2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Folding Hardtop Roadster. Two-seat, rear-drive roadster.

  • Likes
  • Handling
  • steering feel
  • gear shifter
  • Dislikes
  • Limited passenger and cargo space

The affordable two-seat roadster that redefined the sports car genre, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is still one of the most involving cars to drive at any price. Now 25-years old, the Miata has changed relatively little, staying true to its winning formula of offering traditional classic sports car thrills with modern Japanese economy car reliability.

One of the changes the years have brought to the Mazda roaster is the PRHT, or Power Retractable Hard Top, which was introduced in 2006 for the third-generation MX-5 Miata. Aimed at reducing noise and offering an extra measure of insulation and security for those who use their Miata as a year-round daily driver, the hard top is a well-engineered piece that can raise or lower in about 10 seconds and only adds 72 lbs to the car's curb weight.

Praising a Miata's driving dynamics is like opening a story with "it was a dark and stormy night." There's a reason the Mazda MX-5 Miata is America's most raced car. If you like driving, then the Miata tends to just feel right, with steering that tells you exactly what it's doing, a crisp gearshift with short, precise throws, and a generally intuitive balance among all the controls. Despite the added hard top and various safety and luxury features that have crept in over the years, the 2015 MX-5 Miata PRHT we tested felt every bit as responsive and cornered with as much enthusiasm as ever.

While the MX-5 Miata is no station wagon, it can definitely be a daily driver for those who travel light. Unlike more extreme sports cars like the Alfa Romeo 4C or Lotus Elise, the Miata doesn't beat you up over rough surfaces. And as a bonus for city dwellers, the Miata has one of the smallest turning circles of any new car, needing only 30.8 ft. to turn around, compared to an absurd 40.5 ft. for the Alfa Romeo. Our MX-5 Grand Touring's EPA fuel economy ratings do seem oddly low for such a tiny, low-horsepower car, at 21 city/ 28 highway, but in real world testing MX-5 Miatas consistently outperform those official estimates. The MX-5 has a reasonable amount of space inside for a two-seater, and it even has six cupholders. Why you'd need three beverages for each passenger is still a mystery, but, there they are. The hard top does add some security, and the seats are comfortable enough for long drives.

Warranty/Service: 3-year, 36,000-mile basic warranty/ 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty/ 24-hour roadside assistance

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Specs

Base Price: $29,450

As Tested: $29,450

  • 21 / 28 mpg
  • EPA
  • 6.9 sec
  • 0-60
  • 167 hp
  • Horsepower
  • Engine: 2.0-liter inline-4
  • Horsepower: 167 hp
  • Torque: 140
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Curb Weight: 2,593 lbs
  • Wheelbase: 91.7 in
  • Length: 157.3 in
  • Width: 67.7 in
  • Height: 49 in
  • Turning circle: 30.8 ft
  • Brakes: Front vented disc/ rear solid disc with ABS
  • Suspension: Front double wishbone/ rear multilink
  • Traction: Traction and Stability control standard, can be switched off.
  • 0-60 mph: 6.9 sec
  • 60-0 mph: 117 ft.
  • EPA City: 21 mpg
  • EPA Highway: 28 mpg
  • Combined MPG: 24 mpg
  • Seating Capacity: 2
  • Safety: Not rated

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