I drove a 2019 ND2 MX-5 Miata while I got my wife’s Mazda3 an oil change and state inspection today. It was the Club with the Brembo package and the Recaro seats. I found a couple of good corners and it ate them up as I would expect.

The engine is quite nice, although not quite as powerful as the testing numbers led me to expect. Certainly powerful enough to replace my GTI but I’m no longer used to linear power and expect a push now. Not having driven an ND1 it might be slightly better for me as I understand that one of the changes for the ND2 is slightly less torque lower in the rev range.

I seemed to fit well, and I’m glad there is a tilt and telescope wheel now. Clutch was great, slightly smoother than the comfortable BRZ I recently drove. However, I feel the slightest of soreness in my left knee (which has some inflammation problems at times), so that is something to be aware of. I’m sure that no other clutch would be easier, just need to build up that muscle again, maybe.

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The ride was fairly stiff, but seemed compliant enough while I was driving. It might get tiresome on long drive. Brakes were good but didn’t seem to grab like my performance pack GTI. Steering feel was terrific. 

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Seemed like my short torso (5'-11" but with 33 inch inseam) left me with room for a helmet under the roof. There was a lot of wind noise with the top up. It was cool to drive with the top down, a little closer to being on 2 wheels, but I wonder if I’d want a hardtop to add. Probably not, given the weight penalty.

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The trunk is tiny, and I’d have to revise how I bring stuff to autocross, but most days it would be no problem. There is a slick set up to put cupholders between the seats at the back of the center console which seems to work well.

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Based on the autocrossers, I expect that I’d look for a Club model without the Brembo or Recaro package. I’d need to see how the standard seats felt first. Better fit and finish and tech than a C5Z, of course, but if I were deciding today on a sports car it might be difficult with quite different pros and cons.

I’m glad that I’ve got a practical, fun car already, even if it is front wheel drive.