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It’s hard to find good, cheap cars these days, especially when it comes to sports cars. We live in a world where a 30-year-old Honda Accord sells for $8,500, and a 2000 Acura Integra GS-R fetches Ferrari money. Even 10-15-year-old used hatchbacks, which once sold for under $5,000, are moving into the $8,000 range. Fortunately, there’s hope if you’re a sports car fan. U.S. News & World Report recently published a list of the best used sports cars under $15,000 and it features several intriguing options, including the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Nissan 370Z, Dodge Challenger, and Scion FR-S. But at the top of the list, once again proving that the answer is always Miata… is the 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata.            

What makes the 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata the best used sports car under $15,000

There are plenty of reasons the 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata landed the top spot on U.S. News’ list of the best used sports cars under $15,000. 

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is endlessly entertaining. It offers plenty of usable performance, but the real joy is in the driving experience. The lightweight platform provides excellent handling dynamics. Coupled with quick-ratio steering and a short-throw gearbox, every drive is rewarding. 

Ultimately, it’s a sports car distilled to its pure essence. Yet it offers enough features, comfort, and rock-solid reliability to be an everyday car. While other cars like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Nissan 370Z, and Dodge Challenger are bigger and offer better 0-60 mph times, they can’t match the Miata’s puppy-like fun.      

All in all, U.S. News reports, “The Miata is the ideal for affordable performance driving.”

2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata pricing, specs, & features

A blue 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata sports car being driven fast
2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Now, let’s get into what this used Miata offers. It’s important to note that the 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata featured in U.S. News’ list occupies the middle ground between the now-classic Miatas and the current ND version. In fact, it offers the classic roadster experience with modern features like leather upholstery, heated seats, and a Bose premium stereo, making the car more liveable on a daily basis.  

According to U.S. News, the average price paid for the 2010 MX-5 Miata is $12,155, and for that money, you get the following specs:


  • Wheelbase: 91.7 in
  • Length: 157.3 in
  • Width: 67.7 in
  • Height: 49.4 in
  • Weight: 2,619 lbs

Engine/Drivetrain Specs: 

  • Engine: 2.0-liter inline-4
  • Horsepower: 167 hp
  • Torque: 140 lb-ft
  • Transmission: 5 or 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic

Performance Specs: 

  • 60 mph: 6.4 sec
  • 1/4-Mile: 14.9 sec
  • Fuel Economy: 22 – 28 mpg

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is always the answer

There’s no denying that the 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata has a lot to offer. After all, it did land the top spot on U.S. News’ list of the best used sports cars under $15,000. Though, that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. The Miata is a simple yet dynamic car that prioritizes driver engagement over outright speed. What’s not to like about that?


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