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WHAT WE LIKE: The new Mazda Miata is all ate up with charisma, such that only the most dedicated cynic would be immune to its charms. We don’t drive this little car so much as slip into it like silk pajamas. It’s small in the way 1960s roadsters were small, seemingly all four corners reachable by extended arms from the well-appointed cockpit. Thus, the human-machine bond is strong when we hit the road, the car slaloming from corner to apex as if an extension of the limbs, the steering and gearbox sublime in their organically direct operation. And the speed feels real even when it’s not. More than one driver noted that this car makes legal limits fun, no small feat these days. The softtop is so easy to drop from behind the wheel that you’ll do it on a whim even for a five-minute drive, and we’re currently averaging a very thrifty 32 mpg. It’s a car for youth, meaning both the young and those who want to be young again.
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: Well, it’s small, which means a small trunk, a small gas tank, a passenger footwell crowded by a floor hump where the body is shrink-wrapped over a catalytic converter, and so on. Not everyone fits, either, the sliding seat running into the rear bulkhead just a bit too soon for some staffers. You’ll want to try one on first before buying. The connectedness that makes it such a delight on back roads is proving tiring on freeway excursions, when we just want the wind and road noise to go away. With winter tires on the car the interior thrum invited headaches. Some drivers say the suspension is too soft in twisties, allowing more body roll than they’d like. Others say the stiffer Club version that we have is not soft enough for highway work, where the poor Miata can get body-slammed by frost heaves. In the end, though, everything we would add to the Miata, from a telescoping steering column to more sound insulation, would only increase weight.
WHAT WENT WRONG: Los Angeles, that’s what. With just over 5000 miles showing on the odometer, the Miata made the trip to L.A. for a five-month, circa-9000-mile stay. There, Angeleno parkers used it as a punching bag, driving into both the front and rear of the car and doing mild body damage. Then some lowlife kicked out the circular section of the right taillight while the car was legally parked at a metered spot in Culver City, where The Wizard of Oz was filmed in 1938 and 1939. We say “kicked” because the only clue in the heinous crime was some black impact streaks on the bumper that looked suspiciously like they were from a Dr. Martens heel. Alas, it’s all conjecture until the perpetrator, described eloquently in the car’s logbook as a “f--king s--tbag,” is caught. We’re told CSI: Culver City is on the case. The replacement cluster cost $269.25 and was easily installed by our own selves, the black marks coming off with rubbing compound. The other damage wasn’t so cheap to fix—we paid the body shop $2353 to repair and refinish both bumpers and a front fender.
WHERE WE WENT: Two trips across the U.S. took the Miata to places as far flung as Mesquite, Nevada and Tucumcari, New Mexico. In between it roamed up and down the California coast, top down and open to the Pacific breezes, doing what it does best.
Months in Fleet: 11 months Current Mileage: 17,475 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 32 mpg Fuel Tank Size: 11.9 gal Fuel Range: 380 miles Service: $207 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0 Damage and Destruction: $2622
Visit our website for many more details and pictures at www.CourtenayMazda.com
We are a family-run, locally owned and operated dealership in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island specializing in new and used vehicle sales, and servicing all areas of the Comox Valley including Courtenay, Comox, Campbell River, Parksville, Nanaimo, Victoria and all of Vancouver Island. Call us toll-free at 1-877-458-2110.
Come visit Vancouver Island's Premier pre-owned vehicle location across from Costco and Crown Isle in Courtenay, BC. We have an exceptionally large and fully reconditioned inventory with a complete 155-point inspection on every vehicle! Hundreds more on-line to choose from. We also service all makes and models with 6 service bays, including Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Ford, Dodge, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Hyundai, Jeep, Pontiac, Subaru, Kia, VW, BMW, Mercedes and so many more. Tour our welcoming facility, meet our staff and join us for a coffee!
We are the one of the busiest pre-owned vehicle dealerships on Vancouver Island. Along with our fine line of New Mazda cars and Used Mazda vehicles, we market pre-owned import and domestic brands of quality Cars, Trucks, Vans, CUV’s and SUV’s - you name it and we will find it - and can help you get into the car or truck you need, no matter your current credit situation, without hassle or delay. Let us help you!
For more than 20 years, Courtenay Mazda has been a trusted and respected used car dealer in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. We are dedicated to ensuring that you go far in a used car or truck, and it starts with an exclusive inventory of quality, reliable used cars and trucks, and a financing service that can provide you with guaranteed approval, help you restore your credit, and get you the best rate possible for your needs and situation.
Courtenay Mazda – MVSA Certified #40158