1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long Term Road Test

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1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Fuel Economy Update for January

February 4, 2013

1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The plus side about building an engine offline (more info here, here and here) for Project Miata is that it avoids prolonged downtime for the car, so we can continue to use and enjoy it in parallel. Of course, this also means your hair's not on fire to slam the engine together and slap it in the car. It's been on the engine stand for several weeks, gradually being prepped as time allows.

In the meantime, during the month of January we drove Project Miata, our 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata, about 600 miles. It uses some oil, some of which is oozing out of the tired old valve cover gasket and making for a grungy engine. Otherwise, it just runs and runs. During those four weeks the little green TicTac averaged 23.8 miles per gallon of 91 octane premium.

Not bad for a modified first-gen Miata.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 140,650 miles.

Worst Fill MPG:9.6
Best Fill MPG: 26.5
Average Lifetime MPG:22.1
EPA MPG Rating (City/Highway Combined): 20 city/26 highway/22 combined
Best Range: 292.2 miles
Current Odometer: 140,650 miles

Note: Cars are sometimes refueled before their fuel tanks are nearly empty. As such, "best" and "worst" fuel economy entries above are not necessarily the result of an entire tank's worth of driving.

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