The Mazda MX-5 Miata has officially entered its fourth-generation, bringing with it an aggressive, more masculine look that better compliments its sporty, fun-to-drive image. There are many reasons why this little Japanese sports car will put a smile on your face.
First of is the new sheet metal: While the MX-5 Miata has always been a blast to drive, its cute design was far from manly and, frankly, a bit emasculating. And although the new design seems more evolutionary than revolutionary at first glance, the words “soft” and “round” are no longer suitable descriptors.
The car adopts the “KODO” design language used successfully on the rest of Mazda’s latest models, featuring a bold grille, aggressive slashes for headlights, and sweeping lines. The rear end features distinct taillights that, although resemble those of the Jaguar F-Type, are inspired by the round elements within those of the first-gen Miata.
Like the exterior, the sporty interior is modern, attractive and screams “drive me hard and fast.” Sure it shares many components and tech with other Mazda models — the floating, tablet-like infotainment screen that sits on top of the center console, rotary control knob, and slick circular air vents, just to name a few — but everything is laid out tastefully and in a way that makes the car appear more expensive than it actually is. It’s a nice place to spend some time.
As aesthetically refreshing as the exterior and interior are, the main reason why any man would buy this Japanese gem is because of the way it drives. The new MX-5 Miata is a notable improvement over its predecessor, featuring a lightweight body that is wider, lower and more than 220 pounds (100 kg) lighter. It rides on a lightweight, rear-wheel drive SKYACTIV-CHASSIS that has been optimized for both performance and fuel-efficiency.
Power will be provided by “specially tuned SKYACTIV-G petrol engines” that are positioned closer to the center of the chassis, helping deliver a perfect 50:50 weight balance and lower center of gravity, improvements that enhance its handling. And as always, a 6-speed manual transmission is standard so that you can do the shifting yourself, although an automatic gearbox will likely be offered as an option.
Overall, the all-new Mazda MX-5 Miata is an aggressively-styled sports car that retains its iconic shape. More importantly, it improves upon the exhilarating driving dynamics that has made the little Japanese sports car the most successful roadster in history.