If you had to think about the perfect car for road trips, you would probably think of something comfortable and fuel-efficient, like a Lexus ES hybrid, for example. Sport car enthusiasts might think of something like a Corvette, considering you can achieve around 30 mpg and travel pretty well with it. But the last car you would probably think of is a Mazda MX-5 Miata. It’s loud, cramped, and is barely spacious enough to fit anything bigger than a lunchbox in it, but we had wonder: Could the Mazda MX-5 actually be good for road trips?
The Mazda MX-5 is actually a little more spacious than you think it is
Having driven a lot of different cars in our time, we felt that driving the 2020 Mazda MX-5 makes driving a Honda Civic to feel like Bentley. You can’t even recline the passenger enough to mimic the recline angle of an airplane seat, so even Southwest Airlines has this thing beat. But somehow, despite the lack of room, it still feels somewhat spacious.
To keep with our Honda Civic comparison, the Mazda MX-5 has nearly the same amount of headroom and legroom as the Civic Hatchback’s front seat area, however, it’s a little tighter in the shoulder and hip area. Case in point, as long as you’re not over 6-feet tall and skew more toward the lighter end of the scale, you’ll probably fit in an MX-5 just fine for longer trips. However, if you’re on the taller or bigger end, then you might want to look into getting a Civic, or something comparable.
The MX-5’s fuel economy is actually pretty good
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is able to get up to 26 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway according to the EPA. Sure, it’s not exactly the 40 mpg mark that other cars with four-cylinder engines get nowadays, but that rating is on par with the MX-5’s stablemates like the Mazda3. In our real-world testing, we were actually able to achieve 36 mpg according to the car’s onboard display, and that was with mixed driving.
Its storage space is minimal, but adequate
Considering it’s a two-seat roadster, you can’t expect there to be a lot of room in the Mazda MX-5, but we will say that it’s “adequate” at best. With only 4.48 cubic feet of storage space in the trunk area, you would think anything larger than a small purse wouldn’t fit in there, but it’s actually bigger than you think. In fact, we were able to fit a purse and a piece of carry-on luggage in the trunk with no issues and there might actually be a little more room for more stuff.
Is the Mazda MX-5 good for road trips?
Overall, the Mazda MX-5 is a comfortable and fuel-efficient roadster that has enough room to accommodate two adults and some of their stuff for a short weekend trip. However, we probably wouldn’t use it for long road trips that require you to take more than an average suitcase. But if you’re really willing to go the distance with an MX-5, then we suggest packing light and making multiple stops along the way to stretch, because you’ll definitely need it.