2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mazda MX-5 Miata Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 158 hp @ 6700 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata

  • Although less dramatic and powerful than General Motors' roadster twins, the 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata is still unequaled when it comes to overall driving enjoyment and refinement.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Huge fun factor, precise steering and handling, low base price, economical to operate.

  • Cons

    Still snug for bigger folks, stability control is only available on the top trim level.

  • What's New for 2008

    For 2008, the Mazda MX-5 Miata sees only minor feature changes, a new Special Edition trim level and a 5-horsepower drop for automatic transmission-equipped Miatas.

Full 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

What's New for 2008

For 2008, the Mazda MX-5 Miata sees only minor feature changes, a new Special Edition trim level and a 5-horsepower drop for automatic transmission-equipped Miatas.

Introduction

In today's "let the gizmos handle it" world, where some cars offer not just cruise control so advanced that it can stop the car if need be, but also a warning system that alerts a driver who starts drifting out of his lane, it's easy to forget the simple joy of fully involved driving. Should you need to be reminded, we highly recommend the 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Drawing inspiration from the light and nimble British roadsters of the '60s, the Mazda Miata offers a zippy engine, go-kart-like handling, a quick-dropping top and trim, classic proportions. Unlike those old Brits, however, the dependable Miata won't leave you stranded on the side of the road cursing your bloody head off as you stare, bewildered, under the hood.

Since its debut nearly two decades ago, the Miata has won over legions of driving enthusiasts and earned accolades from auto critics and consumers alike thanks to its entertaining drive and impressive reliability record. It was fully redesigned two years ago for more comfort and performance without losing any of its elemental appeal. Last year, Mazda introduced the power-retractable hardtop (PRHT) version. The Miata PRHT offers the comfort of a coupe when its top is up as well or the full roadster experience when down. It doesn't even exact the weight penalty one may envision, as Mazda says the PRHT weighs just 70 pounds more than the ragtop.

Regardless of which version you lean toward, the ultra-nimble 2008 Mazda Miata is a fantastic choice for an affordable roadster. It does have competition -- General Motors' twins, the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky, specifically. The Solstice and Sky possess sexier styling and more speed via available turbocharged engines, and combined, they outsell the Miata almost two to one. But in our opinion the Miata is still the superior car. Refined, balanced and eager, it's the ideal car to have when one needs to unplug from the plugged-in world.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Mazda Miata lineup consists of four trims: SV, Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. Aimed at racing enthusiasts, the lightly equipped SV (available in soft-top form only) comes with a black vinyl convertible top, 16-inch alloy wheels, a CD player, a driver seat height adjuster and power windows and mirrors. The Sport adds air-conditioning and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Step up to the Touring and you'll also get 17-inch alloy wheels, a strut tower brace, cruise control, keyless entry, six-speaker audio (versus four) with a CD changer and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. The Grand Touring trim adds a cloth convertible top (in black or parchment), leather-upholstered and heated seats, a seven-speaker Bose audio system and silver interior accents. Retractable-hardtop (PRHT) models are offered in the top three trims and are identical in equipment except for the substitution of the power-retracting steel top for the soft top. The Special Edition is essentially an Icy Blue Grand Touring with the Premium package (described below).

Options are grouped in numerous packages. Available on the Sport, the Convenience Package provides keyless entry/power locks, cruise control, foglamps, a one-touch passenger window, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and covered storage cubbies behind the seats. Available on Touring and Grand Touring trims, the Suspension Package features a sport-tuned suspension (with Bilstein shocks) and a limited-slip differential.

The Grand Touring qualifies for a pair of premium packages. Premium Package #1 (not available with the automatic transmission) adds stability control, a limited-slip differential, advanced keyless entry and xenon HID headlights. Number 2 is the same, minus the limited-slip differential.

Most versions offer an interior trim package (which consists of brushed aluminum accents) as well as an appearance package (which adds a front airdam and lower-body skirting). Stand-alone options include run-flat tires, satellite radio and a rear spoiler.

Powertrains and Performance

All Miatas come with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 166 horsepower (158 with the automatic transmission) and 140 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission drives the rear wheels on SV and Sport trims, while a six-speed manual is fitted to the Touring and Grand Touring trims. A six-speed automatic with paddle shifters is optional on all but the SV and the Sport PRHT.

Acceleration isn't exactly the Miata's forte, but it's sufficiently quick for daily driving -- we've timed a six-speed manual Miata at 7.5 seconds for the 0-60-mph dash. Fuel economy for 2008 ranges from 20-22 mpg city and 27-28 mpg highway, depending on the transmission.

Safety

Antilock disc brakes and side airbags are standard. Stability control is available as an option on the Grand Touring model only.

Interior Design and Special Features

Even though it's larger than previous generations, the current Miata's cockpit remains a snug fit. Still, it can be comfortable enough for two on a weekend getaway, and the well-shaped 5.3-cubic-foot trunk can hold a couple days worth of luggage, provided you pack light. The simple controls and no-frills design serve the Miata and its driver well. Fit and finish are very good throughout. Dropping the manual top can be done in seconds from the driver seat. Those who would use their Miata as a daily driver should strongly consider the PRHT, as it offers the quieter ride and greater security of a coupe.

Driving Impressions

The Miata's peppy four pulls willingly and revs freely. It's a delightful instrument to play, especially with a manual gearbox where snapping off rev-matching downshifts is a breeze. Although tuned for a smoother ride than before, the Miata still changes direction with the immediacy of a roller skate and speaks to you clearly through the steering wheel and driver seat. With a lowered top and a twisting, scenic road stretching out before it, the 2008 Mazda Miata has few equals when it comes to sheer entertainment.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Attention enthusiastic drivers!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

If you are a person whose passion is improving his driving skill set, this is a perfect tool. The MX5 will reward you with increasing satisfaction and fun as you learn to master driving skills. Routinely switch off traction control after engine start-up to obtain linear throttle response and to learn the car's traction characteristics. This car is quite capable even in stock form; resist the urge to modify its performance until you have fully utilized all it has to offer. When you are not in the mood for spirited driving, you can chill and enjoy the scenery and the MX5 will not annoy you with a bad temper. Some 2008s had a defect in the manual trans. Mazda fixed mine under warrantee. THX!



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

It is true what others

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2dr Convertible w/Power Hard Top (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

Still kicking myself for not checking this car out earlier. This is not kind of Sport edition, SE of other pretend to be sport cars off the regular boring cars. It was built from ground up. I finally test drove a few and that was it - I had to have one. Manual is one of the best I ever drove, but for some reason, I just could not fully enjoy the car with manual. Fortunately, dealer had 2007 PRHT w/auto, besides the fact it had 60,000 miles on it, it drove same as brand new one. Both me and my wife were blown away with joy this car delivers. This car sent shock waves through my family. I never seen any other car to make such effect before. We own 2008 now and discovering even more joy.




Why aren't more cars built

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

I have had my Miata for 21,000 miles without a major problem, other than routine maintenance. I have been asking other car companies to put this formula together, but only Mazda wants to do it. Even if you already have a truck/van/SUV that you are happy with, I would strongly recommend this car. The fuel and maintenance savings alone of using this for regular trips would almost pay for one of the most dependable machines I've ever owned.




High priced tin can.

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

My back can't handle much of this car. After an hour or so I believe I'd feel better if I was on a medieval torture rack. Would that it took that long to get tired of the racket this car makes. Took it in for service to deal with the rattle, squeak, and squeal from the dash. The service people were really nice but unfortunately the problem is still there. So if you like paying 20,000 for a tin can this is the car for you.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Excellent

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2dr Convertible w/Power Hard Top (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

This car has great handling but there's room for improvement. What it lacks in power makes up for taking turns at 40 mph. For what it is, it's a great value for the amount of fun you will have. Yes, the interior is a little "cheap", but you get what you pay for. If that bothers you spend couple bucks and put some nice leather pieces in it. I've heard a million times that the car is girlie. To be honest, I've only gotten compliments ever since. I've had it for 3 months (an automatic), no problems and smiles everyday. As a daily driver back and forth to work the auto is great.




2008 touring hardtop 6 speed

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

I wanted a convertible & found MX5 has the package deal. Discount off MSRP was very attractive too. Fit me well (5'4"). There are after markets that sell for faster speed & other accessories...



Talk About The 2008 MX-5 Miata

2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Discussions See all Started By

molterd
molterd
07-09-2007
Any information on the 2008 Miatas? The pricing is available at...


pmrt
pmrt
03-30-2008
been offered the following deal on a new, 2008 MX-5 Miata SE convertible: $1K down (includes everything except excise tax) and $279/mo if I complete the deal before April 1, 2008 (that give me tomor...


dashbb
dashbb
08-21-2007
*EXCLUDING 2007 MazdaSpeed3 and 2007 MX-5 Miata Retractable Hardtop....



ADVERTISEMENT
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat*
Chat online with us
Email
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Phone*
Call us at 855-782-4711
SMS*
Text us at ED411