2023 Maza Mx 5 Miata 103 1669758490

2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review, Pricing, and Specs

Overview

To call the 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata an icon would be an understatement. The drop-top compact sports car reinvented the niche when it first appeared in 1989. Since then, it’s only gotten better and honed its performance and handling to what it is today: one of the most entertaining things on four. wheels. The Miata competes with the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR 86 twins, but unlike those coupes, it’s offered with one of two open-top body styles—a cloth-top convertible or a retractable hardtop Targa called RF. All models are powered by a 181-hp four-cylinder and come with a standard six-speed manual transmission, a combination reminiscent of the sports cars of yesteryear. An automatic transmission is available, but stick to the manual; it makes this featherweight two-seater a compelling driving companion. It’s not the best choice for daily commutes or long road trips, and tall drivers will find the cabin somewhat cramped, but the Miata is equipped with the essentials, and its chassis is expertly tuned for maximum fun.

What’s new for 2023?

Mazda’s most entertaining model carries over into 2023 with just one change: A new paint color called Zircon Sand.

Prices and which one to buy

The mid-range Club trim gets the best balance of features and performance here, as it comes with 17-inch wheels, a rear limited-slip differential, heated seats and a nine-speaker Bose stereo system. Although the Miata is available with an automatic transmission, it’s far and away best when equipped with the sharp and joyous six-speed manual, which is the only offering on the Club trim.

Engine, transmission and performance

The Miata’s engine revs eagerly and is powerful enough to deliver moving acceleration. Exploring the engine’s high-revving personality is encouraged by the direct, easy-shift manual transmission. Even the optional automatic impresses, with quick shifts and sporty programming. The soft-headed model ran to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds in our testing; the slightly heavier hardtop RF model requires 5.8. Miatas ride tight and can get bouncy when coming over a rapid succession of bumps. The Club’s shocks and springs return the firmest ride of the lineup, though no Miata rides poorly. The handling is sharp, eager and playful. We especially enjoy the light, tactile steering; it cuts like a great running back and keeps the driver aware of what the front tires are doing. It’s a fun car, plain and simple.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

Score another “W” in the Miata’s column for its light weight. With such a small amount of car to haul around, the 2.0-liter engine manages relatively high EPA fuel economy numbers of up to 26 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. On our 200-mile highway fuel economy test route, a soft-top Grand Touring model returned 36 mpg and a hard-top RF Club managed 37 mpg, both equipped with the six-speed manual transmission. For more information on the Miata’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

Interior, comfort and cargo

You don’t so much sit in a Miata as carry it. The cabin is comfortably suitable for two adults and includes only the essentials. While some might categorize the interior as spare, glass-half-full types (us) appreciate the business prioritization of the steering wheel, pedals, shifter and tachometer – and the refreshingly basic accommodation. With few storage cubbies, not to mention a small trunk, the Miata barely acknowledges the need to bring your personal belongings. Then again, its Lilliputian dimensions make little promise in the way of practicality. If you pack light, the trunk can hold a weekend’s worth of stuff for two. Meanwhile, the Subaru BRZ and the Toyota GR 86 twins crush the Miata when it comes to cargo space; their rear seats allow owners to haul up to four full-size wheels and tires (for, say, a track day) between the trunk and the cabin.

Infotainment and connectivity

The Miata boasts a touchscreen infotainment system made better by an easy-to-reach control knob and loud buttons on the center console. Every Miata comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity (for both phone and streaming audio functions), as well as a CD player. Navigation is standard on the Grand Touring and a dealer-installed accessory on Club models—added via a Mazda SD card. Also included is HD Radio compatibility. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all models.

Safety and Driver Assistance Features

The Miatas driver assistance features are all standard. For more information on the Miata’s crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

  • Standard automatic emergency braking with forward collision warning
  • Standard blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert
  • Standard lane departure warning

Warranty and Maintenance Cover

The Miata’s warranty coverage is average, and both of its direct competitors—the BRZ and GR 86—offer similar coverage. The Toyota comes with two years of complimentary maintenance while the Mazda and Subaru do not.

  • Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
  • No complimentary scheduled maintenance

Specifications

Specifications:

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club

VEHICLE TYPE: front engine, rear wheel drive, 2-passenger, 2-door convertible

PRICE AS TESTED: $34,980 (base price: $30,510)

ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 122 cu in, 1998 cc
Force: 181 hp @ 7000 rpm
Torque: 151 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual transmission

CHASSIS:
Suspension (F/R): control arms/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 11.0-in Vented Disc/11.0-in Disc
Tyres:
Bridgestone Potenza S001, 205/45R-17 84W

DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 90.9 inches
Length: 154.1 inches
Width: 68.3 inches Height: 48.6 inches
Passenger volume: 49 cu ft
Hull volume: 5 cu ft
Combat weight: 2345 lbs

C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 5.7 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 16.1 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 27.7 sec
Acceleration, 5–60 mph: 6.4 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 10.2 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 9.9 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.5 sec @ 95 mph
Top speed (drag limited, C/D east): 140 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 170 ft
Road holding capacity, 300-foot slide slide: 0.90 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY:
Observed: 30 mpg

EPA FUEL ECONOMY:
Combined/city/highway: 29/26/34 mpg

c/d test explained

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Grand Touring

VEHICLE TYPE
front engine, rear wheel drive, 2-passenger, 2-door targa

PRICE AS TESTED
$36,350 (base price: $35,925)

ENGINE TYPE
DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 122 cu in, 1998 cc

Force: 181 hp @ 7000 rpm

Torque: 151 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic

CHASSIS
Suspension (F/R): control arms/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 11.0-in Vented Disc/11.0-in Disc
Tires: Bridgestone Potenza S001, 205/45R-17 84W

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 90.0 inches
Length: 154.1 inches
Width: 68.3 inches
Height: 49.0 inches
Passenger volume: 49 cu ft
Hull volume: 5 cu ft
Core weight: 2484 lb

C/D
TEST RESULTS
Zero to 60 mph: 6.5 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 17.3 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 30.9 sec
Acceleration, 5–60 mph: 6.9 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.5 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.4 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.1 sec @ 94 mph
Top speed (drag limited): 137 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 161 ft
Road holding capacity, 300-foot slide slide: 0.90 g

C/D
FUEL ECONOMY
75 mph highway driving: 38 mpg
Freeway range: 450 miles

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 30/26/25 mpg

More features and specifications

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