Mazda MX-5: Should Steven Slater Drive This JetBlue Ride? Page 2

August 18, 2010

Mazda recommends premium fuel.  Despite some right-foot exercises and plenty of top-down jaunts with the air conditioning cranked (mid-level vents improve the Miata's open-air weather-beating HVAC), fuel economy was good:  about 28 mpg (computer said 27.8).  EPA numbers:  21 mpg city, 28 highway.

Doors open wide with lots slide-in space.  If you go Miata during a mid-life crisis, your stiff back and stiff knees won't hinder where you put your hinder.  As mentioned earlier, limited seat travel, a steering wheel that doesn't telescope and the modest space for your legs aside the transmission's hump could prove a deal breaker.  I've known some who've traded in their MX-5s when fun no longer trumps practicality.

Nonetheless, a vehicle with this much sporting flavor nearly earns its keep; it offers more of a driving ode to what old-timers called the true sports car than nearly any other atthis price.  Think of it as an emotional rescue from humdrum bothers.  It outpaces a JetBlue public-address system and an emergency slide.

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