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Mazda has sold well over a million copies of the MX-5 Miata worldwide since its inception in 1990. That’s impressive, considering sales for a  two-seat roadster should pale compared to the almighty SUVs that have gained popularity during the same period. But they didn’t, and there’s a reason why.

Slip behind the wheel of a Mazda Miata, and you’ll be surprised at how much fun you can have with a lightweight, low-power, rear-drive car. The same can be said for the latest generation, which started in 2016. However, the new MX-5 sells for over $30,000. But if you find a 2017 model, you may just have yourself a sports car dream bargain.

A red 2017 Mazda MX-5 driving on a road.
2017 Mazda MX-5 | Mazda

What makes the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata so great?

The current generation of the Mazda MX-5 Miata, known as the “ND,” is by far the most visually and mechanically appealing version of the car to date. The ND Miata has a chiseled look that gives the car a more aggressive appeal than past generations. The ND generation started in 2016, but we recommend checking out the 2017 model due to the addition of the MX-5 RF, which featured a retractable hardtop. The “RF” stands for retractable fastback.

Additionally, Mazda seemed to work out the kinks that usually crop up with any new model generation. For example, Car Complaints, a site where owners list issues with their cars, shows 10 complaints for the 2016 MX-5. However, that number dropped significantly to two for the 2017 model year.

Fortunately, most of the complaints in the 2016 model year were for cosmetic issues like peeling paint and easily-worn interior leather. Also, the two complaints in 2017 regarded a clutch issue and a windshield chipping. Both of these seem to be isolated issues as opposed to very common ones.

Consumer Reports gave the 2017 Miata an excellent predicted reliability rating, and J.D. Power scored it a three out of five. There are also plenty of owner reviews on singing the ND Miata’s praise after years of use.

Is the 2017 Miata a good car to drive every day?

The Mazda MX-5 RF rear buttresses
Mazda MX-5 RF | Mazda

The 2017 Mazda Miata is a great car to drive daily if you don’t need much space. Obviously, there’s only room for one other passenger – hopefully shorter than six feet, five inches – and there’s a little room in the trunk. We were able to fit a carry-on suitcase, and not much more, in the 2021 test car we had. You can’t really expect much from only 4.5 cubic feet of space.

Regarding daily driving comfort, the MX-5 RF could be key, given the extra insulation from the hardtop. During our time spent with this generation of the MX-5, we found that the RF model provided decent sound-deadening capabilities with the top down, thanks to buttressed architecture.

In-cabin noise aside, the 2017 MX-5 provides plenty of fun for everyday driving. Its 155-hp, four-cylinder engine may sound anemic on paper, but its rev-happy nature provides excitement without getting you into trouble. The MX-5 also handles really well, which makes it fun to pitch into sweeping on ramps or tight corners on your favorite canyon road. The best part is that the suspension soaks up road imperfections well, despite the car’s sporty handling characteristics.

How much does a 2017 Mazda Miata cost?

2017 Mazda MX-5 interior
2017 Mazda MX-5 | Mazda

According to a recent nationwide search on CarGurus, the average price for a 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata is around $22,175. We found MX-5 RF Grand Touring models (the top trim level) selling for around $23,000, which is far lower than its original $32,730 MSRP. That said, considering the level of driving enjoyment, reliability, and value the 2017 MX-5 brings, it’s quite the sports car bargain.


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