There are very few cars that give you so much enjoyment for so little money
In a world of SUVs, crossovers and turbocharged cars, Mazda doesn't forget what the joy of driving is really all about
I often get called by my friends who want me to give them some car buying advice. They usually ask something like this: what car should I buy for my family? And my answer is, well, almost the same: how should I know?
You see, cars are many things to many people. Some want comfort, some want panache, some want adrenaline, while others are happy with just some econobox getting them from A to B in the most economical way possible.
Yet, if you have never driven a roadster, then you are missing on something important. If it's a roadster or a Targa, no matter how ugly or old, even if it's as ugly and obsolete as a Honda Del Sol, it still has something many cars today lack: a soul.
The former MX-5 (Miata) wasn't ugly and it aged exceptionally well. The current MX-5 is superb from all the angles and will also age exceptionally well, yes, even in the hybrid-electric-futuristic world that slowly comes upon us. Why? Because it constantly reminds you it's alive, it's part of your journey, it's a travel companion that breathes the same air your breathe and takes in all the scenery you fall in love with.
It may be powered by a fossil-fuel 1.5 naturally-aspirated engine that needs revving and constant downshifting to really feel it kick ass, but that's exactly why you'll love this car. You can go as high as 7,000 rpm if you really want, and you'll often rev the engine between 6,000 and 6,500 rpm just to enjoy its raspy sound. Oh, the symphony!
It's not a very fast car – at 8.3 seconds needed for a 0-100 km/h sprint – it feels almost sedated when compared with other convertibles. But it's just enough to make you happy because this MX-5 isn't about straight line performance and bragging rights, but about agility, the feeling you're one with the car, the joy to discover the road ahead.
When you have lots and lots of years of marriage, you might think everything you need is an MPV or an SUV to carry your family around. Well, as I often say to the friends who ask, the best family car is a roadster. Why? Because it's just you and your partner. No kids, no relatives, no friends, nobody else – there are days when you just have to escape from it all. Of course, this applies even more to fresh love stories too.
It's both an instrument of joy and a way to enjoy life with the one about you care the most. There's nothing better than taking an MX-5 to the sea and enjoying a sunny day while speeding on empty roads or just strolling along the seashore, with the top open.[NativeAd]
Unless you want to take it to the mountains, in its more powerful 2.0-litre version, tested by our own Dan Mihalașcu on Transalpina. Curiously enough, he also fell in love with it. And this happens to pretty any motoring journalist I know.
So, next time you think about what car is best for your family, remember the MX-5 is perhaps the most affordable way to spice up your life and enjoy it. It would also help you prioritize things you cherish in life because there's just one place beside the driver. For everything else, you can use a damn wagon.
SEE MORE: Mazda MX-5 on the Transfagarasan – achieving automotive satori