On paper with only 167 horsepower under the hood, the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata doesn’t look like a sports car, but unlike other sports cars that boast about their gobs of power, this little roadster has something else under its sleeve. When Mazda handed me the keys to the 2014 Miata Club Sport I didn’t know what I was in store for. On paper the Miata’s stats didn’t seem too impressive, so I prepared myself for what would end up being a kinda blah experience. Well I was definitely wrong.
Mazda gave me the keys to the 2014 Mazda Miata Club edition with a retractable hard top. The Club model sits in the middle of the Miata lineup and compared to the base Miata, it adds a shock tower brace, sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers, a limited-slip differential, air diffusers and unique badging. At first I was worried that the retractable hardtop would add a lot of unnecessary weight, but it only adds 72 pounds, with the final weight coming in at only 2,593 pounds. The hardtop is light, doesn’t take much space from the tiny trunk and effectively turns the Miata into a coupe. Consider me impressed.
The Club edition doesn’t add any tweaks to the 2.0L four-cylinder engine. Buyers can choose between a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. My Miata Club edition was equipped with the manual transmission, which is the perfect match for the old MZR engine. The Miata will reach 0-60 mph in around six seconds, but for some reason it felt much faster. One friend even thought the Miata was packing a more potent V6 under the hood. Well luckily the Miata is light, so the 167-hp engine doesn’t have to move much.
Once you get the Miata up to speed, this is where it really shines. The Miata handles like a sports car should. Throw it into a turn and it’s glued to the road. It’s steering is quick and provides a lot of feedback, which is probably attributed to the fact that Mazda hasn’t made the switch to an electric system in the Miata, yet. It’s perfect 50/50 weight balance, short shifts and quick steering can make any drive a lot more fun.
My biggest complaint about the Miata is the fact that it is showing its age. It’s now nearing the end of the third generation and its interior shows it. The interior design is minimalistic, which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s lack of technology like a navigation system or USB port made me feel like I was driving a car built in 2005. For some reason the Miata’s interior with its lack of technology, lots of hard plastic and uncomfortable seats still didn’t make me love the Miata any less. The Miata is meant to be driven and with a starting price under $24k, all can be forgiven, especially when it comes to the 2016 models!
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