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Posted at 03:57 PM ET, 09/07/2011

A fun fling of a ride

Sexy and seductive, convertibles are the envy of the block making family vehicles and even some sports cars jealous. A retractable hard top is the sand on the beach and the waves in the water, because at a moments notice there is freedom and a connection to the outside world other rides can’t match.
The 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata. (Mazda - Mazda)

So I broke from the norm and lined up babysitters to be able to enjoy the new 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata waiting outside the door. My kids couldn’t fit in this ride if they tried, and Lord knows trying never occurred to me.

The weather as we near summer’s end in the city is wonderful, so the nighttime was the right to time to take the first spin. Since I had only one week to test the car and it happened to be Friday, happy hour at the swank Barcode Restaurant and Lounge on L Street had my name all over it, not completely for the drinks because the food and atmosphere win.

The grilled calamari and mussels peaking out of their shells resting atop the seafood pizza is something you have to see and taste to believe. Keeping in mind this is the happy hour, Barcode has a great variety of obscure beers, which along with wine and rail drinks are half priced. Not another minute to lose, as the discounted appetizer prices won’t last into the night, I headed out the door and to the street.
Grilled calamari and mussels make the seafood pizza at Barcode restaurant and lounge. (Mike Tucker - Mike Tucker)

A true roadster, the MX-5 resembles a matchbox car in stature but luckily doesn’t feel as small. The outward appearance is what you know of the classic Miata updated with hints of chrome and alloy. Once inside the driver immediately becomes one with the experience as it fits like a glove, not the OJ Simpson variety but a nice comfy glove.

The interior lends extra appeal with leather seats, silver seat back trim and all the system’s amenities in a half arm’s length. The door cup holders though are a must, because the using the armrest cup holders create an obstacle when trying to shift gears.
The interior of the 2011 Mazda MX-5. (Mazda - Mazda)

Shifting was smooth and the ride, although low to the ground, was poised and comfortable. The hands free Bluetooth connection and Bose Open Air Sound System worked well with top down. I had the street’s eyes and ears, as the Michael Jackson tribute mix radiated from the dropped top, inviting any passerby to join the jam.

The MX-5 is a fun fling of a ride in a price range that makes it a guilty pleasure many can live with under the right budget. Enough incentive to enjoy the open air until that hardtop has to be a permanent fixture, do to the harsh D.C. winters that we all know and love.

Get more info about Barcode and Mazda by following them on Twitter:

Mike Tucker here; D.C. native and journalist of fine automobiles for over 10 years. I’m done saying the same ole same ole about cars; I think it’s time to switch lanes. So roll with me. Slip into the driver’s seat of the latest vehicles on the market and get an idea of things to do, places to hang and music to listen to while you cruise the D.C. area. Welcome to Whip Appeal; it’s always a cool ride.

By Mike Tucker  |  03:57 PM ET, 09/07/2011

Categories:  The Root DC Live

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