2009 Mazda MX5 GT Review
CNET reviews the 2009 Mazda MX5 GT and finds out how much fun it really is.
2009 Mazda MX5 GT Review
The Mazda MX5, a classic in its own time. Not many cars can bear that mantel elegantly.
Let's see why what's not in this car is such a key part of what it is and check the tech.
I recall the first Miata I sat in. It was a first-year production car. A friend of mine got one
and the first impression I had was, “Boy, this thing is small inside.” I didn't really fit. I
kind of do now but it's still a very compact cabin especially floor to aft. This windshield
header kind of comes back quite a bit. There's not a whole lot of room before you hit the
rear bulk-head but it's functionally snug not painfully so. And I like how Mazda's kept the
interior basically clean and classic. The history of cluster in particular is spot on. Look at
that, you've got 5 classically type-faced analog gauges. That's what a car like this wants.
That's the high end head unit and it's not that dramatic, is it?
It's a Bose audio rig. You've got 6 disks in-dash right here partly because there's no room
being taken up by a navigation system with an LCD screen so hence you get a little more
diskage a little less nonage. And as you can see we have satellite radio, Sirius available,
FM/AM, no HD radio and that's your entire universe.
Now note this, the website at Mazda suggests that you will have both Bluetooth hands-
free and A2DP stereo streaming, not the case, so don't be misled by that. It's just
Bluetooth hands-free. And because we're Bose branded we've got a number of choices
here in terms of our sound. Notice you have audio pilot technology. That's the built-in
noise canceling which is kind of nice and kind of impressive to use in a convertible like
Now our car properly enough has a 6-speed manual gearbox and that also is a GT thing.
You can't get a 6 on the lesser trimmed Miatas. You get a 5 speed there, so think about
that. The other option here is a 6-speed automatic also available on the GT and that
would have paddles here on the wheel. Don't buy it. It's a Miata. You want the manual.
Now Mazda's also done something very purest in the engine bay. They've resisted giving
a Miata a hot engine option. This is the motor 2-liter dual overhead cam inline 4 doing a
167 horsepower on a rather unimpressive, 140 foot pounds of torque. It gets the car to
about zero to 60 in about 7-1/2 seconds on a good day. Not blistering numbers but this
car is a pure message. MPG is 21/28, very good. And by the way part of the reason the
handling on this car is so good and almost intuitive is that the engine if you look, is
almost entirely behind the front axle line. It's kind of a front mid engine car.
You want to quickly forget what cabin tech the Miata doesn't offer, turn the key and pull
away. This remains one of the handfuls of great driving experiences you can reasonably
attain. That little motor doesn't look like much on paper but it pulls cleanly even though
it's pretty low on torque. But some engines just like to run. They have that X factor. This
is one of them. Just don't get caught in a woefully over-tall gear and you'll do fine. The
feel of the clutch in the manual 6-speed gearbox are a delight. Almost every other car
maker could learn what to do in that respect from this car.
Our vehicle had the sport suspension option which firms things up all around, adds
Bilstein shocks and a limited slip dif. It definitely adds sharpness but does give this short
little car kind of a busy ride. The Miata's also available with a power retractable hard-top
these days but I'd skip it. This car is all about simple. If there's something I really dislike
about the car it's that goofy looking mouth up front. It looks okay in photos but in person
these things like a casting reject from the movie Cars or a Chevron TV commercial.
Let's price an MX5 Miata for 2009, this GT version starts about $27,000.00 with
delivery. It does include the Bose audio system but you're going to want the Premium
Package. For $1650.00 you get the keyless entry system, the Bluetooth hands-free though
not streaming. You also get an alarm system, high intensity discharge headlights, some
niceties like that. Again, no nav system available, no iPod adapter. This car is all about
purity, $500.00 will get you a sport suspension that I think might be a pretty good choice
depending on your leanings with this car. And the last one to consider is the automatic
but please don't, but if you do its $1100.00.
2009 Mazda MX5 GT Review
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