BEST PRODUCTS OF 2016: AUTOMOTIVE

best products of automotive mazda mx miata v

WINNER
MAZDA MX-5 MIATA

As products go, cars fall into the unique position between utility and entertainment, so picking the best one overall that we drove in 2016 is quite the task. A car can be useless but fun, or practical yet boring, and both could still be considered “good.” With that in mind, we took a step back to see what cars this year satisfied the basic essence of driving — and the Mazda MX-5 was tough to beat.

Mazda’s plucky roadster evokes extreme emotion on both ends of the spectrum – some love it, some loathe it. But the ones who sing its praises are more often or not the ones who actually spent some time behind the wheel.

With three pedals, a handbrake, a naturally-aspirated engine, and a rear-wheel drive setup, the Miata conforms to a purist’s configuration. The 2.0-liter four-pot under the hood gins up 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. For a roadster that weighs roughly 2,300 pounds, that’s plenty of pep to have fun with yet remain manageable; no monstrous horsepower to fear, but no less enjoyable.

Complementing the power punch is its phenomenal steering, braking, and suspension tuning. While enthusiasts might bemoan Mazda’s decision to ditch the hydraulic steering rack for an electrically assisted unit, this is easily one of the best systems available. Not only is turn-in lightning quick, but weight also builds as the g-forces do mid-corner, leading to a natural, balanced feel.

Analog as it may seem, the Mazda MX-5 still meets modern digital needs. Mazda’s Connect infotainment system is one of the best in the industry, with excellent feedback from the selection dial, quick responses from the system, intelligent button redundancies, and clear navigation readout.

Driving purity under $30K and it won’t tear your head off? Sounds like a worthy ride for enthusiasts across the board.

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/best-products-of-2016-automotive/#ixzz4TyG8i53E
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