When it comes to roadsters, no other car can come close to the popularity of the Mazda Miata. Starting with the first generation, launched in 1989, the Miata remains a hit worldwide. The original model came with two seats, a rear wheel drivetrain mated to a manual transmission – a recipe which was almost forgotten since the era of the European roadsters.
The Miata had even more to offer than its Western inspirations. The 50-50 weight distribution gave the car surreal agility, and it had amazing reliability, something all Japanese manufacturers' are known for.
Fast forward three decades, the current Miata is designed on the same formula as the original one, which is why it is still one of Mazda's more popular offerings.
The ND Miata has looked the same ever since the model was first unveiled in 2014, it only had minor facelifts throughout the years. The sharp smoked out headlamps followed by the huge opening in the front makes it impossible not to recognise the angry look of the car.
The rest of the car, however, is quite simple.
Regular models of the Miata get a soft-top roof that can be opened and closed manually. Higher trims have powered roofs, 'Retractable Fastback' as Mazda calls it, which can be opened and closed automatically, as long as the car is driven below a certain speed limit.
The Miata comes with 15-inch alloys wrapped around in low profile tires, which brilliantly compliments the car's dimensions. Some trims of the MX-5 also come with Mazda's 17-inch alloys, and forged BBS alloys a feature of the top-of-the-line 'Homura' edition. The rear also features some of the most uniquely shaped lights, almost reminiscent of the design language of English automakers.
The interior features all the amenities of an entry level sports car. The Miata we reviewed belongs to the 'Exclusive Line' trim, available in the UK. It featured brown leather seats, regular 15-inch rims and a 9-speaker Bose sound system.
Every trim of the Miata features a Mazda Connect 7-inch infotainment system which can be controlled by a knob next to the gear lever – similar to what BMW offers.
The Miata is a driver's car. The interior is designed in such a way that everything can be reached from the driver's seat. The seating position is compact and positioned very low to the ground, a standard for all sports cars. If you happen to be bigger than the average Bangladeshi, you might want to check if you fit in one first.
Being a front engined, rear wheel drive car, is what makes the driving experience extremely fun. The bonnet is long, but the bulges on the hood help with getting a decent understanding of the space one needs to keep clear when driving. What didn't help, however, was the claustrophobic experience of the interior. Opening the roof however lets you combat that.
Driving with the top down ensures a really nice 360 view of the surroundings. A 6AM Saturday drive on Purbachal 300 feet highway justified all the reasons for owning such a car.
The 131 bhp and 152 Nm of torque produced by the 1,500cc inline four naturally aspirated engine might not seem much on paper, but the light weight chassis and the 6 speed manual transmission is where the magic lies. A downshift and flooring the throttle is enough to bring a smile on the face of almost every car enthusiast.
The car hits 0-100 km/h in about 8.6 seconds, but the rear wheel drive roadster surely feels faster, albeit for its seating position and its barely 1,050 kilograms kerb weight.
Prices of the Miata can vary between Tk 40-60 lakh in the recondition car market, depending on the trim level, model year and auction grade. For the price, it's an amazing weekend car or even a city commuter for enthusiasts. It is a head turner, has nimble handling, and adequate power for Bangladeshi roads. If you drive one, you will know exactly what makes it the most popular roadster in the world.
- Engine 1500cc Skyactiv-G
- Transmission 6 speed manual/automatic
- Power 131bhp
- Torque 152 Nm