2009 Mazda MX-5 GT PRHT
2009 Mazda MX-5 GT PRHT. Click image to enlarge

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Test Drive: 2008 Mazda MX-5 GT PRHT

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Review and photos by Peter Bleakney

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2009 Mazda MX-5

Toronto, Ontario – Mazda would like us to believe its diminutive iconic two-seat roadster is called the MX-5. It’s not. It’s the Miata. Always has been; always will be.

Allow me to illustrate:
“Pete, what car are you testing this week?”
“A Mazda MX-5.”
Awkward silence. Blank stare. Chirping crickets.
“You know, a Miata.”
“Oh yeah! Cute car. Don’t they come with a big bottle of perfume?”

Legendary chick-car status notwithstanding, friend Gary Craig and I, being reasonably secure in our manhood, took a look-at-me Competition Yellow 2009 Miata… er, MX-5 GT deep into Niagara wine country in search of some new vintages.

This third generation car (launched in 2006 with the MX-5 handle) sees a number of tweaks for 2009. Externally, it gets more muscular side-sills, reshaped rear bumper and a revised visage with sharper headlights and a (thankfully) subtler version of Mazda’s leering grill.

2009 Mazda MX-5 GT PRHT
2009 Mazda MX-5 GT PRHT. Click image to enlarge

The interior is spruced up with recontoured sport seats, trim upgrades, sharper gauge graphics, a new centre console with additional storage, a padded armrest and door panels reshaped for increased leg room.

MX-5 pricing starts at $28,995 for the five-speed manual soft-top GX. Our fully loaded six-speed manual GT specimen checked in at a healthy $39,995. That price included the power retractable hardtop, which is a $2,295 option on the $33,495 six-speed GS model.

The GT gets such niceties as keyless entry, Bluetooth, heated leather seats, seven-speaker audio, Sirius satellite, 17-inch alloys, fog lights, strut tower brace, Xenon headlights and A/C with auto climate control.

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