The Mazda MX-5 Miata – technically its full name, although no one except Mazda ever includes the "MX-5" part – is a two-seat convertible or, starting this year, a coupe topped with a targa-style folding roof. A 2.0-liter inline-four sends a maximum of 155 horsepower to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual or (if absolutely necessary...) a six-speed automatic. EPA mileage estimates for manual-transmission Miatas are 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined. The highway number improves by two mpg with the automatic, but the city and combined ratings are unchanged.
The Miata roadster is available in three trim levels. The base model is the Sport, with a starting MSRP of $25,790 (all prices listed here include an $875 destination charge). Choosing the automatic transmission adds $1,480. Standard equipment includes modern essentials like air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, remote locking, and a multifunction steering wheel. The Club stickers at $29,675 for the manual and $30,405 for the automatic and is intended for more serious drivers demanding more agility. Manual-gearbox Clubs get a healthy set of upgrades over the Sport, including:
- Stiffer springs and Bilstein shocks
- A limited-slip differential
- A front shock tower brace
- 17-inch wheels with P205/45 R17 tires
- Mazda's Connect infotainment system with Bose speakers and voice control
Automatics do without the revised suspension pieces, brace, and differential. The Grand Touring tops the range, with standard lane departure warning, automatic climate control, and heated leather seats for an asking price of $30,940 manual or $32,145 automatic.
The big news for the Miata in 2017 is the introduction of the RF, which replaces the fabric top with a power-operated folding roof panel, a retractable rear window, flying buttresses, and a fastback-like silhouette. Weight goes up by 113 pounds, which sounds more drastic than it feels.
The RF is available in Club or Grand Touring trim levels identical to the roadster versions. The RF Club's MSRP is $32,430 manual and $33,160 automatic, while sticker for the RF Grand Touring is $33,495 or $34,700 depending on transmission.
The options list follows traditional Mazda practice – there aren't many. Buyers of manual-transmission Clubs can add a somewhat overpriced $3,400 BBS wheel/Brembo brake package. A $130 Advanced Keyless Entry system is optional on manual-transmission cars (it's standard on automatics). A few port-installed trim and security items are also available.