Car Video:  Oversteer

Video | The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Is the Best Miata Yet

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2019 MAZDA CX-3 AWD Touring
Used 2019 MAZDA CX-3
$19,308
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 MAZDA MAZDA3 Hatchback
New 2019 MAZDA MAZDA3
MSRP $25,115
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 MAZDA CX-3 AWD Sport
New 2019 MAZDA CX-3
MSRP $22,885
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 MAZDA MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring
New 2019 MAZDA MX-5 Miata RF
MSRP $35,505
RELATED READING
See all Mazda MX-5+Miata+RF articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Karma cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs MAZDA cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2018

I recently had the chance to spend some time with the brand-new 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata, which is a sports car that everyone loves. What I discovered is that the 2019 MX-5 Miata is the best Miata yet. That's a bold claim, but I'll try to explain what I mean.

First off, there's the driving experience. This one is simple: The Miata is just absolutely amazingly fun to drive. It was amazingly fun to drive when the "NA" model first came out in 1990, and it's amazingly fun to drive now, 30 years later, with the "ND" version. It's light, it's tossable, the steering is direct, there's no body roll, and you can just fling it around corners. It's hard to explain how fun the Miata makes everyday driving -- in part because the relative lack of power means you can't really get in all that much trouble. You just stomp on it whenever you want, and you use the entire car, and you laugh the entire time. A right turn on red -- an everyday occurrence in all other vehicles -- becomes an opportunity for an ear-to-ear smile and a belly laugh in the Miata.

But the lack of power really isn't all that lacking anymore. The ND Miata now has 181 horsepower, up from 155, and the additional grunt makes a big and noticeable difference. What it does not do, for better or worse, is make the Miata truly fast: It's "just right," some would say, in the tradition of old-school, two-seat roadsters from brands like Triumph and MG -- but it's not raucously fast. More on this in a minute.

Power aside, though, the new Miata is gorgeous. The "ND" Miata came out a few years ago, and I've been doing double-takes ever since, thrilled with the styling of such a relatively inexpensive car that looks like such a massively expensive one. I love the look of the ND Miata, and there's absolutely no question that it's the most handsome Miata yet -- and it's surely a big step up over the odd-looking "NC" model that came before it.

It's also a step up over the NC in terms of curb weight. The ND Miata is actually lighter than the NC, reversing a trend of increasingly heavier Miata models that started decades ago, back when the Miata was first redesigned to become the "NB" model in the late 1990s. The newer version is lighter, with excess "stuff" -- like a trunk liner or a stupid plastic engine cover -- stripped out and removed. There's no need for it, so it's gone.

Nonetheless, I feel that the Miata is a bit slow. I know it's fun to drive, I know it makes you happy, I know it's one of the best sports cars ever -- but I feel that it's a bit disingenuous for car journalists to consistently complain about the lack of power in the Subaru BRZ and the Toyota 86, while simultaneously praising the Miata for its "perfect balance." My thought: If the BRZ and the 86 need more power at 200 horses, the Miata needs more at 181 -- and it certainly needed more at 155. I love the Miata, but I wish they'd bring back the turbocharged "MazdaSpeed" version they offered for a few years in the early 2000s.

As for the RF model, it's worth a few notes all on its own. The Miata is offered in two flavors: There's a "regular" version, with a typical cloth convertible top, and there's the "RF" version, which I drove, and which features a retractable folding hardtop and fixed roof pillars. I expected to question the need of the RF model -- especially since its base price is about $7,000 more than the regular one -- but I actually found myself loving it, given two major benefits: One is that there's a lot less cabin noise with the roof down, so you can actually talk to your passenger while still enjoying the benefits of an open-top convertible. The other is that a folding hardtop transforms the Miata into a year-round car, which is a big deal for people in cold-weather climates. I recommend it if either of those two items are important to you.

I'm also happy to recommend the Miata if technology is important to you, because the latest version now has a lot of it -- there's a blind spot monitor, a standard backup camera, traffic-sign recognition, a good, usable infotainment system and more. The Miata still boasts the amazing, fun-to-drive, exciting, thrilling characteristics it always has -- but now it's better-looking and better-equipped than ever before. And that's why the 2019 MX-5 Miata is the best version yet of this iconic car.

MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
Video | Here's Why I've Already Spent $28,000 on My 2005 Ford GT
This Chrysler PT Cruiser Looks Like a London Taxi
Autotrader Find: Never-Titled 1997 Plymouth Prowler With Matching Prowler Trailer

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2019 MAZDA CX-3 AWD Touring
Used 2019 MAZDA CX-3
$19,308
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 MAZDA MAZDA3 Hatchback
New 2019 MAZDA MAZDA3
MSRP $25,115
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 MAZDA CX-3 AWD Sport
New 2019 MAZDA CX-3
MSRP $22,885
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2019 MAZDA MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring
New 2019 MAZDA MX-5 Miata RF
MSRP $35,505
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Video | The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Is the Best Miata Yet - Autotrader