IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:

The MX-5 Miata has delivered joyous fun behind the wheel at affordable prices ever since it was introduced back in 1990. The current-generation Miata keeps up the tradition; it maintains the Miata’s pure-sports-car character while offering up-to-date technology features.

BUT…

The interior is cramped for anyone over 6’0” tall, and the tiny trunk means you’ll have to pack light.

WORTH NOTING:

The Miata has one of the slickest manual convertible tops ever; it can be easily raised or lowered by hand in seconds.

WHAT IS IT?

The MX-5 Miata is Mazda’s zippy, 2-seat-convertible sports car. Trim levels on the soft-top model ascend through Sport, Club, and Grand Touring models. The new RF model is available only in Club and Grand Touring trim, plus a specially trimmed limited-run Launch Edition. The lone Miata powertrain is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with 155 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque, paired with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Available features include lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitor, automatic high-beam control, Bluetooth connectivity, a navigation system, and the Mazda Connect infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen.

WHAT’S NEW?

After its well-received redesign for 2016, the Miata gets an RF (for Retractable Fastback) model with a targa-top body configuration. The RF has fixed rear roof pillars and a power-retractable hardtop center roof panel in place of the regular Miata’s manual soft top. This diminishes the open-air feel somewhat, but allows for a bit more security and styling flair…and Mazda says the RF has the same trunk capacity as the soft-top Miata.

FUEL ECONOMY

The EPA rates the Miata at 26 mpg city/33 highway with the manual transmission and 26/35 with the automatic. In Consumer Guide® testing, a manual-transmission Club model averaged 31.4 mpg in a slight majority of highway driving.

VALUE IN CLASS

Though the 2017 MX-5 Miata offers a level of sophistication and safety/technology features on par with most modern popularly priced cars, it stays true to the simple, lightweight, affordable, and “tossable” design philosophy that has been a Miata trademark since day one. If you’re looking for a sports car with ferocious acceleration, a Miata is not for you. However, if you appreciate an agile, well-balanced roadster that offers driving satisfaction that transcends brute horsepower—at a sticker price that doesn’t break the bank—the Miata is in a class all its own. The new-for-’17 RF adds hardtop security and versatility in exchange for a bit more weight and a higher sticker price.

BASE PRICE RANGE $24,915 – $34,925
BODY STYLES 2-Door Convertible
AVAILABLE ENGINES 155-Hp, 2.0-Liter 4-Cyl.
DRIVE WHEELS Rear-Wheel Drive
BUILT IN Japan
EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE 26-35 MPG

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