MX-5 (GT) - Tires: 205/45R17; Wheelbase: 90.9 inches; Length: 154.1 inches; Weight: 2,388 pounds; Fuel capacity: 11.9 gallons; City: 26 mpg; Highway: 35 mpg; Website:

It is a dream ride for top-down motoring buffs. The rear-wheel drive Mazda MX5 Miata, which celebrates its 30-year anniversary, continues to reign over the competition. More so now than ever before, thanks to extra power and torque in the 2019 model as well as a standard tilt/telescoping steering column and rear view camera, among other new safety features.

Under the hood of our Grand Touring RF (retractable fastback) trim resides a 2.0-liter DOHC inline-four cylinder engine making 181 horsepower (up 26 hp) at 7500 rpm and 151 pounds-feet of torque (increase of 3) at 4000 rpm. It is mated to a six-speed auto gearbox, though a six-speed manual also is offered. Suspension is adeptly handled via a double wishbone front and multi-link rear system. Guiding the lively convertible, whose hardtop opens and closes in 13 seconds via a power switch, is a double-pinion power-assist steering.

Penetrating inward LED headlights surround the familiar Mazda insignia as eyes gaze up to a long hood with a pushed-back windshield and short roof. The interior is elegant, lavish and expensive-looking. Take the leather on the steering column, shifter, hand brake and, of course, the comfortable seats.

Other amenities include push button ignition, seven-inch navigation, phone and audio touch screen, paddle shifters, heated front seats, Bose audio with nine speakers, auto a/c, piano black seat back bar trim, mesh aero board and power door locks and windows. The only minus would be a minuscule trunk, which is understandable.

With the extra power and torque, the MX-5 transforms into an even more exhilarating and entertaining car to drive. Open-air motoring fans will be in awe of its snappy acceleration, impressive handling and admirable fuel economy. And at just $34,410, it is a steal. May the world’s best-selling roadster bring smiles and pleasure for another 30 years!

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