2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

Used MX-5 Miata for sale
List Price Estimate:$11,817 - $15,868
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Fun to drive
  • precise steering and handling
  • smartly designed soft and hard tops
  • low price
  • low operating costs.
  • Disappointing stereo
  • small trunk.

The 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata maintains its position as one of the best roadsters ever built, with equal parts fun and refinement in a compact and affordable package.

Vehicle overview

New car models are launched every year, and with each model's unveiling, its automaker will proudly count off the ways in which this fresh arrival is an improvement over others in the market. In such a competitive and ever-changing environment, longevity can be hard to pull off, but that's exactly what the Mazda MX-5 Miata has managed to accomplish. The 2014 MX-5 Miata marks the 25th year of the model's existence. While it's no longer the brash young upstart it once was, the Mazda Miata still has the goods to distinguish itself as a canny choice for drivers seeking a rear-wheel-drive sports car that offers engaging driving dynamics at an affordable price.

First and foremost on the MX-5 Miata's list of positive attributes is its entertaining disposition. This is a car talented enough to spike even the most mundane excursions with ample doses of pleasure and excitement. 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. Operating either the soft or hard top is an exercise in simplicity, and each may be raised or lowered in just a few moments with little effort. Best of all, you don't have to pay through the nose for all this driving enjoyment. A new MX-5 Miata starts at under $25 grand and operating costs are agreeably low.

The MX-5 Miata is not without competition. A few drop tops in this price range have come and gone in recent years, but three Miata rivals are still standing: the convertible versions of the Fiat 500, Mini Cooper and Volkswagen Beetle. While each has its own uniquely quirky appeal, none boasts the sort of unflappable handling (nor the rear-drive layout) for which the Miata is known. Another option would be a larger and heavier sport convertible such as the Chevrolet Camaro or Ford Mustang, though their increased size and heft mean they're not nearly as tossable as the Mazda is around turns. In the end, the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata continues to cruise in a league of its own, offering good times behind the wheel for relatively little coin.

2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata models

The 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a two-seat roadster offered in three trim levels: base Sport, Club and range-topping Grand Touring. All come standard with a manually operated soft top, while the top two trims can be had with a power-retractable hardtop (PRHT).

Standard features for the Sport trim include 16-inch alloy wheels, a vinyl convertible top with a glass rear window, foglights, air-conditioning, cloth seats, a height-adjustable driver seat, a leather-wrapped tilt-only steering wheel, power windows and mirrors and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack.

The Club trim adds 17-inch wheels, sporty front and rear fascia treatments, black exterior trim, a black cloth convertible top, cruise control, power door locks, keyless entry, unique interior trim, a leather-wrapped shift knob, a trip computer and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

The Grand Touring offers the choice of a black or beige cloth top and adds automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a seven-speaker Bose audio system with a six-CD changer and silver interior accents. The PRHT models are identically equipped.

Most options are grouped in packages. Sport models can be equipped with the Convenience package that includes most of the Club's upgrades (this package is standard in Miata Sport models with the automatic transmission). Club and Grand Touring models can enhance the Miata's already nimble handling with the Suspension package, which includes a sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks and a limited-slip differential (only available with a manual transmission). The Grand Touring qualifies for the Premium package that features keyless ignition/entry, xenon headlights, Bluetooth phone connectivity and satellite radio.

2014 Highlights

The Mazda MX-5 Miata receives no significant changes for 2014.

Performance & mpg

Powering all 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miatas is a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 167 horsepower (158 with the automatic transmission) and 140 pound-feet of torque. Sport models come standard with a five-speed manual transmission, while Club and Grand Touring models come with a six-speed manual transmission. All trim levels have the option of a six-speed automatic with shift paddles on the steering wheel, and all Mazda Miatas are rear-wheel drive.

In Edmunds testing, a Miata with a five-speed manual transmission sprinted from a standstill to 60 mph in a reasonably quick 6.7 seconds. Fuel economy is about average, with an EPA-estimated 25 mpg combined (22 mpg city/28 mpg highway) for the five-speed manual. The six-speed manual drops slightly to 24 mpg combined (21 mpg city/28 mpg highway), while the automatic is rated at 23 mpg combined (21 mpg city/28 mpg highway).

Safety

Standard safety features on all 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata models include antilock disc brakes, side airbags and stability and traction control. In Edmunds braking tests, various Miata models turned in stopping distances from 60 mph between 110 and 118 feet, which are very respectable numbers for a sports car.

Driving

The Mazda Miata is legendary for its ability to squeeze maximum enjoyment from winding blacktop, and it owes much of this skill to its communicative steering and well-sorted suspension. Expert drivers might find the car's body roll and stability control intervention to be excessive when pushing hard around corners, but just about everybody else will enjoy its tidy handling. Overall, the 2014 Mazda MX5 Miata is one of the best-handling cars you can buy for the money -- and if you've never owned a rear-wheel-drive car before, it's a great starting point.

The free-revving four-cylinder engine doesn't pack a whole lot of punch compared to some other sports cars, but it's always eager to play. Additionally, the short-throw shifts and easy clutch action of the manual gearboxes are simply as good as it gets. On a daily basis, the Miata is easy to live with and comfortable for long stints in either top-up or top-down mode.

Interior

Average-sized drivers will find the 2014 Mazda Miata's cockpit on the snug side, but still very comfortable. Taller drivers will likely run out of legroom, though the current-generation MX-5 is significantly roomier than older versions. The interior itself is rather basic in terms of design and materials, with legible gauges and controls that are user-friendly and well-placed.

Those who choose the manual convertible top will appreciate its ease of use; all it takes is the push of a button and the tug of a lever to liberate the lightweight top from its moorings. It takes just a few seconds to lower the top, and raising it is just as quick and easy. With practice, some longer- and stronger-limbed drivers can raise the roof without even leaving their seat. With the power-retractable hardtop it takes a bit longer to transform from coupe to roadster, but the added convenience, noise isolation and security make it a good choice if you're using your Miata as a daily driver. With either top down, wind buffeting is impressively low even with the side windows down at 60 mph.

Convertibles are notoriously short on trunk space, and the Miata is no exception, but to its credit, the PRHT doesn't require any additional sacrifice. With just 5.3 cubic feet of total trunk space available for either hard- or soft top models, there's barely room for a light traveler's luggage and it takes some effort to get golf bags to fit – if they fit at all. Points are also deducted for the disappointing stereo performance when the top is down. Even the upgraded Bose system suffers from poorly aimed and comparatively weak speakers that fail to fill the cabin with sound. The lack of a USB/iPod interface and unavailability of Bluetooth audio connectivity for either system are additional disappointments.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
2014 MX-5 Miata. Great car. A blast to drive!
Charles Schoolcraft,03/10/2017
Grand Touring 2dr Convertible w/Power Hard Top (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
It is a tight fit for a large person, I'm 6'2" and 235 but once in it is comfortable a little snug but comfortable. Gas mileage good but not outstanding. Hardtop convertible and it has wind noise at highway speed but no leaks even in hard rain.
5 out of 5 stars
My 3rd MX-5
CK,10/03/2017
Club 2dr Convertible w/Power Hard Top (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
Love these cars! I've owned the NA(for 6+ years) NB (for 10+ years) and now a preowned 2014 NC. If you love to drive, the Club Edition is the car for you. The stiffer suspension with the short throw manual transmission is a blast. On a practical note, the trunk is "big enough" for a grocery run and seems huge compared to my previous Miatas. Initially hesitant to purchase the PRHT but after extensive research they seem to be pretty much trouble free...love the feeling of a coupe when the hard top is up. To sum it up, top up or down, twisty roads, around town or even freeway, I love to drive this car (my favorite, so far :-) NA, NB, NC or the new ND, you can't go wrong with a MX-5! Smile & Drive them all!
5 out of 5 stars
Zoom, zoom!
Darla,11/08/2018
Grand Touring 2dr Convertible w/Power Hard Top (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
This Mazda Miata MX-5 is the 2014 Grand Tour model with the awesome retractable roof, so much better than the cloth tops that eventually fade, wear and have to be replaced. Used and with only ~3k miles and just a couple of rock chips, and a scratch on the windshield, the $21,100 I paid was a steal. This car turns heads - I have seen no others driving around here in Amarillo, Texas. The 'Spicy mocha' leather on the seats and doors make it look absolutely classy. It is an automatic, but you can change it to manual with the gearshift and then use the paddles on the steering wheel to change gears. The sound of the motor is so satisfying when you accelerate, and it turns corners on a dime. As a bonus, the seat heaters are doing an amazing job on my lower back pain - sometimes I just want to sit in it. The Bose sound system is great and you can make hand's free calls with a computer aid that keeps some of your contacts handy - it asks you who you want to call! However, as nice as the stereo system is, I am changing it out (leaving the Bose speakers) for a Pioneer that has navigation, rear view camera and that uses Bluetooth to play songs from my phone. I have read reviews about the trunk being too small, but I am a Sam's shopper I - got a case of water, a case of beer, a large package of carrots, a roast, stew meat, 2 t-bones, my daughter's very full backpack and my computer in it, no problem. What more do you need??? This Great Car will be pampered - stays in the garage during rain, snow, and icy weather. I filled up the tank with extra premium unleaded yesterday for $27. As a convertible, I will be driving it in the lineup for the Veterans Day parade, with patriotic balloons attached to the rear trunk. I love this car!
4.13 out of 5 stars
2014 Mazda Manual Hard Top
fgbill,03/03/2014
Grand Touring 2dr Convertible w/Power Hard Top (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
Fun to drive! Had to re-learn shift points for a 6-speed. Haven't had the top down yet (rain and snow are not conducive). Interior climate control works well. Seats are fairly comfortable. Needed to fiddle with height, depth, and back angle to comfortable. I went for a Mazda 3 hatchback to this and it is definitely a step up in the fun category!

More about the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Used 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata Overview

The Used 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata is offered in the following submodels: MX-5 Miata Convertible. Available styles include Grand Touring 2dr Convertible w/Power Hard Top (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Grand Touring 2dr Convertible w/Power Hard Top (2.0L 4cyl 6M), Sport 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Club 2dr Convertible w/Power Hard Top (2.0L 4cyl 6M), Sport 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Club 2dr Convertible w/Power Hard Top (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M), Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M), and Club 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6A). Pre-owned Mazda MX-5 Miata models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 167 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic, 6-speed manual, 5-speed manual. The Used 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

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Should I lease or buy a 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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