Thumbs Down: Stereo is marginal and the happy-face grille needs to go.
Buy This Car If: You’re an enthusiast, under 6’ 3”, on a budget.
I own a 2006 Mazda MX-5, so when Mazda asked if I’d like to give the 2011 MX-5 Special Edition Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT) a try, my answer was a quick “yes”. The new body style (NC, in Mazda-speak) has been around with mostly minor changes since its launch in 2006, but that’s not a bad thing. When Mazda redesigned the MX-5 five years ago, it was a back-to-the-drawing board endeavor. Power was bumped up to 167 horsepower, courtesy of a 2.0 liter MZR engine. Interior room was increased, while weight was kept to a minimum via the use of weight-saving materials (like a lighter aluminum hood and an aluminum trunk lid). Things like floor mats and interior fabrics were lightened, and rumor had it that Mazda even spent time shaving a few grams off the weight of the rearview mirror. Obsessive? Perhaps, but the results spoke for themselves.