Why Trim Levels Matter: The 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Mazda MX-6 Miata Grand Touring
The 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring.
A little over a year ago, we had our first week in the new-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata.  I was torn.  While the new MX-5 Miata was better than the previous one in every possible performance metric, I found it less comfortable to deal with in day-to-day driving.  There were a couple of possible factors. One was me...if I were 20 years younger or 20 pounds lighter, would I love it more?  And the other was the trim level.  We were in the Club the first time around...the model most suited for the track.

Rear view of 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring
2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring.
Well, 14 months have passed, I am that much older but 18 pounds lighter and the fine folks at Mazda have sent the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring.  

And all is once again right with the world.  The loss of 18 pounds has removed the issue I had with the space intrusion of the new, wider console. And the Grand Touring, while not as creamy-smooth as the MX-5 Miata-based Fiat 124 Spider Lusso we reviewed last month, strikes a perfect balance of refinement and reflexive handling.  The Grand Touring is the sweet spot.

Interior view of 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata
2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata interior.
Say yes to the Grand Touring and its base price of $30,065 and you get front and rear stabilizer bars, LED daytime running lights, automatic headlights, auto-dimming driver-side mirror, auto-dimming interior rearview mirror with Homelink, 17-inch dark silver wheels, body-color front and rear bumpers and door handles, body color heated side mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, dual silver exhaust outlets, automatic air conditioning, keyless entry, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, Bluetooth phone and audio, cruise control, steering-wheel mounted audio and speed controls, a leather steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake, an engine immobilizer anti-theft system, tire pressure monitoring, heated leather-trimmed seats, a cloth-lined convertible top, the new Mazda Connect infotainment system with color touchscreen display, navigation, two USB inputs, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive front lighting, high beam control, lane departure warning and an anti-theft alarm.

Again...that's all standard. And our tester had but one option...the Interior Package, which adds $425 for a red engine oil cap with the MX-5 logo, stainless steel door trim plates and alloy pedals and footrest.

Bottom line with $835 destination charge: $31,325.  EPA fuel economy estimate 27 city/34 highway.

A bargain.  A steal, in fact.

Let's be clear:  There is no bad MX-5 Miata.  The Club is a great choice for a weekend toy.  But if you're planning on using your MX-5 Miata as a daily driver, the Grand Touring is the one to have.