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2007 Mazda Miata MX-5 Review

Though its official name was MX-5 Miata when it was introduced in the 1990 model year, many simply have called this sports car by the Miata name. The roadster was redesigned for 2006, and the Miata designation departed at that time. Officially, the two-seater is now named MX-5, but many enthusiasts continue to use the Miata name even though it is no longer included. The 2007 MX-5 is slightly larger in every measure than previous versions, yet it is similar to the original Miata in overall design and shape. A new power-retractable hardtop model debuts for 2007, and Touring and Grand Touring models gain an auto-down feature for the passenger window. Stormy Blue and Highland Green are new exterior colors.  The Mazda MX-5 is a true convertible sports car that is fun, capable, and reliable. The MX-5 comes in one basic configuration: a two-door, two-passenger roadster. Three transmissions are offered: a five-speed manual, a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic with Activematic, Mazda's take on a shift-it-yourself.


Trims for the Miata

The 2007 Mazda MX-5 is offered in two body styles: a two-seat two-door convertible and the new Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT). All are powered by the same eager 2.0-liter, all-aluminum, four-cylinder, sixteen-valve engine. The MX-5 Sport, with the vinyl soft top, comes with the same basic equipment as the SV plus air conditioning and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. A tire puncture repair kit fills in for a spare tire, as it does on all MX-5s. The PRHT hardtop Sport also comes with a manual gearbox. The Sport model is also available with the Activematic six-speed automatic and the soft top; it comes standard with the 1CP Convenience Package consisting of cruise control, fog lamps, keyless entry system and power door locks.

The Touring soft top adds fog lamps, cruise control, power door locks, keyless entry, cruise control, steering wheel mounted cruise and audio controls, with 17-inch alloy wheels and P205/45R17 performance tires. Run-flat tires are optional. The Touring hard top is also available.

The Grand Touring comes with heated leather seats, faux leather door trim, a cloth soft top and Bose AM/FM/CD player system with seven speakers. Tan leather and matching door panels are optional. 17-inch aluminum wheels mounting 205/45-17 tires fill the wheel openings, and run-flat technology is available. The Grand Touring hardtop comes with the six-speed manual or automatic.

Driving a Mazda Miata

The MX-5 is made to be fun to drive. The 166-hp, six-speed gearbox and a highly responsive throttle gives it a responsive kick. The wide track and low center of gravity enable it to corner flatter than should be possible. The MX-5 is well balanced and it holds its line through corners well. The lower the mass is in the car's chassis, the lower the car's center of gravity and the more stable its ride and handling. Especially important for a sports car, the closer weight is clustered around what engineers call the vertical yaw axis. The new Miata cruises well from highway speeds to stop and go traffic.  Clutch effort is so light it's enjoyable.

Mazda Powertrain

Three transmissions are offered depending upon model: a five-speed manual, a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic with Activematic, Mazda's take on a shift-it-yourself automatic gearbox. The engine is rated at 166 horsepower, which is plenty for the MX-5. Automatic-equipped cars get 163 horsepower, the difference due to revised engine tuning required to work with the automatic. The MX-5's 2.0-liter four-cylinder gets 166 horsepower. The engine operates with four valves per cylinder and has dual overhead camshafts and variable valve timing. The automatic isn't as robust as the two manuals, but may be desirable for those looking for convenient driving.

MX-5 Cabin

The MX-5 holds two occupants. The interior is styled with chrome and silver accents; the driver holds a three-spoke tilt steering wheel. Coated glass covers the instrument cluster for easy visibility, even in direct sunlight. Audio and cruise controls are placed on the steering wheel. All gauges are analog. Seats are properly bolstered for the type of driving the MX-5 offers, but there is no lumbar support or but a seat height adjustment.  A single set of power window buttons is located in the center console aft of the shift boot, behind which a tidy retracting cover conceals two cup holders. A power outlet is conveniently placed at the base of the center stack and four air registers are spaced across the dash in the hard, shiny black panel that changes to brushed aluminum for the Limited Edition. The cabin of the MX_5 may be a tight space for a large person, though this is to be expected from a coupe. The 2007 model is larger and now allows more leg room and hip room. The trunk's capacity is 5.3 cubic feet. There are three compartments that are built into the back wall of the cockpit and one storage area locks. Pockets and bottle holders are positioned around the cockpit.

2007 MX-5 Miata Design

The third-generation MX-5 actually looks closer to the original Miata than the second-generation model; though, the overall design is more slab sided, taller and more rounded at the front end than previous versions. The shape of the grille remains pure Miata. Like the original Miata, the MX-5's nose and tail are tapered. The cockpit is wider than the prior generation's and promises greater hip room, shoulder room and elbow room. The roadster's weight distribution is an even 50/50, which should help deliver good response, and rack-and-pinion steering offers control. The soft top is the better than ever. The top, with its heated glass rear window, collapses into a well behind the seats cleanly and completely requiring no cover boot. It now looks neatly finished when it is down. As with previous models, the top is manually operated, but light and easy to use.  The folding hardtop (PRHT) is a cinch to operate, quick to fold, and very space efficiency. The hardtop is made of lightweight materials: sheet molding compound on the outside and glass fiber-reinforced polypropylene on the inside. Trunk room is not impacted in any way by the tops; this is a good thing since the trunk is small in the first place. Standard wheels measure 16 inches in diameter, but 17-inch wheels are available.


All-disc antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution is standard. Other safety equipment standard across the line includes dual, two-stage frontal airbags, and seat-mounted, side airbags.

Throughout its history the Mazda Miata has been a delightful, fun, supremely capable, and well-engineered car that is amazingly reliable. There are more Miatas on racetracks every weekend around the country than any other car. It has been thoroughly updated twice, including a full remake in 2006. Quality, solidity and safety gear were upgraded in the 2006 re-do.  As the MX-5 name has taken over, as Mazda tries to emphasize the automaker brand name, the 2007 model gets minor updates that broaden both the MX-5's appeal and usefulness. The biggest improvement is the Retractable Hard Top, or PRHT, which provides the advantages of a hardtop overhead, with reduced wind and road noise and a sense of increased security and solidity, yet folds down completely out of sight for stylish cruising. The bottom line is: Fun is what the Mazda MX-5 made its reputation on, and that's exactly what it delivers. The MX-5 gets a superb gas mileage with 30 mpg Hwy, and 25 mpg City.


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