2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review
2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
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- Fun to drive, precise steering and handling, low base price, choice of soft top or retractable hardtop, low operating cost.
- Limited trunk space, very tall drivers may be cramped, stability control only available on the top trim level.
After a mild refresh last year, the 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata remains mostly unchanged except for the deletion of the SV and Sport PRHT trim levels.
The 2010 Mazda Miata maintains its position as one of the all-time greatest roadsters, mixing refinement and excitement in a compact, affordable package.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 5M) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.93 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$199/mo for MX-5 Miata Sport
MX-5 Miata Sport
Avg. Compact Car
It's been two decades since the first Mazda Miata wowed the general public and critics alike with its elegant simplicity, grin-inducing performance and budget-friendly price. An instant hit, the Miata singularly fed a hunger for sprightly two-seat convertibles that had otherwise gone unsated for many years.
The Miata has seen many updates and additions over the years, but it has held on to its core principles with dogged determination. The 2010 Mazda Miata continues the original formula of light weight, engaging driving dynamics, simplicity and, above all, fun. This year sees little in the way of change, which is a good thing since the Miata is still considered one of the best roadsters to ever hit the pavement.
Under the hood is a 167-horsepower 2.0-liter engine. While 167 hp might not sound like much in today's world of 270-hp family sedans, it's also tasked with motivating less metal -- a base Miata weighs only about 2,500 pounds. The power-retractable hardtop model weighs a bit more, but in return it grants extra top-up security and noise reduction. No matter what Miata you choose, you'll get lively performance, a decent complement of features and respectable comfort for all but the largest of drivers.
All of this combines to make the Miata our favorite affordable roadster. It also happens to be just about the only affordable roadster on the market for 2010. All three of the Miata's main competitors -- the Honda S2000, Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky -- have been discontinued. Previously, a lightly equipped base version of the BMW Z4 roadster was a higher-end rival, but its subsequent redesign and price increase have pushed the Z4 into a much higher price bracket.
For alternatives, you'll need to expand your search to other, larger sporting convertibles. Cars like the Ford Mustang and Mini Cooper convertibles offer many creature comforts and plenty of personality, but they can't match the 2010 Mazda Miata's simplicity and agility. For a fun, zippy and affordable roadster that provides plenty of top-down enjoyment, the Miata is the best out there. Twenty years, it seems, have done nothing to diminish this cheeky car's great appeal.
Performance & mpg
The 2010 Mazda Miata is powered by 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 167 hp (158 with the automatic transmission) and 140 pound-feet of torque. Sport models come standard with a five-speed manual transmission while Touring and Grand Touring models receive a 6th gear. All models have the option of a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
In testing a manual-equipped Miata, we found the car could sprint from a standstill to 60 mph in a reasonably quick 6.9 seconds. Fuel economy is also impressive at an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 24 mpg in combined driving for the five-speed manual. The six-speed manual and automatic sacrifice only a single mpg in city mileage.
Antilock disc brakes and side airbags are standard; however, stability control is available as an option on the Grand Touring model only.
One of the Miata's greatest attributes continues to be its ability to bound from corner to corner on a tight and winding road. This ability is due in no small part to a suspension and steering feel that are as communicative as a political pundit in an election year. The seat-of-the-pants feel and feedback from the wheel give the Miata the goods to satisfy nearly any driving enthusiast, though some horsepower junkies may yearn for more under-hood punch. Still, the free-revving peppy four-cylinder always seems eager to play and the short-throw manual gearbox is as good as it gets. Drivers with less sporting intentions will likely find the 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata easy to live with and comfortable for long stints in either top-up or top-down mode.
Sitting behind the wheel of a 2010 Mazda Miata, you'll get the feeling that you're wearing the car, rather than sitting in it. The fit is snug for average-sized adults, but not cramped. Taller drivers, however, have found that the seat runs out of rearward travel. As with previous Miata cockpits, the latest version features simple and legible gauges along with user-friendly and well-placed controls.
The manual convertible top's operation is as simple as it gets -- push a button, pull a lever and toss the top over your shoulder. Dropping the top takes only a few seconds, and raising it is just as easy. With practice, some longer-limbed drivers can raise the roof without even leaving their seat. The retractable-hardtop version takes a bit longer to transform from coupe to roadster, but the added security and noise isolation make it a good choice as a daily driver.
One of the biggest drawbacks for small convertibles is a lack of trunk space, and the Miata is no exception. The 5.3 cubic feet of trunk space is barely enough for a weekend getaway and golf bags take quite a bit of wrestling to stow -- if they fit at all. Points are also deducted for the disappointing top-down stereo performance. Even the upgraded Bose system suffers from poorly aimed speakers that fail to envelop the occupants.
2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata models
The 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a two-seat roadster that is available with either a soft top or power-retractable hardtop (PRHT). It is offered in three trim levels, from the base Sport model to the Touring and range-topping Grand Touring variants. In Sport trim, standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, a black vinyl convertible top with a glass rear window, air-conditioning, cloth seats, a six-speaker sound system with a CD/MP3 player and an auxiliary input jack, a height-adjustable driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and power windows and mirrors.
The Touring model adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a front suspension tower brace, foglights, cruise control, power door locks, keyless entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a trip computer, a six-CD changer, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a leather-wrapped shift knob. The Grand Touring steps up with the choice of a cloth black or beige top, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated seats, a seven-speaker Bose audio system and silver interior accents. The PRHT models are identically equipped but are only offered in Touring and Grand Touring trim.
Most options are grouped in numerous packages. Sport models can be equipped with the Convenience package that includes most of the Touring upgrades (this package is included in Miatas with automatic transmissions). Touring and Grand Touring models can increase the Miata's already nimble handling with the Suspension package (only available with a manual transmission), which includes a sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks and a limited-slip differential. The Grand Touring qualifies for the Premium package that features stability control, keyless ignition/entry, xenon HID headlights, Bluetooth and satellite radio.
Stand-alone options, depending on the trim, include an Appearance package (which adds a front airdam and lower-body skirting), a removable hardtop, a chrome fuel filler door, run-flat tires, a portable navigation unit, satellite radio, aluminum pedals and a rear spoiler.
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4.5 out of 5 stars
Transformation in the Tires
2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2dr Convertible w/Power Hard Top (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
Most of the reviews cover the important tech issues. I love my car but from day one I assumed that the rough and relatively noisy ride was related to the "sport type tuning" of the car's suspension - and I would just have to live with it. How wrong I was. This was the only thing about the car I did not truly enjoy - it was very noisy - road noise that was magnified by any road … imperfections. Living in NY, I knew I had to replace the stock 17" Summer Tires (potenza) with an all weather tire. This weekend (October 2010) I put on a set of Conti Extreme Contact DSW and wow, what a difference. The car was transformed - it is now composed and a pleasure at any speed and road surface.
5 out of 5 stars
The GT PRHT is the perfect sports car
2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2dr Convertible w/Power Hard Top (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
I just love this car!! We got a '10 (identical to the '11) with Premium Pkg, Suspension Pkg, and Appearance Pkg at a tremendous discount. It is gorgeous (in Brilliant Black). The premium package eliminates any prior concern about the tawdriness of the interior -- it is almost plush, and the sound system is superb. Seats and steering wheel position is excellent. Clutch and shifter are the … best of all the dozens of cars I've owned, including Porsches. Handling is unbelievable, and the optional Bilsteins do NOT make the car too harsh in normal driving. Finally, the power hard top is magical -- doesn't even intrude on trunk space. I just love this car!!
4.88 out of 5 stars
The Perfect Roadster!!
2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
Having owned Corvettes and German cars for 25 years, I purchased a 2008 MX-5. Except for the radio and seats, loved it. Picked up my 2010 Grand Touring last week. Guess what? State of the art BOSE sound system, high-end seats, perfect shifter and 500 more RPM's in each gear! It cruises at 80mph and will outrun any competitors on a twisting road. Best yet, this perfectly balanced … car gets 35mpg. It retains 65% of its value over three years and is inexpensive to maintain. Probably the only car on the road today where the driver is one with the car. The only problem is I want to drive it all the time.
4.75 out of 5 stars
BEST THERE IS!
2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
I bought this vehicle to drive both for fun and back and forth to work, and it is truly what I expected. It even loads my golf clubs in the trunk! The only real complaint I have is that somehow it could have a spare tire. I just feel real uneasy going out of town far without a spare, even though they do give you an air pump and sealit material. Overall, I definitely recommend this car … and would buy one again sometime once i wear this one out, if that is possible.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata, so we've included reviews for other years of the MX-5 Miata since its last redesign.
2010 MX-5 Miata Highlights
|Combined MPG||24 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$199/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|