD and a 3.5mm Auxiliary port. No USB or Bluetooth. (I later read the equipment sheet and it stated it had Bluetooth. Despite being an IT professional and car audio guy, I spent 20 minutes looking and couldn’t find it in the settings.) Mazda, it is 2014, not 2006. You could do the decency of including basic inputs on your low-end stereo. The Bose logo on the deck told me I should have premier sound, but my ears thought otherwise. The highs were lacking, and the lows were virtually non-existent. But overall I really enjoyed driving around. Dropping the top while stuck at a traffic light is something you don’t often experience in new cars. The one option this car is missing is a sunscreen dispenser. — BB

 

Fun to Drive
5.0 rating
Fun to Look at
1.0 rating
Overall Experience
3.5 rating
Stats