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 soft 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. It comes as a traditional soft top and an RF (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 the RF has the same trunk capacity as the soft-top Miata. Trim levels on the soft-top model ascend through Sport, Club, and Grand Touring models; the RF model is available only in Club and Grand Touring trim. The lone Miata powertrain is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 151 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?

A 17-percent increase in horsepower is the biggest news for the 2019 Miata; output is now 181 hp instead of 155. Other enhancements include a tilt/telescopic steering column in place of the previous tilt-only unit, a standard rearview camera, and the availability of Mazda’s Smart City Brake Support and Traffic Sign Recognition safety technologies.

FUEL ECONOMY

The EPA rates the Miata at 26 mpg city/34 highway with the manual transmission and 26/35 with the automatic. In Consumer Guide® testing, a manual-transmission Grand Touring model averaged 30.7 mpg in 60-percent city driving.

VALUE IN CLASS

Though the current-generation 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 hard to beat. The RF adds hardtop security and versatility in exchange for a bit more weight and a higher sticker price. And, the horsepower infusion for 2019 makes all Miatas even more responsive and fun to drive.

BASE PRICE RANGE $25,730 – $33,335
BODY STYLES 2-Door Convertible, 2-Door Convertible Hardtop
AVAILABLE ENGINES 181-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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