All photos by Mazda
The 2011 Mazda MX-5 Special Edition PRHT (power retractable hardtop) is a great looking car, whether you're inside the cockpit or watching her drive by. Our sparkling black mica test model was as much fun as we could handle in this pleasant, late-summer midwest weather.
Mazda rolled out this special edition with just 750 copies being produced for the 2011 model year. The exterior has an upscale sporty look that boasts 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/45R17 high performance tires, body-colored front and rear bumpers, dual power remote door mirrors, aluminum hood, dual exhaust silver outlets and body \-colored power retractable hard top. Other notable exterior features include a chrome grille, Xenon headlights, glass rear window with defogger, silver seatback bar trim, fog lights and chrome outer door handles and front headlamp bezels. The retractable hard top gives the MX-5 Special Edition a stronger and more complete look that makes it stand out from rag top models.
Mazda has been building the Miata for many years so you can imagine how well thought out the interior of the 2011 Mazda MX-5 Special Edition PRHT felt. This two-seater was loaded with tilt leather steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, power door locks and windows, rear center console storage, mesh aero board with air guide, Bluetooth hands free phone, auxiliary input jack, AM/FM/MP3 6-disc CD changer, Bose 7-speaker audio system, heated leather trimmed seats, leather shift knob and Mazda advanced keyless entry and start system. The trunk space was very impressive for such a small sports car and the retractable hardtop lowered and folded away in a matter of seconds. There is some engine noise in the cockpit but that’s to be expected in a sports car. It was just enough to add to the overall experience behind the wheel. Even with all of the options included, the dashboard and steering wheel controls were clean and certainly easy to use. When you drop the top, the fun level goes as high as any car I've driven recently.
What good is a sports car that can't perform when you hit the open roads? No worries; the 2011 Mazda MX-5 Special Edition PRHT with six-speed transmission is up to the test. Our review model came equipped with a 2.0 liter 16-valve I4 VVT engine accompanied by a six-speed manual transmission that produced 167 horsepower and 140 lb-ft torque. A true sports car with rear wheel drive is what the MX-5 boasts along with front and rear stabilizer bars, shock tower brace, aluminum power plant frame, limited slip differential and electronic power assisted rack and pinion steering. Mazda also included front ventilated disc brakes, rear solid disc brakes, rear multi-link suspension with Bilstein shocks that combine to produce a totally controlled ride and the ability to own just about any corner presented to this car. Power was just right with a smooth gearbox and just enough feel of the road for a sports car. Fuel economy was solid with 21 mpg city and 28 mpg in highway driving. When the hard top is down and the wind is flowing freely, at times you feel as though you are driving at higher speeds than anticipated, which is part of the joy of a convertible.
Mazda has a great product in the MX-5, but with the upgrades they built into the 2011 Mazda MX-5 Special Edition PRHT they should be building more than approximately 750 per year. This is a great car and at a price point of $30,925 for our test model you get a fabulous two seater with plenty of power and styling that will endure for many years to come. The 2011 Mazda MX-5 Special Edition PRHT is so much fun we sometimes found reasons to take this car out and drop the hardtop just to take a spin and enjoy what Mazda has produced. After driving the 2011 Mazda MX-5 Special Edition PRHT for just a short time you realize how much this car stands out on the road. If you get a chance to drive this car, take on some tight corners and safely step on the gas to really get the full experience of this nimble convertible.
Click the thumbnails below to see full versions of each photo.