For its fourth generation, Mazda has replaced the Miata's habitually smiling mug with something approaching a sneer.

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The Miata's rear end now draws likenesses to the Jaguar F-Type owing to its taillamp shape.

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Rear three-quarter visibility is a bit challenged in the Miata with the top up, as it is in nearly all convertibles.

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Even a quick glance at the profile reveals tidy overhangs and well-judged proportions.

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Our midlevel Club trim is all business, with a front air dam and sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks.

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A subtle rear lip spoiler is also part of the Club package.

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A quick peek in the Miata's interior reveals a much more modern office space.

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Note how low the dashboard sits, which helps aid visibility and add a feeling of spaciousness -- key in such a small interior.

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We eschewed leather and went for Mazda's grippy and light cloth seats, which are breathable and feature an unusually svelte frame for maximum interior space. Our Club model gets built-in headrest speakers.

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This rev-happy 2.0-liter Skyactiv four cylinder features 155 of the hardest-working horses in the business.

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This isn't typical convertible weather, but we're powering through what's left of another Detroit winter to see if the Miata is a viable four-season partner.

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The aftermarket will no doubt find ways to stuff big intercoolers in here.

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Seventeen-inch dark gunmetal alloys are wrapped in Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 winter rubber while the snow flies. The lightweight wheels do a good job of showing off our Club model's Brembo uprated brakes.

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LED headlamps are standard on all Miatas (they're not only brighter, they help save weight). Our Club trim also receives LED running lamps.

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Note how the headlamps and the air dam seem to draw to a common point down the road.

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Note that the Miata's tires aren't particularly wide -- this is a car that's as much about feel as it is about absolute grip.

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It's unusual to still see a mast antenna in this day and age.

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Note how far back the engine is set in the chassis. It's effectively a front mid-engine design.

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All business here. Manual hand brake, three simple dials for HVAC controls, and a tidy three-spoke wheel.

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Note how designers chose to use two different shapes of HVAC air vents, an unusual strategy that helps emphasize the driver area.

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This six-speed manual is one of our favorite gearboxes in all the world.

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A perfectly nice six-speed automatic is also available, but why do that to yourself? This is a driver's car.

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Mazda Connect infotainment features a multiway controller on the transmission tunnel and a seven-inch tablet-like touchscreen.

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Audio, Bluetooth telephony and voice control buttons on the steering wheel are easy to get used to.

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No fancy adaptive cruise control here.

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A simple multifunction digital readout keeps tabs on things like fuel level, total range, engine temp and outside air temp.

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A large, easily legible centrally mounted tachometer speaks to the Miata's priorities.

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