Victory Lap: 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring PRHT

Front 3/4 view of 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring PRHT
The 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring PRHT.
I've said it many times in 17 years of reviewing cars...the Mazda MX-5 Miata makes me smile.  And in this, the final year of production for this generation of Miata, nothing has changed, including its spot atop the TireKicker's Best Cars list.

Find me, if you can, a two-seater weekend toy that is also so thoroughly livable as a daily driver...especially in PRHT (Power Retractable Hard Top) form.

Rear 3/4 view of 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata
2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata.
The basics are the same as always...a light, lithe 2-seat roadster.  Sufficiently but not overly powerful (167 horsepower from a 2.0-liter, 16-valve four with a six-speed manual transmission), built for handling more than speed, but always seeming to strike the exact perfect balance of both.

Pop for the PRHT and the base price is $29,450, brinigng with it 17-inch alloy wheels, leather trim,  a Bose audio system, and automatic climate control.

Interior view of 2015 Mazda MX-5
2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata interior.
The cockpit, as always, is businesslike and sticks to the basics.  Our tester added the Suspension Package ($850), which makes the car even more capable with sport-tuned suspension, Bilstein shocks and a limited-slip differential...the Premium Package ($1,300), which brings an anti-theft alarm, Xenon headlights, advanced keyless entry, Sirius Satellite Radio, and Bluetooth...and the Appearance Package ($650) , which adds a front air dam and rear underskirt.  With $795 delivery, processing and handling fee, the bottom line is $32,935.

In a week of varying weather (warm sunny days and cold, rainy ones) in Northern California, the Miata was never uncomfortable nor out of its element.  And a three hour top-down Saturday drive through the hills and neighborhoods of San Francisco was an absolute joy.  I can't think of a car I'd rather have driven.

The 2016 Miata will be an all-new car.  The styling looks promising, and some upgrades are definitely needed (I can live without navigation, which you can't get in the current generation, but I find myself relying on it more and more....and the lack of a USB jack or two is an inconvenience that I'd think twice about committing myself to in the long term), but the current Miata's charms far outweigh its drawbacks.