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Eric's Autos: 2022 Mazda Miata

Eric Peters on

Every Miata trim comes standard with the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine -- a size of engine that's become very common in other cars of all types. The Miata's engine is nothing like any of them, though, because it does not make its full 181-horsepower until it is revved to 7,000 RPM, encouraging the person driving the Miata to do just that.

The manual-equipped version can get to 60 in 5.6 seconds; with the optional automatic, it takes about six.

With either transmission, you'll be driving a car that uses only a bit more gas than many current-year economy cars: 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway for the manual-equipped version, and 26 mpg city/ 35 mpg highway with the automatic.

On The Road

Where to start? How about not wanting it to end?

Driving the Miata is what driving was once all about -- when the trip was as important as the destination, and you went to some lengths to prolong the former.

 

This car connects you to the drive as you both become part of it. With the top down -- just unlatch and throw it back -- you are in every moment as each passes into the next.

The sounds of the engine mingle with the sounds of the road, even to the extent of hearing the gravel bits as they pass underneath the tires to be spat out behind as the detritus of your passing. Your eyes take in just as much as the view surrounds you. Cruising along in fifth gear, your left elbow rests on the top of the door, feeding the light but precise power steering the necessary minute course corrections. The next moment, you're heel-and-toeing it through the esses, both hands (and feet) fully occupied.

It is both Nirvana and Revelation.

At The Curb

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