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Car Reviews
MAZDA MX-5 MIATA

A RARE, BUT FUN, TWO-SEAT CONVERTIBLE

Two-seat convertibles have gotten downright rare. The best-known exception is the Mazda MX-5 Miata.
   

Powered by a gutsy 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to the standard six-speed manual, the Miata retains its legendary status by being a blast to drive. While there are more powerful convertibles out there, none can match the zippy lightness of the Miata’s driving experience.
  

As you’d expect, handling, steering and braking are all above reproach. The firmer suspension of the Club models we drove bolstered their ability to tackle curvy roads but made the ride a bit stiff on the highway.
  

In the roof department, there are two choices. The new RF model features a power-operated hardtop with a center section that folds away, leaving a substantial rear pillar that detracts from the convertible experience. This shortcoming alone makes the easy-to-operate soft-top the preferred pick.
  

Thankfully, there are still sports cars like the Miata around so future generations will know the true joys of alfresco motoring.
   

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STRENGTHS

  • Outstanding fuel economy
  • Soft-top is super-simple to open and close. 

WEAKNESSES

  • Tiny trunk will require you to be a light packer.
  • Cabin is cramped for taller drivers.

BOTTOM LINE

  • Impractical? Maybe. Fun? Definitely! 

PRICING

  • Base Price: $26,580
  • As Tested: $38,006 

M.P.G. (city/highway)

  • 26/34 (2.0L I4/manual)
  • 26/35 (2.0L I4/automatic)