Mazda's MX-5 Miata, the antitech car
While not a tech powerhouse, the 2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring is one of the purest driving experiences on the road today.
Often, we get cars that are pretty good, but lack good cabin tech. And because our Car Tech reviews are weighted toward, well, tech, the cars' overall scores suffer and everyone berates us for "worrying too much about dumb iPod adapters" when we should be driving.
However, every once in a while, we get a car that is so good at what it does and represents such a purity of vision, that even a low tech score can be overcome for a high overall score. The Mazda MX-5 Miata is one of those cars that makes us forget about iPods, GPS, and other technobobblery.
While its new goofy face doesn't do any favors for the Miata's reputation as a secretary's car and its cabin tech seems to be stuck in 2004, the Mazda MX-5 roadster is one of the last true sports cars on the road today, yet also one of the cheapest.
It's all about balance and driving dynamic. Weight is at a 50/50 balance between the front and rear axles. There's not too much power, but enough to engage the chassis. Power goes out of the rear wheels, but a perfectly balanced chassis tunes out both oversteer and understeer.
The result is a car, that while sparse on the tech front, is such a joy to drive that it still managed to win over every editor who took a turn behind the wheel, making the Mazda MX-5 roadster one of the best low-tech cars...in the world.