The Mazda MX-5 Miata is one of the best sporty convertibles you can buy. The MX-5 Miata is also one of your most affordable options, with the top trim maxing out at well below $50,000. According to MotorTrend, it’s better than other popular cars like the Chevy Camaro and Fiat 124 Spider.
Some popular models were too expensive to receive a ranking, like the Jaguar F-Type and BMW Z4. However, despite their high price tags, these cars don’t excel in a few key areas. Both of these were cited as having unrefined powertrains, which you definitely won’t experience with a Mazda MX-5 Miata.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a thrill to drive
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder capable of 181 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a six-speed manual transmission, but an automatic version is also available. It’s also highly efficient by sports car standards, netting around 29-30 mpg combined city/highway.
The four-cylinder’s stats may look weak on paper, but many will be surprised by the Miata’s peppiness. The steering is light and responsive, so drivers should have no problems conquering hairpin turns. The base suspension is a little too cushy to absorb hard bumps, but the Club trim offers better shocks. This will stiffen up the ride, but driving in the Mazda MX-5 Miata is still far from uncomfortable.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is also a great value because of all the standard features it includes. Drivers of the base model get Bluetooth, HD radio, a single USB port, and keyless entry. The intuitive touchscreen features crisp graphics, and you can also use the large control knob to manually select its functions.
Smartphone integration is only available outside the base trim, but it does come with an old-school CD player. It also comes with many safety features that weren’t standard until the 2020 model year. These driver aids include forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitors.
Functional roof options
The standard Mazda MX-5 Miata has a manual-folding soft top, which critics report is delightfully easy to use. All you have to do is release the overhead latch to open it. Once you’ve had enough fresh air, it can be neatly stored from the driver’s seat.
The Miata RF comes with a power-foldable hardtop. However, closing this roof actually takes considerably longer than the standard option. When either roof is down, shaking around the windshield is at a pleasant minimum.
The Miata’s cabin is small and minimalist, but that doesn’t mean it’s not upscale. A few hard plastics are present, but there are also plenty of soft surfaces and unique design elements. The standard cloth seats are comfy and supportive, but more luxurious options like leather seats are available as well.
One of the reasons why the Mazda MX-5 Miata is so light on its feet is its tiny cargo hold. Drivers only get five cubic feet of space in the trunk. Still, if your party packs light enough, you may still be able to use this Miata as your weekend getaway car.
Why the Mazda MX-5 Miata is better than the rest
The MX-5 Miata is much more efficient than the Ford Mustang, which took second place on MotorTrend’s list. The Chevy Camaro also has pitiful fuel economy numbers and an inflated price tag for higher trims.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata and the Fiat 124 Spider are similar, with the same folding roof and nearly identical powertrains. However, Consumer Reports found that the MX-5 Miata is more athletic by a long shot. Despite a few flaws, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is a very well-rounded convertible.