Taking a mere 12 seconds from open to close the powered top drops effortlessly. the “MX-5 PRHT” sets a new standard for the affordable two-seater sports car market. For 2013 this incredible little car continues is not only the world best-selling roadster, the addition of a power folding hardtop (PRHT) that disappears seamlessly into the rear deck makes this car very special.
The handsome looks are still alluring and our tester with its red paint, special blackMX-5 tape stripe, gloss black finished alloy wheels and matching black hard top attracted a fair amount of attention, proving the MX-5 is so right after all these years.
Three version of the MX-5 are on offer: a GX, GS and GT. All now feature Electronic stability control as standard on all models and a power retractable hardtop standard on GS model.
Across the line, the MX-5 uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with one of three transmissions: a five-speed manual on the GX, and a six-speed manual on the GS and GT; all can be optioned to a six-speed automatic with manual shift mode that includes paddle shifters on the GS and GT.
There are actually three tops available on the MX-5: a black vinyl roof on the GX, a black cloth roof on the GS, and the power retractable hard top, optional on the GS and standard on the GT.
Features on the GX include 16-inch alloy wheels, vinyl top with glass rear window and electric rear defogger, power mirrors, intermittent wipers, fog lights, black seatback bars, CD/MP3/WMA stereo with auxiliary input, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, power locks with keyless entry, auto-down windows, floor mats, reclining cloth seats, anti-theft alarm, and locking glove box. Air conditioning is available as an option.
The GS adds 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning with climate control, sport suspension with Bilstein shocks, stability control, traction control, limited-slip differential, cloth top, mesh grille with chrome trim, silver seatback bars, premium dash trim, driver’s seat height adjuster, exterior temperature gauge, and trip computer.
The GT adds power retractable hard top, xenon headlamps, six-CD Bose stereo, Sirius satellite radio, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, garage door opener, intelligent key with keyless start, and heated adjustable leather seats.
The MX-5 is powered by all- aluminum, 2.0-liter, four cylinder motor with 140 foot pounds of torque and 167 horsepower (158 when equipped with an automatic gearbox). The MX-5 PRHT standard features including 16″ alloy wheels and color-keyed mirrors and door handles. Anti-lock brakes with brake assist and front and side airbags are standard on all MX-5s as well
The GX comes with a black vinyl roof, while the GS and GT come with a power retractable hardtop.
The interior is snug and comfortable with well bolstered seats that allow for high-g maneuvers without sliding around. Two average-sized adults will feel good and the MX-5’s interior highlights include simple, legible gauges and well-designed ergonomic controls and remains true to its roots with the focus on being a driver’s car. The trunk allows enough luggage room for a weekend trip.
On the road, the MX-5 is still the one of the best fun ways you can have with you clothes on!
Whether it’s powering around on an open road with top down or even doodling along in rush-hour traffic, the little roadster feels as if it is going much faster than you actually are. The driving experience is so pure in the MX-5 that even novice drivers can carve corners with precision and skill. It’s a blast but does not scare the pants or skirts off you! The power-retractable hardtop takes a bit longer to transform from coupe to roadster, but the added convenience, noise isolation and security make the MX-5 an excellent daily driver. The steering is light and very responsive with excellent feedback.
The four cylinders throttle response allows for easy rev-matching on downshifts, and the torque is pretty much accessible throughout the rev range. The responsive clutch has a smooth operation with a high action and easy to figure out biting point and is a delight to use.
Downsides are minor and include the small 5.3 cubic feet of trunk space and the lacklustre stereo that is disappointing with the top down. Also some may want more power, but I would argue it would upset the balance of the car without other modifications. Some purist arguesthe weight of the power retractable hardtop is a compromise. However in my opinion it does allow for better security, all year round motoring whatever the weather and better insulation during the winter and a much quieter cabin.
Back to the road and the MX-5’s supple suspension and steering will have performance driver and those who just like to feel at with car very happy. The peppy, willing four- cylinder engine and slick short-throw manual gearbox make driving fun and exciting. The formula is delightfully simple and works. With a perfect 167 horsepower available it matches the size of Miata along with good fairly light weight distributed on a good chassis, beautifully engineered handling, a slick six-speed manual and a responsive four-cylinder engine providing adequate power…enough said. If you need affordable top down thrills, but want the comfort and convenience of a closed roof coupe- look no further than the PRHT. Auto review by Veeno Dewan.
2013 Mazda MX5 PHRT Priced from $39,995