2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Summer Road Trip: Day 3 – Journey’s End

Today, it was all about carving canyons and blasting up the California coast to San Luis Obispo.


2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata in Solvang, CA [Photo: TFLcar]

Day 3: Over 10 hours driving from Malibu to San Luis Obispo, CA

While there is an embargo on driving impressions for all of the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miatas driven over the past few days, you can imagine what hundreds of miles in a small sports car might feel like. Especially one as small as the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata. It is the smallest vehicle in its class, and it’s one of the smallest cars (in overall size) you can buy in this country. Hell, it’s smaller and lighter than nearly every Miata that’s been built to date.

At the end of our California road trip, we say goodbye to the cheeky Mazda MX-5 Miata. [Photo: TFLcar]
While the Mazda MX-5 Miata never sold in large numbers, it is the best selling sports car in its class and, with over a million Miatas built, it is one of the most popular one on the road. You could go so far as to say, it’s nearly in a league of its own given the lack of two-passenger, convertible sports cars that start below $30,000.

By the way: the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF (hardtop convertible) starts at $32,345 MSRP.

You can read about Day 1 here and day 2 here.

This event gave us the change to drive the hardtop RF and the softtop. [Photo: TFL]

Trip Highlights

Mazda wanted us to choose our own route heading to San Luis Obispo. We simply had to be at the hotel by 7:00 p.m. Opting to get an early start and planning a route that would exploit the Miata’s strengths and weaknesses, we departed Malibu at 8:00 AM.

This was a day to shoot video, drive long distances at high speed and carve canyons.

We took the coastal route north until we connected to California State Route 33, heading past Ojai, towards Maricopa. This is a dry, hilly drive that (in our case) covered about 100 miles round trip. It’s a challenging road filled with a variety of twists and turns while heading into the desert. We opted for this road given its difficulty and light traffic.

Photo: TFL – Posing with the MX-5 at Pea Soup Anderson’s

Once we completed our shooting, we headed back to the coastal route and drove to Solvang and Buellton, CA. Once there, we visited Pea Soup Andersen’s for lunch. An hour later, we were back on the highway heading to the coast for more filming. When all was said and done, we finally made it to our hotel by 6:30 PM – fully convinced that we tested the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata thoroughly.

On to new adventures: Heading to Portland, Maine for the Challenger Hellcat Redeye

Early tomorrow, I fly from San Luis Obispo to Portland, Maine to meet Roman and drive the 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye (among other vehicles). Sure, I’ll miss the Miata – but… HELLCAT REDEYE!

Farewell from Pismo Beach, CA. [Photo: TFLcar]
To say I’m excited would be an understatement.

A full review of the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata will be posted on August 13th. Stay tuned for that and check out this fun video, which is a bit of a preview of things to come!