25 years of the myth, 25 years of Mazda MX-5: a face-to-face between the first and the last generation

More 25 years separating the two protagonists of this test. A test, a face-to-face with the past, really special for me. Aside the new Mazda MX-5, the version of 1.5 liters and 131 horses. On the other, the other my own car, a Mazda MX-5 of 1990, the first generation of the Miata, equipped with the engine of 1.6-liter with 115 horses. Two roadster simple, with an excellent manual gearbox, rear-wheel drive, lightweight, relatively inexpensive, and willing to offer us a welcome dynamic, but what you have known in Mazda reinterpret the essence of the original model? Time of discovering it.

It’s Monday, mid-morning and after a small downpour early morning the sun peeps out now with firmness. The doors place pointed out by Mazda to pick a unit with a nice tone halfway between white and gray, finish higher, the Luxury and the above-mentioned mechanical 4-cylinder, 1.5 liters and 131 horses.

I Acknowledge that he was eager, eager, I get to put behind the wheel of the new Mazda MX-5. I did this months ago in Barcelona, in a meeting that gave a good account in the article “Mazda MX-5 2015, tested: love at first curve.” Even made a research about already on this engine in response to the question, “what is enough the engine of 131 horsepower?”. Now I’m going to be able to spend more time with, I’m going to live it in my day-to-day, and I’m going to drive immediately after driving the first generation.

Descapoto. I do it in a quick operation after removing the central lock and to accompany the canvas roof with one hand until you hear the “clanck” of the anchors in the rear. A few seconds judged by the operation. No, I don’t like the hardtops folding, such as the Volkswagen Eos, nor folding is automatic. Live simple.

Mazda_Mx-5_comparativa_DM_2016_mdm_21The heat of this sudden sun accompanies him powerful air-conditioning system, finished off in a beautiful aerators round similar to those of the original model and a few heated seats that often I miss in mine. To my back the radio sounds with a good sharpness thanks to the Bose sound system, with speakers in the back. Under a pair of gears, the small engine rises of turns, rises, rises, keeps on rising… without any doubt, this is a good way to start the week.

Facing the traffic of Madrid, proving that a car is perfectly useful in the day-to-day:


The Mazda MX-5 has a starting price of 25,000 euros. The alternative of 160 horses from 27.800 euros, the same price as this unit of 131 hp with maximum equipment.

After complying with the keyboard I have to go out for dinner and instead of choosing my car I pick the keys to the new Mazda MX-5. I open the tailgate and deposit my jacket. No, there is no more room in the cabin which is a small glove box and a hole for the mobile and in fact your inside feels something more narrow than that of the first generation, where, after the seats, if not we have folded the soft top, we have an excellent space in which to leave the jacket. What I don’t have my Na (as is called the first generation of the MX-5, followed by the Nb, Nc and now ND) is the smart key system with push-button start. Or that multimedia system in the beating as the address of my destination. Yes, the sound when you close the gate reminded me inevitably to my “iron” (can Someone in Hiroshima will have thought of it?).

My first real encounter with this unit is going to be between the streets of the capital. I drive descapotado under the above-mentioned (and powerful) heating, with Mac DeMarco in charge of the soundtrack and I do finding myself with a set where shines a comfortable, that will become effective a few lines below, when I do my stretch regular mountain, a few knobs of smooth powered and some understated dimensions that, in addition to get me out a smile, driving below the rear-view mirrors of the car “normal”, they give me the chance to park with ease between the columns of a narrow parking lot.

Mazda_Mx-5_comparativa_DM_2016_mdm_6I have taken this dinner to show the car to Dani. He misses nothing more to be mounted inside the space to leave your jacket, I say that is a menudez, also underpins his criticism of implementing a certain lack of power in some other maneuver, which will alarm with the little price difference that exists between the version of 131 horses with the 160 horses, but is slowly succumbing.

Yes, Mazda has become to create a product that is really round. It is funny, very funny, authentic and with the added attraction, at least for me, to be a convertible. In addition a car is really logical, as long as you don’t need more than two seats; with consumption restrained, between 6 and 7 l/100 km in normal conditions and perfect to be enjoyed on a daily basis. I assure you that the journeys everyday will improve substantially with a car as well.

I’m coming home. The highway deserted. The hood folded. Sounds Like Mourn. I can not avoid mute each time the sound team to go down two gears and go beyond the 6,000 laps. What car. What a delight.

moment of truth: a stretch of mountain, the new Mazda MX-5 and the first generation


Mazda has been able to interpret perfectly the original essence. Both in certain features of their design as in their concept and dynamic.

Second assault. Time of the truth. The microwave sounds while typing the last words of a new article. As fast and soon. I’ve been with Juanma to prepare for the photo session of this MX-5 with the first generation, allowing, of step, to compare easily and in a beautiful stretch of mountain (the port of the Morcuera) the differences and similarities between the two.

we Cleaned the car, filled the tank and we put in place. First evidence: the noise of the air. Yes, there are convertibles infinitely better insulated than the new MX-5, nor is it something particularly dramatic, but the difference with the first is abysmal. If descapotamos the formula is repeated and the new comes a lot less air.

We got to Miraflores de la Sierra without losing sight, at the front, the snow-capped mountains that surround us. To her feet, the climate is benevolent, as we ascend the sky encapota, the temperature drops dramatically and appears each time more and more snow and air. Despite the fact that the sky seems to say the opposite a operator behind the wheel of a snow plow warns us that, in addition to be the road clear, there is coming more snow. Perfect. we Started the photo session.

Mazda_Mx-5_comparativa_DM_2016_mdm_5Mazda_Mx-5_comparativa_DM_2016_mdm_16I Feel that Mazda has managed to reinterpret the perfection and evolve every aspect, every corner, of that Miata primal in this new generation. I answer, quickly, to that question asked in the first paragraph.

Yes, the classic line original has now been translated in features more sharp, more aggressive, and obviously, since we do not have those headlights disappearing, but the optics in the front are just as representative as that of the original model, it continues to enjoy a well size that is restrained, of a low height and its interior, with the exception of the screen of the multimedia system, of course, continues to enjoy a line like: horizontality, aerators round, that hole slide, central bridge, a simple instrumentation but nice and full… not okay, nor is there a steering wheel Nardi, but the steering wheel that has chosen to Mazda for the ND is also quite attractive, proving, as shown by the BMW M, you can do a steering wheel is modern and nice.

Dynamically the evolution of the original concept is even more evident, especially in this version of 131 horses. on the one hand we have the sensation of lightness, it’s obviously a light car, but this also makes it really palpable at every turn. On the other hand the performance of your mechanical atmospheric, with a regime that ascends with a gradual swiftness that we reserve up a good performance. Finally all that surrounds these two elements: the great feel of its gearbox, great yes. Perfect. Your address, your pedals, the confidence that you transmitted to your chassis. On the curve there is a certain sway that betrays the commitment with the day-to-day, but this balancing is not noted in your interior or penalizes the least fun behind the wheel.


You will not have a headlight disappearing, but provides us with a good list of amenities that you can not cope the first generation.

have Fun, that this is going. Simplicity, good feeling, charisma and the desire to put one in the garage with the guarantee that, for a lot of that seems like a whim from the “high” grandstand of who you want the new SUV fashion in your garage, we are in a car logical. Although on the other hand I am of the opinion that there is nothing mores logical that on a whim.

A curve more. That smile again.

Mazda has also done a great job with the exhaust system. Their sound is not excessive, it feels natural and invites you to add a few revs more to the tachometer, imbuyéndote even more in the experience, making it even more firm connection with the car, tightening even more the bonds.

But let us return to the origins…

Mazda_Mx-5_comparativa_DM_2016_mdm_8Parking lot of the new Mazda MX-5, Juanma jumps to its interior to condemn a photo of your interior and I get behind the wheel of mine. I start and the gear lever starts to vibrate, as it vibrates in the back, ready to offer that touch so direct, firm and hard, palpándose virtually every metal part that is under our hand.

The sound of my car is most severe in the early stages, the fault of how the passage of time has taken its toll on the exhaust system. I stretch the first gear, insert the second in a set of pedals that really feels less filtered and to speed up while I attend a linear increase in speed significantly slower than in the new.

In the first succession of curves, the chassis of the Na back me feelings very similar to that of the Nd except that each small hole in the asphalt, it is noticed and shudders a suspension overly firm. My car has a modified suspension, 35 mm lower than the original; also with a few silentblocks polyurethane, and a few reinforcement bars for your chassis. Yes, the cornering is now much better, with a response on the part of its chassis is far more direct, effective and communicative, but in exchange I have finished with most of your comfort. In the new MX-5 I have a response, with the exception that here the comfort remains intact.

Mazda_Mx-5_comparativa_DM_2016_mdm_17Yes, the information that comes to me from steering and its chassis and the touch of his change is fully comparable to that of the first generation of the Miata, fairy tale with the charm of a naturally aspirated engine that also is capable of climbing turns at a higher rate, a good sounding exhaust… and all of this, paired with the amenities of a current car, with an effective climate control, with heated seats, a Bose sound system, bluetooth, opening with a key “smart”, some suspensions comfortable…

today If I had to buy a new car would probably be a Mazda MX-5

Mazda_Mx-5_comparativa_DM_2016_mdm_14Mazda_Mx-5_comparativa_DM_2016_mdm_9Comes the moment of parting, of giving the witness to my partner David Villarreal for the next few days you can also try it.

I like and a lot of the new Mazda MX-5. Your ability to flirt between the emotional and the logical, his ability to reinterpret the original philosophy, its lightness, its mechanical atmospheric.

Mazda_Mx-5_comparativa_DM_2016_mdm_18Mazda_Mx-5_comparativa_DM_2016_mdm_19That way for you to get involved with driving without excessive demands. The charm of descapotar. That sound natural. How easy it is to see it in our garage.

Its simplicity. Above all your simplicity.


Gallery of images of the comparison of the first Mazda MX-5 with the new generation:

Photos by Juanma G. Camera.

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A photo posted by Mario Herraiz (@herraizm)