2018 Mazda MX-5: Driving bliss with a cherry on top

Posted by Wheels On Edge about 3 years ago
Good things come in small packages. It’s a cliché, sure, but sometimes there’s a lot of truth to it. Case in point, the new Mazda MX-5. Currently in its fourth generation, this iteration of Mazda’s two-seat sports car has been on the market since 2015. While it still follows the same formula as all MX-5’s (formerly Miata) before it, this model has undergone some small, but notable changes which we think make a great car even better.

Some tweaks to the suspension and steering have made the new MX-5 feel a little more responsive during cornering and more spirited driving and more comfortable in everyday use. The looks of the car are have remained unchanged – and we don’t mind at all, because the new MX-5 is stunning. The new Cherry Red top equipped on our tester is a welcome addition, adding a nice splash of colour and contrast. 
Mazda also made improvements inside, most notably improving the NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) reduction measures on the car. Sound isolation was enhanced in certain areas like the inner wheel housings, dashboard and transmission tunnel. Don’t expect the cabin to be whisper quiet. It’s still going to be louder than one might expect, but is still very good for this class of vehicle. As well, the interior received some upgrades, like improved gauge visibility and an upholstered surface on the sun visor. 

As with the MX-5 RF we reviewed previously, the 2018 MX-5 is a joy to drive. A responsive, peppy engine, a slick 6-speed manual (automatic available at no cost) and handling characteristics that bring fun to the forefront almost make you forget how impractical the car is. With its two seats, tiny cabin and miniscule trunk space, the modern driver may struggle to get by day to day with an MX-5. But an MX-5 isn’t about day to day commuting. It’s about weekend fun, carving corners and no frills motoring. Mazda didn’t compromise on fun and kept the non-essential features and luxuries to a minimum. The advantages to this approach are very apparent once you get behind the wheel. We drove this latest MX-5 alongside its older “NB” generation and found the direct, more analog approach carried through from the older car to the new one. That’s not to say the new MX-5 feels old. It takes the best parts of the older car, but makes improvements where necessary. 
Putting the top down on a sunny day can make even stop and go traffic more bearable and fun. Unless you’re behind a lifted pickup truck’s exhaust pipe. Still, it’s hard to beat the feeling of going topless. The visibility in the soft top MX-5 is much better than the metal-roofed RF. While its 2.0L 4-cylinder engine isn’t powerful on paper, it is incredibly peppy in the little MX-5. You don’t have to be fast to have fun in this car. 
Small two-seat convertibles are a much rarer breed in modern motoring. Unlike, say, a crossover, you could probably count on one hand the amount of cars you can realistically group the MX-5 with. But among all its competitors, the MX-5 is arguably the purest. While the MX-5 starts on the lower end of the price range at $31,900, the price can quickly add up depending on your options. Our test car, with the optional red roof and white pearl finish ended up pushing the price to $39,900 before taxes and fees.
We previously reviewed Mazda’s current MX-5 in the new Retractable Fastback (RF) form and found it to be one of the best deliverers of smiles per hour – driving pleasure, that is. Mazda calls it ‘Jinba Ittai’ – a Japanese term for the relationship that develops between a horse and its rider. Much like that relationship, driving the MX-5 is intended to feel like a natural extension. We loved the way the RF drove, but somehow, Mazda made the new 2018 MX-5 even better.

Written by Shane Kalicharan
Pictures by Kevin Wylie
2018 Mazda MX-5, Miata, 50 years, car review

Latest Articles

See All
  • How To Upgrade Your Family Vehicle To Meet Your Needs
    How To Upgrade Your Family Vehicle To Meet Your Ne...

    February 12, 2021 - This is where road trips happen, where babies are brought home from the hospital, where groceries are sourced, where the school run takes place, and it’s something that everyone counts on almost every day.

  • Is Your Car Crying Oil? 5 Signs It Is Giving Up the Ghost
    Is Your Car Crying Oil? 5 Signs It Is Giving Up th...

    February 8, 2021 - And while cars are more robust than ever, sometimes our cars can pick up new, and healthy habits, that are warning signs that it's about to give up the ghost. Let's show you some.

  • Easy Ways To Make A Boring Car Feel A Lot More Sporty
    Easy Ways To Make A Boring Car Feel A Lot More Spo...

    January 29, 2021 - Rear spoilers perform the same role, pulling the back of the car down to prevent oversteer. Rear spoilers tend to be far more visible than those at the front, providing a sporty look to just about any car

  • How to Safely Drive Your Truck All Year Round
    How to Safely Drive Your Truck All Year Round

    January 22, 2021 - The size and scale of the vehicle alone makes it more risky and requires careful and safe driving techniques. That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about in more depth today, so read on now to find out more.

  • Easy Ways to Completely Customise the Interior of your Car
    Easy Ways to Completely Customise the Interior of ...

    January 22, 2021 - If your car is not clean or pleasing to the eye, then every journey probably won’t feel like a pleasure. If you want to change this then you’ll be glad to know that there are a plethora of options out there for you to choose from.

  • Quick Car Safety Checks To Make Before You Get Behind The Wheel
    Quick Car Safety Checks To Make Before You Get Beh...

    January 12, 2021 - It only takes a few minutes to give your car the once over and make sure that there are no underlying issues that could be dangerous, so it’s a good habit to get into. Here’s how to do your own car safety check before you hit the road.

  • Tips for the Perfect Couple's Motorbike Trip
    Tips for the Perfect Couple's Motorbike Trip

    January 6, 2021 - But if you’ve never really taken a big motorbiking trip together before, there are some tips and ideas that’ll help you plan for and get the most out of the whole experience. That’s what we’re going to talk about today, so read on to find out more.

  • What Are Your Options When Trading in Your Car?
    What Are Your Options When Trading in Your Car?

    January 6, 2021 - Every person who shops for a new car, be it a second hand of a brand new model, has different requirements and budget but one thing many car buyers have in common is that most of the time, they will have another vehicle to sell or trade-in for their

  • 5 Car Battery Problems (And How To Fix Them)
    5 Car Battery Problems (And How To Fix Them)

    January 3, 2021 - One fact about car batteries you may not know is they fail prematurely - and the source of the problem is how they got maintained. Vehicle batteries are simple devices, and it’s extremely rare for them to fail due to manufacturing defects.

  • Car Cleaning Tips for Busy Drivers
    Car Cleaning Tips for Busy Drivers

    December 21, 2020 - How can we maintain that new car smell and comfort? With four out of ten drivers too busy to give their car a deep-clean, the demand for knowing how to keep your car clean as a busy driver, is high. Being in a clean and comfortable car can boost even

Share This!