The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata with a 2.0-liter Skyactiv inline four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission returns 27 mpg in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway for a combined rating of 30 mpg.
The 2016 MX-5 Miata with the same engine and a six-speed manual transmission returns 27 mpg in city driving and 34 mpg on the highway for a combined rating of 30 mpg.
The new ratings reflect a 29 percent improvement in fuel economy for the 2016 MX-5 Miata with a six-speed automatic transmission compared with the outgoing 2015 MX-5 Miata.
In comparison, the 2015 MX-5 Miata with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and either a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic transmission returns 21 mpg in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway for a combined rating of 23 mpg.
The same car with a five-speed manual transmission returns 22 mpg in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway for a combined rating of 25 mpg. The five-speed manual is not offered in the 2016 MX-5 Miata.
The significantly improved fuel economy rating is due to a weight reduction of approximately 150 pounds in the 2016 MX-5 Miata. The new Miata starts at 2,332 pounds with a manual transmission and 2,381 pounds with an automatic transmission.
AAA reports that gas prices remain "cheap."
The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report on Friday pegged the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in the U.S. at $2.50 versus $3.68 a year ago.
Edmunds says: Car shoppers who are concerned about pump prices will be cheered by the MX-5 Miata's major bump in fuel economy.