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MX-5 Miata
Justin Cupler
Automotive Editor - February 20, 2013

Expert Rating

4.7 (Excellent)
21 City / 28 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

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4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

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1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata OVERVIEW

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.

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