You can have your fancy Pebble Beach millionaire cars and your McLaren 650S. The real reason I was excited for Monterey Car Week was some extended solo seat time in the 2016 Mazda Miata, one of the cars we have as part of the festivities out here. And holy crap, is it good.

I picked it up at LAX, bombed through California‚Äôs State Route 33 ‚ÄĒ which you‚Äôll read about and watch soon ‚ÄĒ drove up the 101 and through some of the state‚Äôs finest back roads in Carmel Valley in the new Miata. I found it to be an outstanding machine, one that surpasses the old NC Miata (a car I liked a lot) in every way. It feels a lot like the original but with juuuust the right amount of modern tech to make things sweet.

New cars get more powerful, more high-tech, lighter (sometimes) and more everything all the time. It’s not that often that they actually get better. That’s what Mazda pulled off here.

Things I like: Looks awesome inside and out, near-perfect electric steering, incredibly smooth engine happy to help you do ridiculous crazy things, sublime six-speed manual, some of the best handling in the entire universe, absolutely, stupidly, stonkingly brilliant to drive. It’s like a toy. I mean that in the best way.

Things I don‚Äôt like as much: ¬Į\_(„ÉĄ)_/¬Į

I’ve got some track time arranged too, so full writeup coming soon. In the meantime, what do you want to know about it?

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Photo credit Puppyknuckles


Contact the author at patrick@jalopnik.com.