Mazda MX-5 Power Hardtop: All Of The Funs


The latest from Mazda was unexpected, and exactly what they needed.

What else can be said about the Mazda Mx-5?  It is the most fun car of their entire lineup.  Powered by a 2.0-liter SKYACTIV engine capable of 155 horsepower, it scoots along mountain roads and allows the driver to reach its’ utmost limits of performance in no time.

Isn’t that what we all want?

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Best of all, it starts at a price just under $25,000.  I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, “Wait a second, that car only has 155 horsepower and still costs $25,000?”  The answer, is yes.  “But why would I pay for that price,” you may ask.  Simple.  The car will reward you in smiles per gallon.  The Mazda Mx-5 isn’t about power, it isn’t about speed, it isn’t about practicality.  It is about responsiveness, control, agility, and lightweight.  That is what customers are paying for.

I get it.  There are other cars within the Mazda brand with much better value.  The four-door Mazda6, with 185 horsepower, 184-lb.ft. of torque, comes in at just $21, 495 in Sport trim with a 6-speed manual transmission.  Not only does it have more power, it has more room, and better gas mileage, with an EPA rating of 25/37 with the manual transmission.

The Mx-5 on the other hand, has an EPA rating of 27/34 with the manual transmission.

But the Mx-5 isn’t about the numbers.  I take that back.  It is about one number only, the weight of the car.  With the manual transmission, the curb weight of the car is listed at 2,332 pounds.  That’s lighter than pretty much every 2015 and 2016 car on the road.  Lotus hasn’t produced any new Elise models or Exige models that are available in the U.S.  This is as light as it gets.

What does that mean?  The car is quick, without needing as much power.  The car brakes well.  It handles well.  Although the Club trim may be considered a bit soft for a suspension tune, the body roll communicates to the driver where the weight is shifting.  Push the car hard, and it becomes a very enjoyable drive.

If you want to see what that looks like, Motor Trend provided excellent coverage with their review of the Mx-5.

“So why do I need the power hardtop,” you may ask.  Well, for some of us, the soft-top material just doesn’t do enough to cut out the noise.  I’ve had Mr2 T-Tops that didn’t provide enough sound insulation.  Unless someone is driving an electric car, who wants to listen to wind noise?  While the Mx-5 is best driven with the top down, the optional power hard top can add a bit more weight, but also a bit more rigidity for the rough surfaces.

That goes a long way.

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In a world where cars are being ran more often by electronic drivetrains and becoming more autonomous, the Mazda Mx-5 goes back to the roots of what a driving experience is all about.  Except, this time, you can have a drive with a bit more comfort on your next flowing road.