Mazda MX-5 Miata Review & Features

2017 Average MSRP
$30,565
Edmunds Est. Savings
$3,515
Get upfront prices with Edmunds Special Offers
Edmunds Rating
Consumer Rating
(1)
2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Loading...
Long Term Road Test

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Wrap Up

Read the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata's introduction to our long-term fleet.

See all of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata's long-term updates.

What We Got

We had our minds made up when it came time to order our 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. It was going to be in classic, midlevel Club trim. Sport was too stark for our tastes and Grand Touring too refined. And it was going to have a manual transmission.

Standard features on the Club included a hand-operated cloth soft top, push-button start, LED headlights, cruise control and Bluetooth integration. We equipped ours with the six-speed manual to add a sport-tuned suspension, shock tower brace, a limited-slip differential, 17-inch wheels and summer tires. Interior novelties such as a nine-speaker stereo and a 7-inch display screen sprinkled in some refinement. All Miatas share the same 155-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and are rear-wheel-drive.

Our Club had a base price of $28,600. Optional Soul Red paint ($300) and keyless entry ($130) brought the total MSRP for this 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club to $29,850 (including $820 destination). Here's what it was like to drive it day in and day out:

Performance

  • "The new Miata's greatness shined through on the most mundane of streets. The genius of this car is how engaging it is even when you're going to the post office to buy stamps. It forges a connection between machine and driver at two-tenths like no other car I've ever driven. I absolutely love it. I need one of my own." — Dan Edmunds, Director, Vehicle Testing

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

  • "It's easy to scoff at the idea of buying a convertible like our Miata: two seats, tiny trunk and a roof you can cut through with a pair of scissors. Then you drive it on a nice day and all those things suddenly seem like minor inconveniences. ... I was surprised by how enjoyable the Miata is with the top down." — Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor

MPG

  • "The 2016 Miata's four-cylinder is almost mini V8-like in character. Not V8-like is its fuel economy. The 2016 Miata checks in with 30 mpg for the EPA's combined fuel economy average. Last year, it was 24 mpg with the six-speed manual. That's real savings going into your pocket each year." — Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor


  • "In August, the Miata traveled a shade more than 2,000 miles. It notched a 347.1-mile range on one tank, and on the next tank it achieved 41.6 mpg. This latter result wasn't over a full tank; rather, it was refueled after driving 160 miles, or about a half-tank." — Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

Comfort

  • "The new MX-5 is considerably more accommodating of my lanky frame than any previous Miata, but it doesn't have the stretch-out room of the 2015 VW GTI. ... It can't. The seats only go back so far before they encounter a bulkhead. Still, I was able to settle in comfortably with the seat in its rearmost position, and the seat itself proved to be supportive for what turned out to be an eight-hour trip." — Dan Edmunds


  • "As much as I like our Miata, these seats would honestly keep me from buying it. My back and legs start to ache after even short stints in the car. I seem to forget every time I get out, leading me to once again grab the keys." — Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant

Cargo Space

  • "It's what every golfer wants to know about any convertible: 'Will my golf bag fit?' And I can attest that the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata does indeed have room for your golf bag, as long as you don't mind if it rides shotgun." — Josh Sadlier, Content Strategist

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

  • "One carry-on bag fits nicely into the trunk with little room to spare. Our standard checked bag will not fit in either direction. Overall dimensions of the space are roughly 21 inches deep by 28 inches wide at the wheelwells. The seats do not fold to increase cargo capacity. However, if you kick out your passenger and drop the top, almost anything is possible." — Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing

Interior

  • "I just noticed the Miata's sun visors have permanently fixed inside hinges. This prevents you from unclipping and rotating them to block sunlight beaming in from the side windows." — Jonathan Elfalan, Senior Road Test Editor


  • "I'm not the least bit surprised that our Miata has a nearly perfect set of gauges. When the sole mission of a car is driving enjoyment, you don't need to crowd the gauge cluster with extraneous extras ... the tachometer front and center, an easy-to-read speedometer and a multifunction binnacle on the left. All of them have crystal-clear white-on-black markings that are readable at a glance." — Ed Hellwig

Audio and Technology

  • "It was a hot day in Southern California. I hopped in our long-term Miata and got the message above ('Temperature Warning — Display is too hot. Screen performance may be decreased until it cools'). I suppose that's one of the drawbacks of having one of those tabletlike displays that don't retract or aren't covered by a hood." — Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor


  • "As for my colleague catching his sleeve on the multimedia knob when going for a gear change, I can only assume his shirts have droopy, flouncy wizard sleeves." — Jason Kavanagh

Maintenance

  • "'Mike, I walked up to the Miata this morning and saw damage on the front bumper. I don't know how it happened. Just wanted to bring it to your attention,' he said." — Mike Schmidt


  • "It began when Mark drove through a sandstorm, which caused deep scratches in the windshield. There was a considerable amount of glare whenever the scratched area was hit with sunlight or light from headlamps of opposing traffic. It quickly became apparent that a replacement was necessary." — Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Miscellaneous

  • "The Miata is all about fun. ... It's not about practicality or comfort, or luxury, or anything that doesn't have to do with fun. If you can't fit in it, blame your genetics. If the trunk is too small, you have too much stuff. If it's too stiff or too loud, you lost sight of your childhood. If you think it's underpowered, well, you might actually have something there." — Mark Takahashi


  • "The Miata's shifter moves through its gates with low effort but not low satisfaction. It glides unusually smoothly through the pattern. Each gate is well defined, and there's no notchiness. But you can feel the little rises and troughs of effort as one cog is deselected and the next one taken up. It's a subtle reminder that you're piloting a machine and helps make it one of the best shifters in any car today." — Jason Kavanagh

Maintenance & Repairs

Regular Maintenance:
Routine service for the Miata was dictated by an onboard meter. Our first checkup was due just past the 10,000-mile mark. It was straightforward and cost a manageable $58. We returned the vehicle to Mazda before reaching the next interval.

Additional maintenance costs were the result of two things: a sandstorm and a track day. We needed a new windshield ($630) and air filter ($21) after a beating at the hands of Mother Nature. And nine months into our test, we volunteered the Mazda for track day duty, adding four new Potenza S001 tires ($850) to the tally.

Service Campaigns:
No recalls were issued during our test.

Fuel Economy and Resale Value

Observed Fuel Economy:
The EPA estimate for the 2016 MX-5 Miata was 30 mpg combined (27 city/34 highway). We averaged 31.1 mpg after 21,000 miles. Our best single fill garnered 41.6 mpg and our worst 22.2 mpg. The best range on a single fill-up was 401.6 miles.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Resale and Depreciation:
Our Miata had an as-tested MSRP of $29,850. At the end of our test Edmunds TMV Calculator valued the convertible at $19,657 based on a private-party sale. That reflected 34 percent depreciation in the first year of ownership.

Summing Up

Pros:
A fantastic driving convertible, even well below its performance threshold. Makes errand-running fun. One of the best shifters in the business.

Cons:
Not everyone found the seats comfortable. It is loud and rides firm. Typical small-car limitations. Minimal cargo space. Tight quarters.

Bottom Line:
The Miata is focused on driver engagement. It has a great shifter, nimble handling and responsive steering. It lacks seat comfort, noise refinement and a smooth ride. But to those who love driving, the pros soundly outweigh the cons.

Total Body Repair Costs: $1,619.73
Total Routine Maintenance Costs: $57.99 (over 12 months)
Additional Maintenance Costs: $1,501 for windshield, air filter and four tires
Warranty Repairs: None
Non-Warranty Repairs: Replace windshield, air filter and four tires
Scheduled Dealer Visits: 1
Unscheduled Dealer Visits: None
Days Out of Service: 12 for body repairs
Breakdowns Stranding Driver: None
   
Best Fuel Economy: 41.6 mpg
Worst Fuel Economy: 22.2 mpg
Average Fuel Economy: 31.1 mpg
   
True Market Value at service end: $19,657 (private party sale)
Depreciation: $10,193 (34% of original MSRP)
Final Odometer Reading: 21,104 miles

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

When the Mazda MX-5 Miata debuted for 1990, this snazzy little convertible was an instant hit. Inspired by British roadsters of the 1950s and 1960s, the MX-5 Miata combined open-top sports-car thrills with modern engineering and Japanese quality. Buyers queued up outside Mazda dealerships and gladly paid well over sticker price for the fetching new Miata.

That initial buzz has long since faded, but the Miata continues to set the standard for what an affordable roadster should and can be. The latest Miata still changes direction like a go-kart, communicates the character of the road clearly to the driver and accelerates with an inspiring growl from its inline-four engine. If you're in the market for an affordable sports car that provides plenty of top-down, open-road thrills, we highly recommend putting a new or used Mazda Miata on your list.

Current Mazda MX-5 Miata
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a two-seat roadster with either a cloth convertible top or a metal retractable hardtop. All variants are powered by a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine tuned for 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque; it drives the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The soft top is manually operated, but it's small and light enough to be opened and closed one-handed while sitting in the car.

The Miata is available in three trims, Sport, Club and Grand Touring. The Sport is fairly basic, with air-conditioning, power accessories, and a Bluetooth-compatible stereo with six speakers (including speakers in the driver's headrest) coming as standard. The Club model gets a Bose audio system, extra safety features and, on models with the manual transmission, a sport-tuned suspension, a shock tower brace, an induction sound enhancer and a limited-slip differential. The Grand Touring model does without the stiffer suspension and the limited-slip diff but adds heated leather seats, a navigation system and automatic climate control.

Because of its small size, the Miata isn't for everyone: The very tall and the very-well-fed� will find the cabin cramped, and the tiny trunk provides space for a few grocery bags or a small suitcase at best. But what do you expect from a petite roadster that weighs about 2,350 pounds? Driving the Miata is a sublime experience. It's quick and incredibly agile, and the four-cylinder engine provides plenty of midrange power. Whether you buy one as a weekend toy or a daily driver, the Mazda MX-5 Miata remains one of the purest forms of automotive fun.

Used Mazda MX-5 Miata Models
The current Miata represents the fourth-generation MX-5 Miata, which Mazda introduced for the 2016 model year. Compared to the previous-generation car, this Miata has sleeker and more aggressive styling, a lighter curb weight (about 200 pounds), quicker acceleration, and new technology and safety features.

The third-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata was produced from 2006 to 2015. The styling was more rounded than that of the first- and second-gen Miatas. It also had a stiffer, more sophisticated chassis, a more powerful engine, a roomier interior and greater interior refinement. Power came from a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine. The power ratings varied a bit through the years, but, in general, expect 167 hp (158 on automatic-equipped cars). Transmission choices were a five- or six-speed manual transmission (depending on trim level) or a six-speed automatic.

Customers who like the idea of combining open-air exhilaration with fixed-roof refinement could also order a Miata with a power-operated retractable hardtop (PRHT). The PRHT might seem to run counter to the Miata's less-is-more philosophy, but its simple design added just 70 pounds to the car's curb weight and transformed top-up motoring into a much quieter, more weatherproof experience.

A lot of incremental changes were made throughout this Miata's run, so it might be a good idea to get familiar with them if you're shopping for one. Initially, the lineup consisted of six trim levels: Club Spec, Base, Touring, Sport, Grand Touring and Third-Generation Limited Edition. For 2007, equipment was reshuffled into four trims — SV, Sport, Touring and Grand Touring — and the PRHT also arrived that year.

A Special Edition model in Icy Blue paint was offered for 2008. That year also saw a 5-hp drop for cars with the automatic transmission. The following year the Miata received a mild refresh with tweaked exterior styling, engine revisions for a bit more power and fuel economy, a more aggressive suspension and some new convenience features. For '10, the PRHT was discontinued in Sport trim, and the value-oriented SV trim (available from 2007 to '09) was dropped. Special editions continued to be offered and were essentially loaded Grand Touring PRHT models sporting unique colors and trim.

Right up through 2011, stability control was only available on the Grand Touring and then only as an option. For 2012, that safety technology became standard equipment across the board. For 2013, the Miata got a slight styling refresh and a Club model to replace the Touring model. There were no significant changes for 2014, but in 2015, the last year of the third-gen car, the Sport switched from a vinyl to a cloth roof and a 25th Anniversary Edition model was introduced.

In reviews, we found this Miata was — surprise! — a blast to drive. It was talented enough to spike even the most mundane excursions with ample doses of pleasure and excitement. The steering is sharp and precise, communicating information with an immediacy that never leaves the driver guessing. Handling is just as dialed-in, making this Mazda an ideal companion for wind-blown jaunts down winding canyon roads.

The second-generation MX-5 Miata was in production from 1999 to 2005. This Miata was the same size as the original MX-5, so while the cockpit was more cramped, the car felt much livelier and more responsive to drive, though its cornering limits were much lower and its ride was much worse. The addition of a glass rear window to the cloth convertible top made visibility better. (The previous plastic window would become cloudy from sunlight, requiring replacement.)

This second-generation Mazda Miata was powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 140 hp and 119 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission was standard, and a four-speed automatic was optional. As before, base models were sparsely equipped, but items such as leather upholstery and Bose audio were available on upper trims. In its second year, a streamlined model lineup including the Miata and Miata LS with three simplified option packages was introduced, while a Miata Special Edition with a six-speed manual debuted. For 2001, the adoption of variable valve timing bumped output to 142 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque, while the Special Edition's six-speed manual became optional on the Miata LS. For '04 a turbocharged Mazdaspeed model arrived, featuring a 178-hp turbocharged engine, high-performance suspension and unique exterior styling enhancements.

The original, first-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata of 1990 offered a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that delivered 116 hp and 100 lb-ft of torque. It was matched with a five-speed manual transmission. Just three colors were initially available: red, white and blue. Detail improvements saw the Miata through its first several years, with revised option packages, more power from a 128-hp 1.8-liter engine introduced for '94, and ultimately even luxuriously appointed M editions (special paint colors, a tan convertible top, tan leather interior and 15-inch BBS wheels). Competition-minded individuals might want to focus on the Miata R package introduced for 1994, which turned the Miata into a race-ready street machine with drivetrain and suspension modifications. The final year for this first-generation model was 1997 (there was no 1998 MX-5 Miata).

Mazda MX-5 Miata Cars for Sale

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
NEW 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
MSRP$33,075
Special Offer See special offer Brown's Chantilly Mazda(9mi)(4)
Dealer Notes

You do not need 'specialtyrebates' to get our internet price. Use the 'Get Your Buy HappyPrice' button to save even more.

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring
NEW 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring
MSRP$31,570
Special Offer See special offer Ourisman Mazda of Rockville(19mi)(2)
2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring
NEW 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring
MSRP$32,695
Special Offer See special offer Fitzgerald Mazda(27mi)(0)
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
NEW 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
MSRP$32,890
Special Offer See special offer Brown's Alexandria Mazda(29mi)(9)
Dealer Notes

You do not need specialty rebates to get your Buy happy price . Use the Get Your Buy happyPrice button to save more.

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring
NEW 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring
MSRP$32,445
Special Offer See special offer Koons of Silver Spring Mazda(29mi)(0)
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
NEW 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
MSRP$32,985
Special Offer See special offer Ourisman Mazda(36mi)(0)
Dealer Notes

CLEAN CARFAX and CARFAX CERTIFIED. Black. 6spd! My! My! My! What a deal! Ourisman Automotive- The most reliable and dependable used cars around. 90 years of satisfied customers. Mazda has outdone itself with this attractive 2016 Mazda Miata. It just doesn't get any better or more gas-saving. Not only will it save you money at the pump with its extremely good gas mileage, but will still excite your senses with plenty of zip. It is nicely equipped with features such as Black, CARFAX CERTIFIED, and CLEAN CARFAX. NO CREDIT/BAD CREDIT.. .***** WE ARE THE BANKRUPTCY SPECIALISTS.(OPEN OR CLOSED) ** WE CAN HELP NO MATTER WHAT YOUR SITUATION...CALL US NOW AND ASK THE SALES PROFESSIONALS FOR THE SPECIAL CREDIT PROGRAM!!! YOU COULD BE DRIVING TODAY! CALL US TODAY! 240-253-6755.

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
NEW 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
MSRP$33,225
Special Offer See special offer Sharrett Mazda(40mi)(0)
Dealer Notes

Move quickly!!! This enjoyable Convertible Vehicle seeks the right match* SAVE AT THE PUMP!!! 33 MPG Hwy*** Optional equipment includes: Brembo/BBS Package, Stainless Steel Door Sill Trim Plates...Standard features include: Bluetooth, Remote power door locks, Power windows with 2 one-touch, Manual Transmission, Convertible roof - Manual, 4-wheel ABS brakes, Air conditioning, Cruise control, Audio controls on steering wheel, Traction control - ABS and driveline, Passenger Airbag, Multi-function remote - Trunk/hatch/door/tailgate, windows, Power mirrors, Tilt steering wheel, 2 liter inline 4 cylinder DOHC engine, 155 hp horsepower, 2 Doors, Fuel economy EPA highway (mpg): 33 and EPA city (mpg): 26, Rear-wheel drive, Remote window operation, Tachometer, External temperature display, Tire pressure monitoring system, Transmission hill holder, Limited slip differential - Mechanical, Daytime running lights, Clock - In-radio display, Convertible Wind Blocker - Wind blocker, Self-leveling headlights - Self-leveling, Stability control, Front seat type - Bucket, Convertible window - Glass rear window, Intermittent window wipers, Privacy/tinted glass, Rear spoiler - Lip, Trip computer, Video Monitor Location - Front, Satellite communications - MAZDA CONNECT, Speed-proportional power steering...

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
NEW 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
MSRP$32,985
Special Offer See special offer Heritage Mazda Catonsville(42mi)(2)
Dealer Notes

Brembo/BBS Package (Advanced Keyless Entry System, Aero Kit, and Brembo Front Brakes w/Red Calipers), Black, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, 9 Speakers, ABS brakes, Air Conditioning, Alloy wheels, AM/FM radio: SiriusXM, Brake assist, Bumpers: body-color, CD player, Cloth Upholstery, Convertible roof wind blocker, Door Sill Trim Plates, Driver vanity mirror, Dual front impact airbags, Dual front side impact airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Emergency communication system, Four wheel independent suspension, Front anti-roll bar, Front Bucket Seats, Front Center Armrest, Glass rear window, Illuminated entry, Leather Shift Knob, Low tire pressure warning, MP3 decoder, Occupant sensing airbag, Outside temperature display, Panic alarm, Passenger vanity mirror, Power door mirrors, Power steering, Power windows, Radio data system, Radio: AM/FM/HD Stereo w/CD Player, Rear anti-roll bar, Rear window defroster, Reclining Front Bucket Seats, Remote keyless entry, Speed control, Speed-sensing steering, Spoiler, Sport steering wheel, Steering wheel mounted audio controls, Tachometer, Tilt steering wheel, Traction control, Trip computer, and Variably intermittent wipers. It's no suprise that body shop owners smile when they see shopping carts. Ruin their day when you roll into the store parking lot in this Mazda Miata equipped with dent-resistant body panels. *Your additional costs are sales tax, tag and title fees for the state in which the vehicle will be registered, any dealer-installed options (if applicable) and a $299 dealer processing fee. Prices are subject to change, and prior sales are excluded from these offers. While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with the dealer. *Your additional costs are sales tax, tag and title fees for the state in which the vehicle will be registered, freight, any dealer-installed options (if applicable) and a $299 dealer processing fee. Prices are subject to change, and prior sales are excluded from these offers. While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with the dealer.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
NEW 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
MSRP$32,835
Special Offer See special offer Heritage Mazda Owings Mills(46mi)(22)
Dealer Notes

Brembo/BBS Package (Advanced Keyless Entry System, Aero Kit, and Brembo Front Brakes w/Red Calipers), Black, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, 9 Speakers, ABS brakes, Air Conditioning, Alloy wheels, AM/FM radio: SiriusXM, Brake assist, Bumpers: body-color, CD Stereo, Cloth Upholstery, Convertible roof wind blocker, Driver vanity mirror, Dual front impact airbags, Dual front side impact airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Emergency communication system, Four wheel independent suspension, Front anti-roll bar, Front Bucket Seats, Front Center Armrest, Glass rear window, Illuminated entry, Leather Shift Knob, Low tire pressure warning, MP3 decoder, Occupant sensing airbag, Outside temperature display, Panic alarm, Passenger vanity mirror, Power door mirrors, Power steering, Power Windows, Radio data system, Radio: AM/FM/HD Stereo w/CD Player, Rear anti-roll bar, Rear window defroster, Reclining Front Bucket Seats, Remote keyless entry, Speed control, Speed-sensing steering, Spoiler, Sport steering wheel, Steering wheel mounted audio controls, Tachometer, Tilt steering wheel, Traction control, Trip computer, and Variably intermittent wipers. This affordable and dependable Mazda Miata is just looking for the right home to reliably serve, day in and day out. It never skips a beat. *Your additional costs are sales tax, tag and title fees for the state in which the vehicle will be registered, freight, any dealer-installed options (if applicable) and a $299 dealer processing fee. Prices are subject to change, and prior sales are excluded from these offers. While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with the dealer.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
NEW 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
MSRP$32,835
Special Offer See special offer Rich Morton Mazda(48mi)(1)