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#2

in Affordable Sports Cars

MSRP: $23,720 - $30,550
Invoice: $22,424 - $28,875
MPG: 22 City / 28 Hwy
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Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

The 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata ranks 2 out of 10 Affordable Sports Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Mazda MX-5 Miata, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata is ranked:

Few sports cars can touch the 2014 Mazda Miata for sheer driving pleasure, test drivers say, and its low base price makes it an appealing option.

The Mazda MX-5 Miata may have one of the least powerful four-cylinder engines in the class, but automotive writers note that it’s a responsive engine that provides enough juice to propel the lightweight car with a surprising amount of pep. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and both a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic are available. Test drivers love the six-speed manual for its short, precise shifts. The base Miata gets up an EPA-estimated 22/28 mpg city/highway, which is better than the fuel economy of rivals like the Ford Mustang, but not as good as the Mini Cooper Roadster’s estimates. Test drivers say the Miata proves that sports cars don’t need to break the sound barrier to deliver a fun ride. The Miata is pure joy to drive, they say, offering razor-sharp handling and quick, precise steering.

Automotive journalists say the 2014 Mazda Miata's cabin has a functional layout, with clear gauges and dash controls that are easy to figure out. Test drivers say the two-seat Miata can feel a bit cramped, adding that its heavily bolstered seats are sporty, but aren’t very comfortable. The Miata has one of the smallest trunks in the class, but some test drivers note that there’s room for a weekend’s worth of luggage if you pack carefully. Standard features include a six-speaker CD audio system and an auxiliary audio input. Options include automatic climate control, Bluetooth phone connectivity, cruise control, push-button start, satellite radio and a Bose audio system.

  • "When first introduced in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 Miata caused a sensation because it combined the positive characteristics of classic British roadsters, namely a lightweight design and incredibly pure handling, with bulletproof Japanese reliability. Fast forward to the present, and the Miata continues to deliver the same qualities in a slightly larger, more powerful package." -- Left Lane News
  • "Lots of sports cars are faster or flashier but, now in its third generation, the 2014 MX-5 Miata perfectly maintains that tradition of unmatched affordable and reliable fun behind the wheel." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Miata scores a big victory in the value department. You may not get a plethora of high-tech gizmos, but you do get one of the most fun cars to drive at any price. For pure driving enjoyment, it trumps many cars that are more powerful and more expensive." -- Jalopnik
  • "The Mazda Miata supplies the archetypal open-top experience with the wind in your hair, all-around athleticism and an inspiring soundtrack from the engine and exhaust. What few faults that exist are minor and almost expected from the true roadster experience." -- Edmunds (2013)

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Other Sports Cars to Consider

If you need a little more space, the Scion FR-S seats four and reviewers say its front seats are comfy and supportive. Like the Miata, reviewers say that the FR-S is one of the best-handling cars in the class.

Reviewers say the Ford Mustang convertible has athletic handling and its base V6 engine is surprisingly quick. The Mustang also offers tech features that the Miata lacks, including a backup camera and a voice-activated infotainment system.

Compare the Miata, FR-S and Mustang »

Details: 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a rear-wheel drive, two-seat convertible. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission come standard and a six-speed automatic transmission is available. The Miata comes in three trims: Sport, Club and Grand Touring. A power retractable hardtop is available on Club and Grand Touring trims, which come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. The Miata received some minor updates for the 2013 model year, but hasn’t changed much since it was last redesigned for the 2006 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2014 and prior model years.

See the full 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/14/14

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