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I've had my 2016 iSport for 3000 miles now. Stick shift (I hate being shiftless...). Soul red with black&tan interior. Driving at 5000 ft elevation in Arizona. I had a 2011 Mazda 6 with manual trans, and am quite surprised at the difference 14 hp makes!!! Of course gearing is a bit different too, but the power level is quite enjoyable. Makes me want to challenge cars at stoplights that I KNOW could beat me. But 0-30 is pretty fast in the Mazda.

The six speed stick is almost as good as the ones in three Miatas I've owned over the years. A true joy to shift!

I did notice that the car seemed starved for air at about 3500 rpm and up. So I enlarged the air intake opening. It made a BIG difference. Then I upgraded to a JBR intake. Since the filter isn't isolated from the engine heat, I built from sheet metal an air dam surrounding two sides of the filter, and cut an opening in the plastic in front of the wheel well to get true cold air. See attachment showing the air dam.

Incidentally, after installing the JBR filter my check engine light came on. I disconnected the battery and after that the light was off for a day or so but then came back on again. My scanner gave a "running lean" code. So I just kept driving and eventually the light went out and has stayed off. I guess the car took some time to learn that it was sucking air at a faster rate.

I've always been a power nut and if this engine had come with a turbo option I'd have gotten it in a heartbeat! And aftermarket blowers for this engine just don't seem to be available. So...I'm opting for an OrangeVirus tune. Just started the process so not sure how much added difference it'll make. We will see.

I had some custom 18" wheels on the 2011 and kept them for the 2016. They were black and chrome, but I bought paint from and painted the inserts to match the new car. See attachment.

Meanwhile I'm really enjoying this car! Quiet at highway speeds and for me the seats are quite comfy. Friends go "wow" when they see it, which of course makes me feel good.

Overall I'd give it an A-. And only because I'd like more power.


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