Consumer Reports Best Roadster Is Also the Cheapest

It’s common to think that something cheap isn’t going to be good, but that’s not always the case in the car world. In fact, when it comes to roadsters, the cheapest car in the segment, the Mazda Miata, is actually the best car in the segment as well. Here’s a look at why the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata is the best roadster on the market right now, despite being the cheapest one as well.

The 2022 Porsche 718 Boxster is the most expensive roadster

According to Consumer Reports, the Porsche 718 Boxster is a good car, but it’s not going to be cheap. In fact, it’s the most expensive option in the segment right now. The Boxster starts at about $63,000, but its price tag can go to $100,000 for customers who have a deep wallet. That price tag makes it tens of thousands of dollars more expensive than the other roadster options that are available. 

Customers who can afford this Porsche roadster will get a great car that can be equipped with one of four engine options. It starts with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with about 300 horsepower, but it can be upgraded to a 4.0-liter six-cylinder that gets 414 hp. That being said, the base engine is still very capable, as Consumer Reports wrote that it’ll allow the Boxster to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. 

Why the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata is the cheapest and best roadster

A Mazda MX-5 Miata roadster/sports car model seen at the Brussels Expo in Belgium
Mazda MX-5 Miata roadster | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Consumer Reports ultimately gave the Porsche Boxster a glowing review and a recommendation, but the Mazda MX-5 Miata scored better than the Boxster did. This little Mazda starts at just under $28,000, making it less than half the price of the Porsche. That being said, since the Miata is the cheaper car, its engine options are far more limited. In fact, Mazda currently only offers one engine on the Miata. 

Currently, the MX-5 Miata has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that gets 181 horsepower. That’s enough horses to push the Miata from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.7 seconds. Obviously, that’s a much slower time than what the Boxster or other sports cars can do. However, where the Miata shines is how it drives overall. As Consumer Reports wrote, it’s a very agile car that handles corners well. Its engine noises also sound “invigorating.” 

The Miata is a great little roadster for other reasons, too. Like other automakers, Mazda offers a manual transmission for the Miata, and it’s pretty easy to use. Additionally, while roadster shoppers probably don’t care about gas mileage, the Miata’s naturally aspirated four-cylinder gets 34 mpg overall, which is better than what a lot of less fun cars can get.

The 2022 BMW Z4 is the worst roadster right now


The 2020 BMW Z4 is the Only Affordable Luxury Convertible on Edmund’s List

Finally, the worst car in the roadster segment right now is the BMW Z4, according to Consumer Reports. To be fair to the Beemer, it still scored well enough to earn a recommendation from CR. However, its $50,000 starting price tag makes it significantly more expensive than the Mazda, while its performance capabilities put it below the Porsche. 

At that price tag, BMW offers two engine options for the Z4. It starts with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder that gets 255 horsepower, and customers can upgrade that into a 3.0-liter turbo six-cylinder that gets 382 hp. It takes this BMW 6.1 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph, which is a bit better than what the Mazda can do but worse than what the Porsche can do with its standard engine.