The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a 2-seat, rear-wheel-drive roadster, one of the best-selling roadsters in history. It was introduced in 1989 and is now in its third generation. It's built in the tradition of lightweight, sporty European models built decades earlier, such as the Fiat Sport Spider, Triumph Spitfire, and Lotus Elan. For 2013, the Mazda MX-5 Miata features an updated front fascia treatment and a new trim level, the Club, as the middle trim, in between the base Sport and the ultra-luxe Grand Touring trims. Prospective buyers who would consider a Fiat 500, Ford Mustang, Mini Cooper, or Audi TT Roadster might also cross-shop the Mazda MX-5 Miata.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata comes standard with a manually operated vinyl soft top that includes a glass rear window, while a power-retractable hardtop is available on the two upper trim levels. Standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, halogen headlights, and fog lights. The Club trim level adds a shock tower brace, remote keyless entry with retractable key, sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks, a limited-slip differential, exclusive Club model badging and side graphics, and painted black power mirrors. The Grand Touring trim offers a black or brown cloth soft top and 17-inch alloy wheels. Exterior colors are white, silver, red, and black.
The base Sport model comes with cloth seats, air conditioning, power windows with driver's-side one-touch-down feature, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and AM/FM/CD/MP3-compatible audio system. The Club trim offers power door locks with 2-stage unlocking feature, steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, leather-wrapped shift knob, body-colored decoration panel with Club graphics, contoured IP gauge hood with dark grey meter rings, black cloth seats with red stitching, and a dark grey seatback bar. The Grand Touring Trim offers painted silver seatback bar trim, cruise control, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, 5-level heated seats, painted silver trim on the leather-wrapped shift knob, and a Bose audio system with AudioPilot. Trunk space comes to 5.3 cubic feet.
Many of the upgrades offered on the upper trim levels are available as options (usually packaged) on the lower trim levels. The Convenience package includes most of the Club's upgrades, and is standard with the automatic transmission. The Grand Touring trim can add the Premium package, with upgrades like xenon headlights, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, and keyless entry/ignition. Other options include a front air dam, paint protection film, satellite radio, wheel locks, and all-weather floor mats.
Under the Hood
The 2013 MX-5 Miata is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 167 horsepower and mated with a standard 5-speed manual transmission. The upper trim levels upgrade to a 6-speed manual transmission, which is optional on the Sport. A 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shifters is available on all trim levels. The automatic transmission reduces power to 158 horsepower. In either case, the engine produces up to 140 lb.-ft. of torque.
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata are:
MX-5 Miata with 5-speed manual transmission: 22/28/25 mpg (city/highway/combined)
MX-5 Miata with 6-speed manual transmission: 21/28/24 mpg
MX-5 Miata with automatic transmission: 21/28/23 mpg
Standard safety features of note on the 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata include anti-lock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, front air bags, and side air bags.
As of this writing, no crash test ratings are yet available from either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).