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In many parts of the country, winter isn’t the best time to cruise around town in a convertible. However, this season is an excellent time to purchase a drop-top because the demand is lower. The Mazda MX-5 Miata convertible is a fun sports car offering lively performance and a sleek design. And two used Miata model years, in particular, provide affordable fun for under $10,000.

Used Miata models make excellent convertibles

Best used Miata: 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata Roadster
2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

A brand-new 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata starts at $29,370 for the base model and reaches $34,370 for the range-topping Grand Touring trim. 

But some used Miata models cost a third of that price and still offer the same thrills. For instance, the 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata is U.S. News’ top pick in “Best Used Convertibles under $10K for 2023.”

The 2009 Miata also makes the top five. This model year benefits from impressive engine upgrades and is a solid choice for an affordable used roadster.

The 2 best used Mazda MX-5 Miata model years under $10,000

As U.S. News’ number-one pick for the best used convertible under $10,000, the 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata has an average used price range of $9,088 to $11,190. Its original MSRP was $22,960 to $29,500.

This used Miata boasts a 9.1 out of 10 overall from U.S. News, thanks to its athletic handling, smooth-shifting manual transmission, and stellar fuel economy. Packing a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 158 hp to 167 hp, depending on the trim, it gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 21 to 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

The 2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata has an average used price range of $7,900 to $11,051 and an original MSRP of $21,750 to $29,290. Its redesigned front end, impressive fuel economy, peppy engine, and responsive steering helped land this used Miata at number five on the U.S. News list.

In addition, the 2010 and 2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata have no safety recalls with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They also have perfect five-out-of-five reliability scores from J.D. Power.

Other excellent used convertibles on a $10,000 budget

Besides the Mazda MX-5 Miata, several other used convertibles make the U.S. News list. They include the 2010 Ford Mustang, featuring a redesigned cabin, top safety scores, and an average used car price range of $8,143 to $11,604.

In addition, the 2011 Mini Cooper, 2010 Nissan 370Z, and 2009 Mustang made the top five. All have high U.S. News scores, outstanding performance, versatility, and excellent handling.

Rounding out the top 10 are the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro, 2012 Camaro, 2011 Mustang, and 2013 Fiat 500. They all have price points below $10K and earned overall scores higher than eight out of 10.

So if you’re dreaming of a leisurely road trip with the wind blowing and the radio cranked up, a 2010 or 2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata could fit the bill.