You don’t hear too many complaints about the Mazda MX-5, aka Miata in North America, especially since the car is considered an ambassador of driving fun to enthusiasts everywhere.
Mazda however lapsed in the early 2000s by trying to dupe the American public into a overrated car. Miata, overrated? We’re not being sacrilegious here, but yes there was once an overrated MX-5.
See, after an update to the second-generation NB roadster Mazda launched a 2001 model in the US advertised with a 10 per cent power increase, and anyone who’s ever driven the, shall we say, modestly powered MX-5 knows how much a 10 per cent power increase means. That’s the stuff of Miata-heads’ naughtiest dreams.
Anyway, it quickly turned out that the quoted 155 horsepower was more like 142 horsepower, or just a couple of bhp more than the previous year’s model. This was discovered by those cunning auto scribes at US title Car and Driver that tested a car’s acceleration and found it to be actually slower than before.
Mazda admitted it had overrated the 2001 model and scrambled to save face by offering buy-backs and all kinds of special rebates to keep its loyal band of enthusiast drivers satisfied, but either way the main issue at hand wasn’t fixed — as ever, the 2001 US-spec Miata was characteristically slow. Just as well, could you imagine a fast Miata? Sure, sure, go back to sleep…