Not Your Sister's Miata

Behind The Wheel: 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata

We know what you’re thinking. Mazda MX-5 Miata. Ummm? This is Gear Patrol, right? Since when do they review cars my sister would want? Where are the chainsaws, soft shells, and golf clubs?

Well, we like the unexpected and we’re certainly not going to deny a chance to test out the best selling two seat roadster of all time. Yes, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is just that, so naysayers you can choose to watch this or not, but we’ve reviewed the MX-5 Miata and liked what we’ve seen.

From the minute you (finally) get in until you arrive at your destination, the MX-5 Miata leaves you nothing short of thrilled

And by nay I mean 167 horses, of the Clydesdale variety, under the hood of a car that only weighs as much as one of the Rocky Mountain refreshment bringers. The 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata, like the horse, is complexity free. It forgoes hardcore German electronic engineering, it’s not handmade or bespoke, and it will not likely aid you in your bar pick-up game.

But what this car will do is have you spending every minute of free time driving it. The MX-5 Miata is one damn fun car. For the 2010 model, the engineers at Mazda utilized the Japanes mantra, “Jinba Ittai”, which tranlsates into “horse and rider as one.” Whether it is the intentional structural implementation of aluminum, including the roof, trunk, engine block and cylinders, or linking the engine, transmission and differential to one power plant, creating a perfect 50/50 front and rear weight ratio (by actually factoring in the driver’s weight), everything Mazda engineers did was to bring the Miata and it’s diver into a harmony not seen since Boyz II Men ruled the airwaves. This car exudes balance.

Driving with the six-speed close-ratio short shift manual, left me with nothing but smiles. Flicking the car around corners, drifts onto on-ramps (sorry Mazda), lane flicks under tractor trailers (sorry again Mazda), the Mazda doesn’t just make you want to drive, it makes you the drive.


The Grand Touring model Gear Patrol was provided with came equipped with 17 inch multi-spoke wheels and a hardtop that dropped and stowed in 12 seconds (watch the video). Comfortable black leather seats with contrasting stitching, seat warmers, a top-down appropriate Bose 6-disc CD player, and just the right amount of chrome trim around the instruments makes for an inviting interior, top down or up. Of course, contorting my 6’1” frame (ladies?) into the car proved to be comical for onlookers, and likely my only gripe about the MX-5 Miata. However, once in, the car proves to be surprisngly roomy for such a small vehicle, wide shouldered me though should doublecheck their proportions. The trunk, albeit small, is not compromised by stowing of the roof, which made the normally simple task of taking a friend to the airport possible, if just barely.

If you haven’t gathered from the video, the 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a (most) surprisingly enjoyable experience, especially from the Gear Patrol. We recognize the MX-5 Miata has a rabidly loyal enthusiast following, and we can see why. From the minute you (finally) get in until you arrive at your destination, the MX-5 Miata leaves you nothing short of thrilled. If you can overcome the slightly-less-than-manly stereotype, you’ll be rewarded with fantastic performance, a gutteral engine, sports tuned suspension, great gas mileage and a completely attainable price tag. Either way, it’s definitely worth a test drive, just avoid updating your Facebook status about it.

Cost: $23,560+