I never really subscribe to two schools of automotive enthusiasm.
Convertible Phantom and the but after a year of thrashing about a 2016 Mazda MX five I've changed my tune on both.
Over the past 13000 miles or so, I've come to appreciate top down motoring in one of the most approachable sports cars ever made.
It's small, It's light, and it's about as straightforward as a car can get in the 21st century.
It may be fuel efficient, if that's what you're into.
We enjoyed this little guy through all four seasons, encountering blinding snow, driving rain, freezing cold, and annoying heat.
And it took it all like a champ, coming out the other side with barely more than a scratch.
Okay, maybe a couple of scratches.
Turbo chargers are great and all.
But in a car like this you want something that delivers instantaneous throttle response and has power that doesn't really overwhelm.
And I think that's where the Miata shines, 155 horsepower may not seem like much.
But it's more than enough for highway passing and general back road Antics.
Its six speed manual transmission offers a crisp action and plenty of communication through the clutch, something that thankfully did not change throughout the course of the year.
The optional Brembo and BBS package adds some stunning gloss plaque BBS wheels and Brembo front brakes with red calipers.
The brakes held up great all year even with a couple of track outings under its belt, if we were to go back out though I'd probably end up replacing or even upgrading the brake pads.
The Miata's suspension is firm, there's no two ways around it, you'll figure it out the second you get on any kinda road that isn't made of glass.
However the one thing I do like about the suspension is that there's a bunch of body roll and that may seem counterintuitive, but it helps the vehicle feel livelier at low speeds and better communicates those limits to the driver.
Technology really isn't the Miata's strong suit but the navigation did a great job in helping me on longer road trips and the bluetooth microphone was excellent when it came to top down calling.
The biggest problem I had techwise with this car is the USB port which has a really low amperage so it takes forever to charge your phone which can kind of be a pain if you're also running Google Maps or Spotify, or something like that.
Is the Miata's ride perfect?
Far from it, actually.
The thing shakes at idle like it hasn't had a drink in three days.
Even with the top up you still have to crank the stereo all the way to the top to be able to hear it.
Don't get me started on the tire pressure sensors.
We've had the winter tires hooked up for the last few months and the tire pressure light has not gone off.
Despite repeated calibrations and trips to the dealer.
But it's hard to focus on the Miata's flaws once you slap back the roof and get to driving.
This tester came with Mazda's soul red paint job which cost $300, and is about as fragile as a wet piece of tissue paper.
Not even one month end ownership and an errant highway rock left a big old battle scar right above the monsters headlight.
The rest of the year hasn't been much more forgiving of the paint either.
Battle damage isn't limited to the paint.
After a year of bringing the convertible top up-and-down, some fraying began to occur near the Z fold joints.
Now we only ever drop the top when dry, as the owners manual suggests.
And the fraying is somewhat minimal, but it's still there.
Now, nothing is perfect, not even the new Miata.
But after multiple interstate road trips and back roads driving out the wazoo, it's easy to overlook the car's flaws because it's just so unbelievably fun to drive.
Clearly, this isn't a family car.
It's meant more as a liberator, a reason to get out and escape real life, and just focus on the fun stuff.
With an engine that's easier to rev, a transmission that's easier to shift, and a suspension that provides enough body roll to easily communicate its limits, the Miata just wants to have fun.
And it wants a driver that's looking for the same thing.
And that's the best way to describe Road Show's year with the MX5, it was fun.
Doesn't matter if I was grabbing groceries, driving to the airport, or just cruising around with nothing to do.
I had fun every single time I drove this car and now I'm beginning to see my Miata's the answer to everything.
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