Is the 2022 Mazda Miata the Best Model Yet? Yes, and Here’s Why…

April 22nd, 2022 by

A person is shown getting into a red 2022 Mazda Miata after leaving a Mazda dealer.

It’s hard to improve on perfection, but Mazda has managed to stay ahead of the competition in the affordable sports car segment by avoiding some of the common pitfalls associated with generational improvements for popular brands. While some automakers go all-in on generational overhauls for a model to make it faster or more powerful than its nearest rivals, Mazda has taken a different approach with the Miata, focusing instead on how to make it a more enjoyable vehicle without sacrificing what makes it unique. This is one of the reasons why it’s such a popular sports car that has enthusiast car shoppers hitting up their nearest Mazda dealer to get their hands on one.

But the question remains, is the 2022 Mazda Miata the best iteration of the vehicle yet? The answer is yes, and it’s because the 2022 model features improved stability management and an upgraded infotainment suite. For the 2022 model year, Mazda has been rather reserved when it comes to adding new features, but even so, they’ve jam-packed a lot into the roadster without compromising its integrity or identity. In fact, the changes are both substantial and yet completely inconspicuous to the average person if you decide to compare the 2022 Miata to the 2021 Miata just by looking at it. That’s because the updates have more to do with how the vehicle handles and what sort of features you can take advantage of inside the cabin, rather than any flashy visual changes or exterior alterations.

Handling Has Never Been Better Thanks to KPC

The Mazda Miata has always been known as the sports car that could handle corners with masterful precision. The low center of gravity, small frame, and light steering all helped popularize it for fantastic on-track cornering. The Miata’s nimble attributes and easy maneuverability are what made it one of the most-raced production vehicles in the world. So how do you improve upon that kind of legacy? Well, with KPC…also known as Kinematic Posture Control.

This dynamic control system is designed to monitor the Miata’s behavior on the road and dynamically adjust the posture of the vehicle to prevent body roll, a common result of high-G turns. While most people won’t have to worry about experiencing body roll, for the drivers who do like to push their Miata to the limit around corners, KPC subtly applies light braking to prevent the vehicle from rolling too much from one side to the other. In essence, KPC is a stability management system for the Miata without adding any weight to the vehicle or detracting from performance.

Specifically, KPC will apply a slight braking effect to the inner rear wheel during a high-G turn. This prevents the vehicle from rolling to the other side by keeping the body planted and suppressing the body roll effect. As a result, you get the same agile handling the Miata has always been known for, with the added stability control for those who want to push their Miata to the limit. The KPC system, however, is also greatly enhanced by some modifications made to the overall performance of the Miata over the past few years.

A close up shows a person steering and shifting gears in a 2022 Mazda Miata.

How The 2019 Miata Makes The 2022 Miata Sportier

For the 2019 model year, Mazda upped the overall horsepower of the Miata by 17%. The boost to the powertrain meant more power to the wheels, better overall top speed, and more acceleration2. The SkyActiv-G 2.0-liter 4-cylinder received a few tweaks from the Mazda engineers in order to boost its overall capabilities to 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque with a higher redline of 7,500 RPM. The boost also came with weight reduction within the engine block.

The total mass of each piston was reduced by 27 grams, and the connecting rods from the pistons to the crankshaft were given a slight 41-gram reduction compared to the previous model year. With an all-new exhaust system, an improved exhaust manifold for reduced power loss, and upgraded fuel injectors for improved efficiency, the 2019 Mazda Miata was given quicker and more muscular performance out of the gate.

With the increase in power comes the increase in potential traction loss and body roll, which is precisely why the 2022 Mazda Miata was on the receiving end of the Kinematic Posture Control system. To compensate for the enhanced power output, the new stability management system was employed to provide an overall better handling vehicle without taking away from the lightweight nature and nimble performance that the Miata has become renowned for. Overall, the 2022 Mazda Miata is just a more powerful and more refined version of the long-standing model, resulting in the best-performing iteration of the vehicle to date.

Miata Club Wireless Connectivity

Sure, a better handling Miata with more power to boot is great, but sometimes it’s the little things that make for the bigger differences when it comes to the enjoyment of a vehicle. With Mazda upgrading the Miata with better infotainment connectivity, it happens to be one of those difference makers. While the Miata has had modern infotainment features for a while, the one thing that it didn’t have was standard wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay. Well, that all changes with the 2022 Miata Club trim, which now comes standard with wireless integration for the popular smartphone infotainment feature.

The Miata Club trim makes it so that you can connect your Miata to your smart device without requiring any cords. This gives you a much easier opportunity to make use of your phone’s apps and media by pairing it with the Miata. You can then easily make use of the Miata Club’s cool 9-speaker Bose surround sound system, enhancing the Apple CarPlay capabilities so you can enjoy your favorite tunes straight from your phone.

The wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay might not seem like a big deal for some people, but it shows that in addition to the Miata being a very economical roadster, it still houses a lot of the amenities that most people crave from luxury brands. It’s a nice middle ground to be able to take advantage of the infotainment capabilities without having to pay a premium price for a luxury vehicle. Now the feature is standard for the 2022 Miata Club, without requiring any additional equipment…other than your smartphone.

A person is shown leaning against a grey 2022 Mazda Miata RF.

The Best Of The Best

It’s hard to quantify just how beloved the Mazda Miata is. Claiming that one model year is the best of the best is like trying to pick your favorite child or pick out which of your favorite meals is the best. However, there’s no denying that the Miata’s incremental improvements over the years, evolving from a bare-bones sports car to a more refined and modern sports car, have made newer model years quite the prized possessions––both on the road and on the track.

While the wireless Apple CarPlay feature probably won’t be winning many awards among sports car drivers and motorsports enthusiasts, the added power and performance in combination with the KPC will likely be a welcome feature. For those who don’t mind the body roll, every prior model year Miata occupies that role. However, for drivers who felt like the body roll was a little unwieldy, the stability management from KPC is a great addition. This makes the 2022 Mazda Miata the best that the brand has had to offer and makes it a surefire bet for those who want an affordable, sporty roadster from their local Mazda dealer.

Posted in Mazda Dealer