New Car Reviews

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata – A Flyin’ Miata Exhaust

We install a $595 active exhaust system from one of our favorite aftermarket companies for the MX-5

Long-Term 2016 Mazda Miata Update: Summer 2016 ( 1 of 5 ) Miles to date: 8,838

A little while back, we ordered Flyin’ Miata’s $595 Hush-O-Matic active exhaust for our Four Seasons 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Why? One, the MX-5’s stock exhaust is wheezy, and our favorite sports car should sound cool. Two, we love that the guys and gals of Colorado’s Flyin’ Miata created a relatively inexpensive active exhaust with a lifetime warranty for the all-new Miata. And three, we love the name Hush-O-Matic.

According to Flyin’ Miata, at idle and with light throttle, “the exhaust stream is routed through an effective muffler that keeps the sound levels low,” and under load “a butterfly opens to allow the exhaust to bypass the muffler completely.” We also ordered the optional $75 electronic controller, which “lets you flip between two modes on the fly.” It essentially locks the exhaust in either its low- or full-noise modes, nixing its active capabilities.

The Flyin’ Miata exhaust system shipped within a few days, but the electronic controller would take a bit longer to arrive, as would the hoses for the vacuum-controlled actuator that opens and closes the exhaust’s butterfly valve. We decided to go ahead with the installation, enjoy the Hush-O-Matic in its loudest mode until those parts showed up, and fit the last few bits retroactively. (I easily could’ve picked up rubber hose and brass fittings from a hardware store, but I didn’t feel like putting on a shirt.)

Installation of the beautiful aftermarket catback went off without snags. Unsurprisingly, each bolt on the 2016 Miata’s stock system was a cinch to undo, and a little lithium grease let the exhaust hangers slide from their rubber mounts. The new exhaust went in just as easily as the old one came off. We immediately loved how the Flyin’ Miata system looked and sounded; it gave the Miata a more polished look and a meaner, more enjoyable tone. Our head honcho, editor-in-chief Mike Floyd, wholeheartedly agreed: “The new exhaust definitely makes a deeper, louder announcement. It settles down quickly though, and loping around town, it’s not all that different sounding than the stock unit. But open it up, and there’s far more roar.”

2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata exhaust

Not everyone on staff agreed about the noise levels, though. “It sure is loud, and at times I feel like an absolute douche driving into a quiet neighborhood,” said executive editor Mac Morrison. “I’m still on the fence about whether I like it or not.” Features editor Rory Jurnecka said he “didn’t realize quite how obnoxious it sounded until a slammed, coffee­canned Civic passed [him] and gave [him] a thumbs-up.”

Surely they would change their minds once the hoses and electric switch were installed, but they wouldn’t get the chance. Before we were able to hook it up, Detroit bureau chief Todd Lassa absconded with the Miata to Michigan, where it will live for the rest of its Four Seasons with us. So we shipped it all to road test editor Eric Weiner, who will install the last bits in the coming weeks and write an update about how it goes. Regardless, we think the Hush-O-Matic exhaust is a novel and worthwhile upgrade, one that massively improves the driving experience of our Four Seasons 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Overview

  • Body style 2-door front-engine RWD convertible
  • Accommodation 2-passenger
  • Construction Steel unibody
  • Base price (with dest.) $29,420
  • As tested $32,820

Powertrain

  • Engine 16-valve DOHC I-4
  • Displacement 2.0 liters (106 cu in)
  • Power 155 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque 148 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm
  • Transmission 6-spd manual
  • Drive rear-wheel
  • EPA Fuel Economy 27/34/30 (city/hwy/combined)

Chassis

  • Steering Electrically assisted
  • Lock-to-lock 2.7 turns
  • Turning circle 380.8 ft
  • Suspension, Front control arms, coil spring
  • Suspension, Rear multilink, coil springs
  • Brakes F/R Vented front discs, solid rear discs
  • Wheels 17-inch aluminum
  • Tires F/R Bridgestone Potenza S001
  • Tire size F/R 205/45R 17

Measurements

  • Headroom 37.4 in
  • Legroom 43.1 in
  • Shoulder room 52.2 in
  • Wheelbase 90.9 in
  • Track F/R 58.9/59.17 in
  • L x W x H 154.1 x 68.3 x 48,8 in
  • Cargo capacity 4.6 cu ft
  • Weight 2,332 lb
  • Weight dist. F/R 52/48 %
  • Fuel capacity 11.9 gal
  • Est. fuel range 404 miles
  • Fuel grade 91 octane (premium)

Equipment

  • standard equipment

    • Sport suspension with Bilstein shocks, shock tower brace
    • Limited-slip differential
    • LED headlights with LED daytime running lights
    • Manual air conditioning/climate control
    • Black cloth bucket seats with red stitching and manual adjustment
    • 3-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel
    • Leather-wrapped shift knob and parking brake handle
    • Mesh-board windblocker
    • Touchscreen infotainment with rotary knob control
    • Remote keyless entry
    • Bose 9-speaker audio system
    • Bluetooth phone and audio, AUX port, CD player, USB connectivity
    • 17-inch aluminum wheels
    • Cruise control
    • Pushbutton start

Options

  • options for this vehicle:

    • Brembo/BBS Package ($3,400)
    • Brembo front brakes with red calipers
    • 17-inch forged aluminum BBS wheels
    • Advanced keyless entry
    • Aero kit: side sill extensions and rear bumper skirt
    • Ceramic Metallic paint: $0
    • Appearance package for Club ($0)
    • Front air dam
    • Rear lip spoiler