As an avid traveler always looking for interesting locations to explore and photograph, a road trip to the Canadian east coast topped my list for world-class roadways and scenery. So we mapped a route from Toronto to Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island for the famed Cabot Trail – a journey through 4 US states and 5 Canadian provinces. This is my personal review of the MX-5.
Someone else said this before and I agree: The world would be a much better place if everybody drove a Miata. Mazda Canada was generous in providing my trip partner Matt and I with a 2015 Mazda MX-5 with the GX trim level. With a manually operated soft top and a 5-speed manual gearbox, this is the outgoing model and although the gorgeous all-new 2016 MX-5 has arrived to high acclaim to replace it. This model is still a great driver’s car and after 6000kms on many different road types and weather conditions, I can see why the MX-5 has maintained a huge following through its 4 iterations.
We carefully organized our gear and cargo for the trip: Camping tent, air mattress, sleeping bags, clothing, pillows, blanket, cameras & equipment, small cooler, two knapsacks and several pairs of running shoes. It all found its way into the Miata.
As the driver, I have no complaints. The more I drove, the more I felt connected with the Miata. At 5’9” and 150 lbs. I found the ergonomics are spot-on and the controls intuitive and easy to use. This version wasn’t equipped with the optional Bose stereo system but I was pleasantly surprised with the sound quality and bass. The air conditioner is impressive and we had no problem driving top-down on a chilly Maritime day. The sturdy retractable soft-top sealed the cockpit well at night and it was put to the test on the last leg of trip during hours and hours of heavy rain.
As we approached and then descended multiple mountain ranges, the gearbox and peppy engine worked together to deliver a dynamic drive while sending healthy reverb back into the cabin. I loved the suspension setup – comfortable yet sporty. The car handled impeccably on the more technical roads. The physical dimensions of the car are great and because it fits in most spaces, living with the car is made easy.
Every time we came across other Miata’s on the road, we learned that Miata-owners are friendly and wave at each other, which gave us a great sense of pride. The car is not shy for attention. A man at a gas station in New Brunswick, a woman at a Tim Horton’s in Ontario, a group of fellow motorcyclists stopped on the Cabot Trail telling us “your ride is almost as cool as ours!” or my favourite – the young man driving a new Porsche 911, pointing at our Miata and giving it the thumbs up.
The Miata did exactly what it’s supposed to do – provide hours of driving enjoyment with perfect balance and comfortable ergonomics. Despite its low seating position, once you get into the driver’s seat, you can stay there for hours.
This has been my favourite road trip to date. As a full-time motorcycle rider I know that the day I own a car again, it will be most likely an MX-5.