2022 Mazda MX-5 GS-P

The simplicity adds charm to this mighty Mazda and makes the MX-5 still relevant.
The simplicity adds charm to this mighty Mazda and makes the MX-5 still relevant.

by Rushabh Shah | September 28, 2022


I’m not going to bore you with the age old “Miata is always the answer”. For me the Mazda MX-5 represents something else. It strikes an interesting balance, it has just enough old car feel to be charming and just enough amenities to be relevant in the modern times. As someone who owns a classic car that’s loud, is a bit of a pain to drive and has no A/C, the Miata poses an interesting proposition. Can you get the driving direct driving feel of yesteryear without having to sacrifice comfort? We decided to take this 2022 Mazda MX-5 GS-P on a little weekend road trip to find out.

On the outside, unlike most other Mazdas, the MX-5 hasn’t changed much since the early days in principle. Somehow, even with freshly restyled competitors such as the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86, the Miata doesn’t look dated. Our tester is the soft top version and a hardtop “RF” version can be had as well. Unfortunately, the interior seems to be showing its age a little worse than the exterior.  

The interior is a tight space for anyone over six feet and there is virtually no storage space aside from the hysterically small door pockets and the centre console compartment. The trunk is also on the smaller size, however considering the overall footprint, the MX-5 gets a pass. Overall material quality is just fine but realistically for the price, we expect much better. There are a lot of hard materials here and on our road trip, we found the MX-5 wore us out with excessive road noise and lack of space.

Infotainment is handled by a rather dated looking center screen and Mazda’s ever-frustrating rotary knob interface. One plus for the MX-5’s everyday practicality is the standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality. Other niceties include LED headlights and for the GS-P model we had a Bose premium sound system. It’s not the best system we’ve heard, but having the ability to effortlessly put the top down with one hand and blast your favourite tunes on a warm summer evening really adds to the fun factor of the MX-5.

Speaking of fun, if you’re shopping for a MX-5 the first thing people will love to tell you is that they are underpowered and slow. The thing is, I think I can only agree with half of that statement. The MX-5 is slow, but for those that think this car is underpowered, I think they are missing the point. The 2.0-liter four-banger under the hood is good for 181 horsepower and a decent 151 lb-ft. of torque. It’s responsive and has good power right through the rev range; the only real gripe is the sound, which is rather agricultural.

There is still plenty of power and more importantly, urgency in the power delivery makes the MX-5 a treat to drive hard. Also, when you compare the MX-5’s ownership experience to a classic car, the 2.0-liter four will be a reliable powerplant for years to come, and you’ll probably never have to think twice about taking it out for a spirited drive or longer trip for fear of breaking it.

In addition, the six-speed manual transmission brings another level of enjoyment to the driving experience; shifts are precise and have a very direct and satisfying clunk. On the topic of direct and satisfying, the fourth-gen or MX-5 delivers on the handling front. The chassis provides a good amount of body roll which is nice as it helps communicate the road to the driver and the steering feel, albeit a bit more numb than previous versions of the Miata, is still much more direct than other offerings. A limited-slip differential is offered on the GS-P and GT trims with the manual transmission.

One of the only pieces of driving tech on board are the blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning systems in our GS-P tester. And this kind of fits the overall feel of the MX-5 just fine, modern enough to not feel like a relic, but not too much to get in the way of what really matters to most people looking for something like the MX-5 – driving.

Fuel economy is rated at 9.0L/100km in the city and 7.0L/100km on the highway for MX-5 models equipped with the manual transmission, and slightly better in the city for automatic transmission versions. We managed closer to the 7.0L/100km figure with lots of highway driving mixed in with some backroad fun. Overall, there’s very good value in the smiles per liter department, even considering that the MX-5 needs premium fuel.

Speaking of value, the soft top MX-5 is the best bet. The base GS model starts at just $33,750, and our GS-P tester gets features like the Bose sound system, heated seats and mirrors, and if you opt for the manual, Bilstein shocks and a limited-slip diff. A package that we’d probably consider is the $4,500 Sport Package which adds Brembos, forged BBS wheels, and Recaros. For the price this seems like a no brainer. The 2022 Subaru BRZ is seemingly better value with its base price of just $29,465 and Sport-tech models being available for just $32,495.

So, back to the question – does the 2022 Mazda MX-5 GS-P serve as a viable replacement for someone that has an older classic and is looking for something a little bit more modern and reliable without having to give up on the driving experience? I think the answer is yes. Granted, I think the MX-5 is a slightly too expensive when compared to its competition, however those options don’t give the same experience that the MX-5 delivers. The simplicity adds charm to this mighty Mazda and makes the MX-5 still relevant and a good buy for those that enjoy driving above all else.  

See Also:

2021 Mazda MX-5 RF GT

2022 Toyota GR86 Premium

2022 Toyota Supra 3.0 Premium

Vehicle Specs
Two-Seat Convertible
Engine Size
2.0L inline-four
Horsepower (at RPM)
181 at 7,000
Torque (lb-ft.)
151 at 4,000
Fuel Efficiency (L/100km, City/Highway/Combined)
Observed Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)
Cargo Capacity (in L)
Base Price (CAD)
As-Tested Price (CAD)
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About Rushabh Shah

Staff Writer

Rushabh is an avid car enthusiast since the day he was born. He’s an experienced detailer and largely does his own vehicle maintenance. On the side, Rushabh can often be found tinkering on his classic Porsche 911SC.

Current Toys: ’97 F355 Spider 6MT, '79 911SC Targa, ’00 M5, '13 M5