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Pure: 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata is driving in its most joyous form

When people talk about pure driving experiences -- those special cars that remembered for the rest of their lives, even if they only drove them for a short time -- they’re usually talking about some bygone machine that hasn’t been available in showrooms for at least a generation. Unless, of course, they happen to own a new Mazda MX-5 Miata.

The Miata offers a purity of driving joy some might have believed long lost. In a sea of bloated SUVs and family cars, the Miata remains as elemental and fun as ever.

Exterior

The exterior of the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a study in modern Japanese roadster design as well as a throwback to a simpler time, when roadsters of its kind most often came from Europe, not Japan.

Its slender headlight “eyes” give off a smile that could be either genuinely happy or mischevious, while its wide-open grille space allows for plenty of airflow to the engine while also evoking a little bit of the grin that the Miata will leave plastered on its driver’s face. The hood is almost impossibly low and nearly stays out-of-sight to all but the tallest drivers.

The side-view of the 2017 MX-5 Miata is sleek and athletic without being angular or angry -- the latter being a styling language too many sporty cars use nowadays. Looking at the side of the Miata, it’s clear to see the car’s long hood/short trunk proportions -- the classic roadster shape.

The rear is where things get even more interesting, and perhaps where the Miata’s Japanese upbringing shows the most. Round taillights have outboard wings that house turn signals. A tidy trunk lid does not scoop deeply into the rear fascia. Complex curves and creases create a rear surface that is both athletic and eccentric.

Interior

Inside, the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata is all business. The cowl, like the hood, is low and unobtrusive to the driver. A three-dial instrument cluster displays information the driver needs without distractions common in less-purposeful cars. The three-spoke steering wheel is perfectly positioned and contains controls for cruise, audio, and phone so you never have to take your hands away.

Leather lines the dashboard surface, from which the Miata’s slim infotainment screen rises. A knurled control dial in the center console allows driver or passenger to easily flick through the features of this screen, while traditional three-knob HVAC controls provide heating and cooling with a minimum of fuss. Vents are placed perfectly to keep the cabin warm or cool for pleasant top-down motoring even when temperatures are colder or hotter than one might expect to be comfortable in a convertible.

The seats are covered in high-quality leather work, and the shifter and traditional handbrake fall readily at the driver’s right hand. Pedals are perfectly positioned for spirited driving, as well.

The heart of the Miata

The beating heart of the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata is the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G four-cylinder gasoline engine. With an aluminum block and head, 16 valves pulsing at the behest of dual overhead camshafts, and a 13:1 compression ratio, this engine makes 155 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 148 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 RPM. The engine redlines at 6,800 RPM, remaining surprisingly smooth all the way to that mark.

This engine sends its power through either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The manual retains the short throws and precise action for which previous Miatas have been famous, though Mazda says the gearbox is all-new for this generation of the car and is lighter than before. The automatic offers manual gear selection via steering wheel-mounted shift paddles for those sporty moments.

Like all good roadsters, this drivetrain routes power through the rear wheels. And with a stiff chassis, shockingly adept suspension tuning, and a curb weight of just 2,332 lbs, the combination makes every drive exhilarating.

The best value in roadsters

No car in the roadster class delivers bang for your buck like the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata. With prices starting just a hair less than $25,000 MSRP, you won’t have more fun-per-dollar in any other open-top car in America.

If you want a taste of the pure driving experience offered by the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata, give us a call or come visit us today to book your test drive!

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