2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring Soft Top

Like Joe, I took the Miata out in the rain. Even the gray sky and wet, pitted roads couldn't dampen the Miata's spirit. The exceptional balance and spunky, but not overwhelming, engine take away most of the fear that comes with piloting sports cars in the wet.

I was tempted to argue that perhaps $29,460 is a bit much for a little Miata, but come to think of it, what can you buy for $30,000 that's more satisfying? Heck, we fawn over the "affordable" Porsche Boxster, which starts at around $50,000. And the interior, while still true to its utilitarian ethos, looks quite posh dressed in white leather.

Addendum: The next afternoon, the clouds lifted and the temperature rose to a balmy 70 degrees. Convertible weather, in other words. Grasping for an excuse to get out of the office, I realized that I'd left some press materials in my apartment. Yes! I scooped up the Miata's keys, passing over a Bentley Mulsanne's fob without a second thought. Two minutes later, I was at a traffic light with a stupid grin on my face and some middle-aged woman in a Subaru Outback was hitting on me. A few miles later, the guy in front of me slowed abruptly for a turn, allowing me to show off with a very professional sounding five-to-three-to-two downshift before nailing the throttle. There was construction work in my apartment complex, so I had to take the long way around, engine rasping in second gear, and slither through a cul de sac before screeching into a parking space. Travel time: Fifteen glorious minutes, all traveled at the speed limit (OK, close to it). Why can't every car be as fun as a Miata?

David Zenlea, Assistant Editor

Just drove a slightly used 2011 Miata Grand Touring tonight for a test drive and LOVED it! Now have to decide between this loaded car that was so fun to drive and a much less optioned brand new 2012 Mini Roadster. A decision has to be made!OutMaturity

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