The Mazda MX-5 Miata is perhaps the most successful 2-seater sports car of all time and has a strong fan base in every country where it is sold. Since the arrival of the first generation (NA) of the Miata in 1989, it has received numerous accolades from almost every popular automotive magazine, making it the best offering in the sports car segment. With the arrival of the fourth generation Miata (ND), which arrived in 2015, all the qualities that made it a great proposition are retained while adding many more to make it a better value proposition.
The 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata sees no major changes from the outgoing 2021 version other than a few feature updates to some of the higher versions. Other color palettes are also added to the list. The silky-smooth 2-litre engine remains unchanged, as does the lively chassis and incredibly precise steering, which make it the most fun-to-drive car of the lot. Offered for a base MSRP of $26,830, the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata is here to rival the Subaru BRZ, Toyota GR86 and the Mini Cooper Convertible.
ten Free-revving motor is a joy
The 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata is part of the ND generation released in 2015 and the powertrain has not undergone any changes. The MX-5 Miata’s naturally aspirated 2-liter SKYACTIV-G DOHC engine is capable of producing an impressive 181 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. This engine is known for its excellent refinement and free-revving nature, which has made it a favorite among American car buyers.
This engine produces its peak torque of 151 lb-ft at a very low 4,000 rpm, making it an easy car to drive around town. You don’t need to mash the accelerator pedal to extract potential from the powertrain. It also helps the Miata be a great proposition on the racetrack. Top-end performance is superb for the engine size. It could do 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds and achieving a quarter-mile time of 15.1 seconds at 94 mph.
9 Slick gearbox remains unchanged
The 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata is all about the driving experience, and one of the main reasons for that is the 6-speed manual gearbox that comes standard. The gearing is spot on, with suitably short initial gears and a long sixth gear, making it decent in towns and highways. The transmission has a positive shift feel and the gears drop easily.
There is also an optional 6-speed automatic transmission, which is offered for an additional price of $500 for the convertible and $550 for the RF versions. This automatic transmission is also quick enough and doesn’t let the overall driving experience down. Kicks are reasonably quick and being a torque converter unit it is also very smooth.
8 Excellent handling and driving dynamics
What makes the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata one of the most beloved monikers in the segment is the excellent handling the car offers. The Miata’s chassis and suspension are well-tuned, and as a result, the driving experience is easily unmatched, even considering excellent rivals like the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86.
It’s a car that needs to be driven on a circuit and even with a small 2-litre engine it offers surreal fun. Take corners with a bit of enthusiasm and the car steers like a leech. There’s more than enough grip and the electronic power steering provides insane feel and feedback. The suspension is also stiff enough.
seven Ride quality is a bit firm
The 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata comes with a double wishbone front suspension and a multi-link rear suspension setup. It also comes standard with coil springs and front and rear anti-roll bars. Since this is a car designed for fun, the ride quality is stiffer. Consequently, driving on city streets is not as comfortable as rivals in the segment.
By comparison, the 2022 Toyota GR86 is tuned to the softer side and offers a plusher ride quality. Take the Miata above 50 mph, however, and you’ll appreciate how well the car drives at higher speeds. There is no pitching and swaying like that of the GR86 and BRZ, and passengers are going to have a very comfortable travel experience. Highway stability is also excellent.
6 Efficient powertrain
Gas mileage is one area that would surely surprise many potential buyers. With the 2L naturally aspirated engine mated to the 6-speed manual transmission, the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata can return 26 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on the highway, which equates to 30 MPG combined gas mileage.
With a fuel tank capacity of 11.9 gallons, the 2022 MX-5 Miata also offers approximately 309 miles of city range and 416 miles of highway range. Even though gas mileage is better than rivals, with a slightly lower tank capacity, range is a bit low. If you opt for the automatic version, the fuel efficiency could be slightly lower than the manual version.
5 Not the finest of the lot
If you’re expecting it to be refined like some of the regular cars available for the same price, you’d be disappointed. This is a 2-seater sports car and hence the level of refinement is surely a cut below other normal hatchbacks and hatchbacks. Tire noise and road noise are higher in the Miata, and this may be associated with this convertible’s inferior sound deadening materials.
Even for the RF version, which receives a roof, the soundproofing leaves a lot to be desired. By comparison, the 2022 Mini Cooper Convertible is superior. Apart from that, the engine gets noisy at high revs and that might turn away a few potential buyers. Even the interior quality isn’t the best of the bunch.
4 One of the most affordable convertibles
Available for a base MSRP of $26,830, the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata is the lowest priced offering in the segment. This base Sport trim also manages to get a reasonably long list of interior, exterior, and safety features, making it a value-for-money proposition. Must-have features like LED headlights, LED taillights, touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and more come standard.
By comparison, the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86 lack some of these essential technologies. They’re also about $1,500 more than the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata. The Mini Cooper Convertible is also a bit pricey. However, it does offer a bit more sophistication, mostly due to the inclusion of a few extra infotainment and interior features for the base trims.
3 Attractive exterior design
The design is striking from every angle, and that’s one of this vehicle’s biggest USPs. Available in convertible and coupe versions, the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata looks very clean from the front, with sharp hood lines, a well-sculpted bumper and handsome LED headlights.
The side looks relatively plain, and what helps it stand out are the beautifully crafted 17-inch metallic black aluminum-alloy wheels. The slight fender flares and reasonably wide 205 section tires also add character. Apart from that, it also gets 7 exterior colors, 2 roof colors and an appearance package, which help it stand out very well.
2 The brakes are quite impressive
The 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata comes with 11″ front and rear rotors, all of which are vented. Braking features such as ABS with EBD, Brake Assist and Hill Hold Control are also Braking has always been a strong point of the current generation MX-5 Miata and the same philosophy carries over to this 2022 iteration.
The bite is strong and the brakes are more than powerful enough to stop the car at speed. It doesn’t lose control under hard braking, which could be a problem with older Miatas. Other than that, brake fade is well controlled, and even after a hard trail session the brakes hold up pretty well.
1 Infotainment gets all the bells and whistles
Equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system which could also be easily controlled by the rotary knob and buttons on the center console, the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata will not disappoint buyers. Even though the screen is quite small for this day and age, it has all the features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, CD player, Bluetooth and many more.
The interface is pretty smooth and there are no noticeable lags and stutters with the UI. The screen is reasonably bright and also offers good viewing angles. When it comes to the audio experience, the 9-speaker Bose audio system turned out to be pretty good. Even though it’s a bass-heavy system, the midrange and high-frequency audio output doesn’t sound very muddy with a bit of tweaking.
Whatever the reason, the Miata seems to be marching into the future unchallenged and remains your best bet for affordable driving pleasure.
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