Unfortunately, we had to learn the hard way.
If you've read our recent review of the updated 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata, you likely remember a lyrical tale of belting through the twisting roads of the Angeles National Forest with the sound of a redesigned 181-horsepower SkyActiv engine providing a glorious soundtrack for a glorious day. Unfortunately, our day driving the Miata wasn't quite as perfect we made it out to be. Approximately 10 turns into the Angeles Crest, well beyond the point where cell phones lose their reception, we hit a rock on the apex of a blind corner. The air in our tire immediately departed and as we learned the hard way, the Miata doesn't have a spare.
This isn't surprising, as nearly one-third of all new cars have ditched the spare tire in exchange for weight reduction and increased fuel economy. Of course, this meant we had to rely on a can of fix-a-flat and a portable air compressor. We'll give you three guesses on how that worked out. We ended up having to hobble the car to a local ranger station where we called Mazda to come to our aid. This is when we learned that the company had secretly removed even more weight from the car. Those geniuses over at Mazda never stop obsessing over the smallest details.
We were finally rescued with a brand new BBS wheel to fit our Club car, but changing the tire wasn't as simple as we had anticipated. In a bid to further reduce weight, Mazda has quietly switched from a 21-mm bolt to a 17-mm one. Our rescuers had to quickly run over to the hardware store to get a new socket, then we were on our way. It may be a minor change with a minimal effect on overall weight, but it just proves how devoted Mazda is to keep the Miata as one of the lightest sports cars on sale today.