2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Summer Road Trip: Day 2 – What’s Changed?

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Road trip - Day 2
[Photo: TFLcar]

Over 150 miles in a 2019 Mazda MX-5 RF Miata up the coast

Sad to say, there is an embargo on driving impressions for all of the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miatas. That includes the folding hardtop RF model I just drove. Fortunately, I can give you all other details about the new MX-5, including where we took it on Day 2. The driving impressions embargo lifts on August 13th at 12:01 PT, so check back to TFLcar.com for further updates.

You can read about Day 1 here.

Highlights: The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata had extensive upgrades to the engine. Lighter components, easier breathing and other component upgrades give the MX-5 a 181 horsepower 2.0-liter engine (@ 7,000 rpm) that now makes 151 lbs-feet of torque (@4,000 rpm). That is an increase over the old 2.0-liter engine that made 155 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque.

It’s lighter, weighing in at 2,453 lbs with the six-speed manual transmission (which has a new dual-mass flywheel) and 2,499 lbs with the automatic transmission. These new weights make the new vehicle one of the lightest in its nearly 30-year history.

Other notable highlights include a fully-adjustable tilt and telescoping steering column, along with a standard backup camera, available Smart City Braking and traffic sign recognition. Mazda has new packages, including the GT-S package with a limited-slip rear differential, Bilstein dampers, shock tower brace and a black painted roof, if you opt for the six-speed manual transmission.

My driving partner is Alex from Alex on Autos. Here he is, hard at work.

Day 2: San Diego to Malibu

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Summer Road Trip began amid early morning downtown San Diego traffic and humid, smoggy air (thanks to the local brush fires). Part of the trip was with the RF’s hardtop fully closed and air conditioner on recirculate. Further up the highway, near the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, which is about a half-an-hour north of San Diego, we took a brief pause and changed our plan.

We wanted to see the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.

It took an hour, but we braved the traffic and made it to a scenic outcropping parking area near the big ship. Shortly thereafter, we wanted to see a much talked about golf club in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. After the brief visit, we continued north to our main destination.

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata road trip

After a brief lunch at a Japanese beef-bowl chain, we arrived in Sherman Oaks, California at the National Kidney Foundation and met Julie Himot. While she raises funds for this exceptional organization, we were onsite to deliver some Mazda swag to her husband, Andrew Himot. He’s a huge Mazda fan and raises awareness for St. Baldrick’s Foundation Childhood Cancer Research Charity where his nephew has sought treatment.

Happily, the boy is in remission.

Finally, we finished our drive heading from Sherman Oaks to Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, CA. During this leg of the drive, we jumped on to Mulholland Drive and took a more surreptitious route to Malibu. It was a great way to end this part of our Day 2 drive; combining highway, freeway, city and curvy back-road routes.

Next leg – Malibu to Pismo Beach 

… I can’t wait!

By the way, we were able to test the efficiency of the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata on this road trip. Still, it was nothing like our unusual mpg comparison between two Volkswagens!