Mazda MX-5 ranked the highest sports car by owners, J.D. Power survey says

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 7, 2011

With a satisfaction rating of 82.4%, the Mazda MX-5 is the highest-ranked sports car in the 2011 J.D. Power vehicle ownership satisfaction survey that was recently published. The MX-5 outperformed the Volkswagen Scirocco, Audi TT, and Mercedes-Benz CLK and SLK. This actually isn’t the first win of the MX-5 in this survey but it scored higher than last year and it also now leads by a wider gap.

According to the official press release, the MX-5 is proof “that sports cars don’t need to be sophisticated, luxurious or expensive to be fun-to-drive.

”Peter Allibon, the sales director of Mazda Motors UK, stated that the MX-5 continues to be matchless as a sportscar that may be used for daily motoring throughout the year. He described the MX-5 soft-top to offer the “purest, fun-to-drive thrills,” while the Roadster Coupe’s folding hard top offers a “more refined experience, with that same exhilarating drive.” He said that the MX-5 is very competitive in its class because of its reliability and low running costs.

Allibon said that buyers of the regular MX-5 models or the latest ‘Kendo’ special editions will surely join the list of “owners who simply love their cars.”

In early 2011, the Mazda MX-5 lineup was boosted by the arrival of two special editions of the roadster named the MX-5 Kendo. The special edition model is intended to mark the 900,000th unit sold of the MX-5 throughout the world. This figure includes the over 100,000 units sold in the UK.

Mazda’s MX-5 facelift is able to display the next-generation design DNA of the brand while at the same time continuing to have the well-known charm roadsters are well-known for. In particular, it has a single bumper on its front fascia which not only gives it a more aggressive look as it also makes it efficient in terms of aerodynamics. It also has the brand’s very own five-point grille but this time it is bordered by the headlamps. These headlamps come in a new design and slope inward and toward the grille’s top portions. The turn indicator lamps have been placed at the outer corners of the headlamps and its inner lenses are in white to give it that high-quality appearance. Meanwhile at the lower part of the bumper are the fog lamp bezels, which are triangular in shape, and have been set deeply in the surface of the fascia and with its thick frame, resulting in a sporty and powerful appearance. The profile of this new facelift is highlighted by the new side sills and the new garnishes.

Unlike in the previous models, the ones in this version are more sculptured and extend a bit further. The result is that they form powerful character lines which underscore the wheel wells in the rear for that athletic crouch. What this all means is that while these faint changes to the design give it a sturdier appearance, it also makes the rear portion immediately identifiable as that of the MX-5. Its rear bumper has been incorporated more to the body and slope upward and inward. This allows it to be on the same level as the bottom of its rear lamps. The rear lamps are the ones that help underscore the thickness of the bumper. Similar to the fenders in the front, the ones in the rear also have a lower portion that is more sculpted and stretches downward. The rear portion also has new combination lamps which give off that flashing U-shape when the headlamps of vehicles following it light it up. This in turn gives it a feel of quality. A total of seven colors for the body will be offered for the MX-5 facelift. Five of these are available from previous models which are Brilliant Black, Copper Red Mica, Marble White, Stormy Blue Mica, and True Red. The two new colors that are offered are Metropolitan Grey Mica and Aluminium Metallic. The latter color in particular has aluminum particles that can spread light and thus, depending on the current light conditions, produce different types of shadows and reflections.

The interior of the MX-5 facelift is just as impressive with the roadster spirit displayed in the exterior being echoed in its cockpit. While it does have the form that was in the third-generation version, it revises these by making use of new materials, having new detailing, and even offering new color combinations. This in turn gives it a stronger quality feel to it. Take the dashboard for example. Its transversal decorative panel was originally in piano black but now comes in dark silver. By putting the meter graphics farther apart, it becomes easier to read. The 2.0-liter unit that is mated to a manual transmission has a higher-rev limit and this is reflected in having a wide red zone. The lower center of the cluster is where the odometer, or the trip meter, has been placed and this time, it has a red-backlit LCD. The large three control knobs for the climate in the center stack exhibit silver-look rings. In addition, the assist grip on its doors also has more silver to it which makes them complement the rings that are on the driver cluster, giving it a more coordinated and fresh appearance.

Though it has the factory-installed audio system like in the Mazda 6, the version in the facelift is not only new but a bit cleaner too. The storage box in the center console has a soft pad added to it. The new color scheme, which has the door trim and the seats in one color with the rest of the interior in black, ensure that it has a more muscular look. Since the goal was to give a sense of coherence between the driver and the car, the seats were improved. By improving the surfaces of the cushion and making the side bolsters larger, it results in optimum side support. Occupants get the feeling that the seats are hugging them comfortably.

Offered as an option are the Recaro sports seats in two-tone that come in perforated Alcantara and leather. The design of the front end gives the vehicle a powerful and dynamic appearance. However it is functional as well as it helps improve aerodynamics; in particular, it is able to support the stability especially when running at high speeds. Some of the other standout features are the fog lamps in the front whose shapes have been optimized and then extended just below it. The lower grill lip now extends further while the deflectors of the front tire have been made wider. In addition, these new side sills make its sides even wider, ensuring that the rear wheels get hit less by wind. Optimized as well are the side mirrors which help reduce wind drag. Finally, the lamps in the rear also extend outward further to make it experience less turbulence.

Topics: mazda, mazda mx-5

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