Miata Skyactiv-G 184 Test Drive: Christmas in Summer, (Mazda MX-5 is a special car)
CAR With the return of sunny days, convertibles stand out. And among the most interesting models in terms of price/pleasure ratio, is still the Miata (Mazda MX-5). We spent a few days behind the wheel.
The MX-5 is THE roadster par excellence. The current model (fourth generation) was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015, then elected “World Car of the Year 2016” at the New York Motor Show. Seven years later, he has not taken the slightest wrinkle. For this test, we were treated to the most powerful version, of which the 2-liter develops 184 hp from 6800 to 7500 rpm, and 205 Nm at 4000 rpm.
Miata 2.0 Skyactiv-G 184 On board
Hood in place or not, getting behind the wheel of the MX-5 requires a minimum of flexibility. It is that the seat is almost flush with the ground. Not well seen from outside, the MX-5 looks downright tiny inside. But that’s also what makes its charm. In our Selection model (the best equipped), nothing is missing: heated leather seats, diode headlights with automatic passage of low beam/high beam, (passive) lane keeping aid, blind spot control… Storage spaces, on the other hand, are counted.
The only one really exploitable (and acting as a glove box) is between the two seats, at shoulder height. There’s also one on the center console, but it won’t accommodate anything more than a pair of glasses and a keychain. Also standard, the multimedia system is controlled via a BMW iDrive-style rotary knob, very practical, but poorly located: arm placed on the center console, it is easy to accidentally control unwanted functions.
But hey, honestly, and despite the Bose installation as standard, we never wanted to listen to the radio or use GPS. Yes, the MX-5 is the kind of car you want to get lost with! In this regard, accessible only via the remote control, the trunk offers only a limited volume but nevertheless enough to go for two on weekends. The soft top opens and closes manually. The maneuver takes no more than 5 seconds and therefore invites you to ride as often as possible with your hair in the wind.
Miata 2.0 Skyactiv-G 184 On the road
Tiny, the gear lever controls a 6 gearbox with firm and mechanical locks as we like them. The staging is impeccable and pulls quite short (about 3000 rpm at 120 km / h), which benefits the driving pleasure, with limited rev drops between gears, and the possibility of a lazy drive made of restarts at 50 km / h in sixth. It must be said that the engine is remarkably available, and this from the lowest revs. Around 3500-4000 rpm, it finds a second wind, it pushes more frankly and without weakening to the rupteur, at more than 7500 rpm.
In short, a 4-cylinder full of health, which accepts to be driven like a Diesel or to be constantly broken. We never get tired of it! Especially since its sound is very pleasant, especially thanks to the carefully worked timbre of the exhaust.
In terms of handling, the Mazda perfectly highlights its lightness. Admittedly, its body is not free of roll, but once wedged on its supports, its limits on open roads seem unfathomable. It is therefore with the greatest pleasure that we jump from one corner to another, not without delighting in the sharpness and precision of the front axle. To the left of the steering wheel, a switch deactivates the ESP. The more adventurous will be able to appreciate the natural balance of the car even better by making the rear stall with a throttle.
On the comfort side, we obviously feel that the body is quite “locked”, but this corresponds to the philosophy of the model and we have never perceived excessively dry and / or “impactful” reactions. Finally, it should be noted that it is quite possible to drive on a motorway without suffering too much aerodynamic turbulence. Hood in place, the external noises are obviously perceived more than in a classic car, but this is also the charm of this roadster.
Miata 2.0 Skyactiv-G 184 Budget
Our model equipped with the big engine and in high-end finish costs 37.550 € but the prices of the MX-5 start at 30.850 € for the version 1.5 of 132 hp Roadster. For a single car or one that will be the third in the household, this is obviously a price. But hey, we only have the good we do to ourselves… Finally, be aware that in use, even if you have fun from time to time, the MX-5 2.0 will not break the bank on fuel: at the end of our test, the on-board computer indicated an average of 6.0 l/100 km.
For us, the fourth-generation MX-5 is the most beautiful of all. Especially since unlike many cars that could not help but sink into the “always more”, it has managed to remain faithful to the philosophy of the compact and light roadster with which each outing is a part of pleasure. And then to have fun, it is not even necessary to go fast! A real toy for big children and which, given what the anti-car Europe has in store for us, has every chance (like the models of previous generations by the way) to become a real collector.
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