What you should know

The Mercury News Weekend - - DRIVE -

Type: Two-door, rear-wheel-drive sports car. En­gine (h.p.): 2.0-liter DOHC I-4 (181). Trans­mis­sions: Six-speed man­ual; six-speed au­to­matic (opt.) Mar­ket po­si­tion: The MX-5 and the Fiat 124 Spi­der (Mazda and Fiat co-pro­duce the cars) are the least ex­pen­sive road­sters on the mar­ket. They cater to buy­ers who tend to treat them as hobby cars, rather than daily driv­ers.

Points: Good look­ing with the top up or down Up­graded pow­er­plant is no­tice­ably friskier than be­fore MX-5 and a man­ual trans­mis­sion make a per­fect part­ner­ship Sharp in­te­rior styling, but could use more stowage space (glove­box) Watch­ing the RF top stow away is a mes­mer­iz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence You don’t need many bells and whis­tles added to this car.

Ac­tive safety: Blind-spot warn­ing with rear cross-traf­fic alert (std.); lanede­par­ture warn­ing (opt.); emer­gency brak­ing (n.a.). MPG (city/hwy): 26/34 (MT). Base price (incl. des­ti­na­tion): $25,800.

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