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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata

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Expert's Rating

4.7Excellent

MPG 21 City / 28 Highway
Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Excellent handling
  • Reasonably quick
  • Good fuel economy
  • Huge fun factor
Cons
  • Limited cargo area
, Automotive Editor -
Even with its flaws, few vehicles provide more fun for the buck than the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Introduction

Since its inception in 1990, the Miata has always prioritized precise handling over speed. Even the quick Mazdaspeed, produced in 2004 and 2005, wasn't exactly a speed demon. But the lightweight roadster could always hang with the best of the them in the corners.

For 2013, the MX-5 Miata gets a slight facelift that gives the "cute" sports car a more aggressive outward appearance.Three trim levels – Sport, Club and Grand Touring – share a 2-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine. It pumps out 167 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 140 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm in Sport and Club models with a manual five-speed transmission. Output drops to 158 horsepower at 6,700 rpm with an optional automatic transmission, which is standard on the Grand Touring model.

Acceleration isn't stunning, but a Miata with a manual transmission can hit 60 mph in under seven seconds, and return 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

Put a Miata in the twist, however, and accolades flow. Standard 16-inch wheels wrapped in 205/50R16 performance rubber keep it glued to the tarmac, and gas-filled shocks combined with front and rear stabilizer bars to minimize body roll. An optional sport-tuned Bilstein suspension system and 17-inch wheels only enhance the Miata's corner-devouring capabilities.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Starting price
$16,985

2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport

Recommended for: Buyers looking for a point-and-go sports car that is affordable and fun to drive

At the Sport Trim level, the MX-5 Miata has the basic amenities expected in a roadster: four-wheel disc brakes; an independent suspension; a five-speed manual transmission; halogen fog lights; an aluminum-alloy hood; a vinyl soft top; power side-view mirrors; 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; high-performance tires; air conditioning; power windows; a 12-volt power outlet; a mesh wind blocker; cloth seating; a leather-wrapped steering wheel; and an AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with six speakers and steering-wheel-mounted controls.

2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Starting price
$16,985

2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club

Recommended for: Buyers who want a sportier and more luxurious feel in a Miata

The Club trim level adds amenities like: a six-speed manual transmission; black front air dam and rear diffuser; a cloth convertible top; black-painted side-view mirrors; Club-exclusive badges and decals; 17-inch gunmetal aluminum-alloy wheel; power door locks; cruise control with steering-wheel-mounted controls; keyless entry; black cloth seating with red contrast stitching; a leather-trimmed shifter knob; and a body-colored decorative panel with Club-exclusive graphics.

2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Starting price
$16,985

2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring

Recommended for: Buyers who want peak luxury at a reasonable price

The top-of-the-line Grand Touring features: a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters; an interior-matching cloth soft top; body-colored side-view mirrors; 17-inch alloy wheels; automatic climate control; auto-dimming rearview mirrors; a universal garage door opener; heated and leather-trimmed seating; a leather-wrapped parking brake handle; and a Bose audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3/SiriusXM capabilities, a CD changer and seven speakers.

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