Why Is No One Buying Consumer Reports’ Favorite Sports Car?

Mazda MX-5 Miata fans joke that the car’s name is an acronym: Miata Is Always The Answer. MIATA. Want a fuel-efficient and reliable sports car? Miata. Want a completely modern convertible? Miata. Want an affordable roadster with classic style? Miata. And Consumer Reports could not agree more, awarding the Miata the highest rating of any sports car. There’s only one problem. Mazda MX-5 Miata sales are plummeting.

Consumer Reports loves Mazda’s Miata

Birds-eye view of a red and a gray Mazda Miata driving down a city street.
2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata | Mazda

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Consumer Reports (CR) gave the 2022 Mazda Miata a thorough review. The publication extensively road tested a Mazda. It also surveyed owners of recent Miatas.

CR concluded that the little car’s transmission, braking, fuel economy, and emergency handling are flawless. It gave the roadster an exceptional score for its overall driving experience as well.

One area where the Miata received a slightly less-than-perfect review is its acceleration. The current “ND” generation Miata features a 181 horsepower, 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine. CR certainly found the sports car’s acceleration to be above average. But handling is what the Miata is truly engineered to excel at.

CR was lukewarm on the 2022 Miata’s comfort level and interior fit and finish. Finally, it was disappointed with the road noise and cargo space.

Still, CR rated the Miata higher than any other 2022 sports car it tested. That’s not too shabby for a car that’s been a strong seller since 1989 and hasn’t had a next-generation redesign since 2016.

Miata sales are down

A red and gray Mazda Miata parked in the middle of a city intersection.
2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata | Mazda

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The Good Car Bad Car website tracks sales data in every vehicle category. By the end of April back in 2021, Mazda had sold 3,976 Miatas. But as of the end of April, 2022, Mazda has only sold 2,263. This is a sales reduction of 43.08%.

Let’s take a closer look at the most recent month with complete sales data: April. You might think late springtime would bring strong sales of one of America’s favorite convertibles. And back in 2021, in the month of April alone, Mazda sold 1,310 Miatas. But in April 2022, Mazda moved just 658 Miatas. That’s a sales drop of 49.77%.

The Mazda Miata’s sales numbers are weak this year. What’s more, they appear to be slowing down even more.

Why is no one buying the Miata?

Closeup of the new Mazda Miata's retractable fastback.
2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata | Mazda

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Miata rolled out its all-new Miata for the 2016 model year. Then for 2019, the automaker upgraded its flagship sports car with a more powerful engine. Mazda also leveraged a dual-mass flywheel to better compliment the Miata’s popular manual transmission option. Finally, Miata redesigned the hardtop (retractable fastback) version for an aggressive coupe-like appearance.

Perhaps longtime Miata fans hurried into Mazda dealerships to buy this more powerful, more stylish Miata ND during 2020 and 2021. If so, sales might be naturally falling off as everyone who wants the unique retractable fastback has already bought one.

In addition, the Miata is not the only sports car experiencing a sales slump. Lexus RC sales are down 40.31% from this time last year. Toyota Supra sales have dropped 41.7%, and the Subaru Impreza WRX sales have plummeted 76.31%.

Next, learn Mazda’s plans for its internal combustion-powered Miata, or watch the history of the Miata in the video below:

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