Mazda MX-5 Miata Review
The 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata ranks 2 out of 10 Affordable Sports Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 76 published reviews and test drives of the Mazda MX-5 Miata, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
Test drivers say the 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata proves that sports cars don’t need to carry high price tags or pack monstrous engines to deliver spirited performance.
The 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata has a four-cylinder engine, which isn’t as powerful as the engines of many sports cars in the class. However, test drivers agree that, combined with the Miata’s light weight, the responsive engine delivers enough power to keep up with newer competitors like the Subaru BRZ. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and test drivers love its short throws. Most also note that the transmission offers precise shifts that reinforce the Mazda Miata’s fun driving dynamics. According to the EPA, the 2013 Miata gets up to 22/28 mpg city/highway, which is better than competitors like the Ford Mustang, but not quite as good as the Mini Cooper Roadster. In general, the automotive press loves the Miata’s quick, accurate steering and athletic handling. In a comparison test, one reviewer also notes that the Miata soaks up bumps and road imperfections better than the BRZ. From a practical standpoint, the Miata also earns a better reliability rating than most cars in the class.
Inside, the Miata earns reviewer praise for its attractively-designed interior, which features a functional, driver-focused control layout. Most interior materials are hard plastic, but auto writers say that they’re attractive and seem appropriate for the Miata’s price. Some test drivers comment that the two-seat Miata’s small size means that taller occupants may want more space. The Miata’s trunk is also one of the smallest in the class, but some critics say that if you pack carefully, there’s room for a weekend’s worth of luggage. A few reviewers write that wind and road noise are common on the highway, even with the available hardtop. A six-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack is standard in the 2013 MX-5 Miata. Options and features available on higher trims include automatic climate control, leather seats, heated seats, Bluetooth, push-button start, satellite radio and a Bose stereo.
- "This is the point at which I input the standard laudatory comments about the MX-5's excellent handling, outstanding fun-to-drive factor, and fantastic value. And it's all true; very, very true. I'm still convinced this is one of the best driver's cars on today's market." -- Consumer Guide
- "The Miata isn't flashy or fast. It's just a fun, affordable and reliable roadster that is guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of anyone with a beating heart and a valid driver's license." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The Mazda comes to this battle at an apparent disadvantage: It's wearing the same armor it has had since this Miata generation debuted way back in 2005, while the Subaru [BRZ] has an all-new chassis with the latest tech. Yet around town, the Miata is an absolute pleasure." -- Popular Mechanics (2012)
- "This compact convertible offers everything a driver needs--style, convenience and ample fun." -- AutoWeek (2011)
Other Sports Cars to Consider
If you want a sports car with phenomenal handling, and don’t mind giving up the Miata’s convertible top, consider the Scion FR-S. Reviewers love the FR-S’ supportive front seats, and you’ll also get a small back seat and slightly more cargo space than the Miata offers.
If you like the Miata’s size, consider the Mini Cooper Roadster. Critics love the Roadster’s nimble handling, and it also offers more cargo space and better fuel economy than the Miata. Additionally, the Roadster’s optional turbocharged engines can give it a distinct power advantage.
Details: 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata
The 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a rear-wheel drive, two-seat convertible that’s available with a soft top or a retractable hardtop. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission come standard, and a six-speed automatic transmission is optional. The Miata comes in three trims: Sport, Club and Grand Touring. Club and Grand Touring trims add to the Miata’s list of interior features, and come with a six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment. For 2013, the Miata gets an updated front fascia and standard fog lights, and the Club trim replaces the outgoing Touring model. Aside from that, the Miata is basically unchanged. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2007 through 2012, as well as the current model year.
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