PAS S ING LANE I CHARL E S DONALDSON 2016 MAZDA MX-5 2016 Mazda MX-5 It’s hard to believe that 25 years have blown by since the first Mazda MX-5 Miata rolled off of the assembly line. The little twoseater convertible from Mazda ignited years of fun for some and unlike many roadsters that are locked in the garage in preparation of the next sunny weekend mid-day drive, the MX-5 became a multi-use vehicle from work to the windy roads. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Mazda completely re-engineered and redesigned the MX-5. For 2016, Mazda has improved the Miata to include some modern safety and technology features, while preserving the uniqueness that has run true with all MX-5s, keeping it different from anything else on the market. Measuring in at about 154-inches, the new Miata is a bit shorter than last year’s model, while growing wider to about 68-inches. Plus, it has an extended wheelbase of 91.1 inches. The MX-5 was designed around its driver and is lightweight, nimble and fun to drive. It was a blast to cruise around the curved roads in the Dublin hills. On the freeway, if the road wasn’t smooth, you felt every bump—typical of low-to-the-ground cars. Nevertheless, it was the most fun MX-5 that I have driven to-date. Now in its 4th generation, the 2016 MX-5 carves a path that is thoroughly modern, packed with high-tech features and has a strikinglydesigned A L I V E E A S T B A 30 Y d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 6 based on the KODO-Soul of Motion which is defined by a long hood, short overhangs, a cropped cabin pushed far back on the body and large wheels moved as far as possible towards all four corners. The new look produces a lower and sleeker profile. The 2016 MX-5 comes in four trim levels, Sport ($24,915), Club ($28,600), Grand Touring ($30,065) and a Limited Launch Edition. Standard on all MX-5 models are air conditioning, push-button start, a manual cloth convertible top, power door locks, USB input, Bluetooth® wireless phone pairing and audio streaming, leather shift knob and CD player. Entry MX-5 Sport and upper trims MX-5 Club and MX-5 Grand Touring all come with the option of a SKYACTIVMT six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The 2016 MX-5 Launch Edition comes in Soul Red with a Sport Tan leather interior — an exclusive color combination for the 2016 model year in the U.S. The interior is clean and comfortable with red stitching. The infoscreen at the top of the center dash houses your navigation, radio and other operations. The control knob is next to the shifter and if you aren’t careful while you are shifting you can accidentally change the radio station. There wasn’t a backup camera on my test model.
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