Mazda MX-5 Miata
Though the MX-5 is pretty quick, its primary purpose is not necessarily about speed. The Miata is all about agility, fun and engagement and as a result most of its performance is derived from its lightweight chassis rather than from a big, overpowered engine.
Mazda's engineers went over the car with a fine tooth comb for 2016, and carefully trimmed weight wherever possible. The result was a car that weighs around 2,300 lbs, incredibly light by today's standards and 150 lbs lighter than the car it replaces. That lightness combines with rear-wheel drive to make the Miata one of the best handling cars on the road.
There is only one engine available on the MX-5 Miata, a 2.0L 4-cylinder that makes 155 hp. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission, though a 6-speed automatic is an option and adds about $1,000 to the price of the car. Thanks to the car's lightness, 155 hp should still be enough to get the Miata to 60 mph in under 7 seconds. The most impressive result of the car's light curb weight might be the fuel economy though. The MX-5 Miata is rated at 27 mpg in the city, meaning that owners can really have their cake and eat it too.
The MX-5 comes in three different trims, Sport, Club and Grand Touring, each with their own focus.
The Sport trim aims for purity, stripping back most of the options and giving drivers a chance to really focus on the fun of driving. Standard features on the Sport trim include 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, sporty cloth upholstered seats, air-conditioning, a 6-speaker stereo with USB input, Bluetooth connectivity, a leather shift knob and of course, a manual folding soft top.
The Club trim is more about performance and should be the choice for anyone who wants to take their MX-5 to the track. The Club trim comes standard with bigger, 17-inch wheels, shod in wider rubber than in the Sport trim. The Club trim also includes Bilstein shock absorbers, a limited slip differential (manual transmission only) some additional aero parts and piano black exterior mirrors. Also included with the Club trim is a Bose 9-speaker stereo complete with 7-inch touchscreen monitor. A set of lightweight, forged BBS wheels covering uprated Brembo brakes are optional on the Club trim.
The Grand Touring trim adds just a dash of comfort to the otherwise very focused Miata. Leather seating is included as standard, as is automatic climate control, a built in garage door opener, satellite radio and a host of safety options include a blind spot/lane departure warning system, rain sensing wipers and automatic high beams.