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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata
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Expert's Rating

3.2Good | Details

MPG

26 City / 33 Highway
Automotive Editor -

Nearly 30 years after its debut, the Mazda MX-5 Miata continues to be one of the best sports cars on the market. In a world of high-powered, expensive machines, the MX-5 Miata manages to blend a peppy powertrain with sublime handling at an affordable price. There's a simple reason as to why Mazda has sold over 1 million MX-5 Miatas – it's a darn good car.

What's New for 2018

For the 2018 model year, the MX-5 Miata benefits from a few changes. There’s a new Brembo/BBS Recaro Package that’s available on Club trims that are equipped with a manual transmission. The package adds familiar components from last year, like Brembo brakes, more aggressive aerodynamic exterior pieces, and BBS wheels. The newest addition to the package are Recaro seats.

The base Sport trim benefits from a 7-inch infotainment system as standard. Other new options include Auburn Nappa leather seats on Grand Touring trims, a Soul Red Crystal paint scheme, and a Dark Cherry soft-top.

Choosing Your Mazda MX-5 Miata

Choosing which MX-5 Miata to go with is relatively straightforward. The soft-top sports car is the classic variant with an old-school mentality of less is more, while the retractable roof, the MX-5 Miata RF, is a more modern, upscale take on the classic roadster.

Another major decision is going with the six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic gearbox. Besides those two choices, the powertrain is already chosen for you. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque is the only engine offered for the sports car. With its compact powerplant and lightweight body, the MX-5 Miata can get up to 26/35 mpg.

The MX-5 Miata may be all about driving pleasure and carving up windy roads, but the convertible is also fitted with all of the latest safety features. An adaptive front-lighting system, high beam control, a lane departure warning system, rear cross traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring are all available on the sports car.

The MX-5 Miata soft top is available in three different trims:

Sport

The MX-5 Miata Sport trim starts at $26,185, which includes an $890 destination charge, and is the entry-level sports car in the lineup. Standard features on the vehicle include LED headlights, LED taillights, a black cloth convertible top, black exterior mirrors, a glass rear window, and 16-inch wheels. The interior of the sports car features air conditioning, power windows, a rear window defogger, power door locks, cruise control, push-button start, black cloth seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a leather-wrapped shift knob, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and speed-sensing automatic volume control.

There are no available packages for the Sport trim. Adding a six-speed automatic transmission costs $1,350.

Club

The Club is the athletic trim of the sports car and carries a price tag of $30,045. It comes with 17-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, LED daytime running lights, a front air dam, and (on cars with the manual transmission) a sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks, a limited-slip differential, and a shock tower brace. The interior of the Club trim adds heated cloth seats with red stitching, a Bose nine-speaker audio system, two USB ports, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

Available packages on the Club include the Brembo/BBS Package ($3,770) that adds Brembo front brakes with red calipers, gunmetal BB 17-inch alloy wheels, as well as an aero kit with a rear bumper skirt and side skill extensions. The Brembo/BBS Recaro Package ($4,470) includes all of the features from the Brembo/BBS Package, but adds black, heated, leather-trimmed Recaro seats. Both packages are only available on Club trims with the six-speed manual gearbox.

Getting a six-speed automatic transmission with the Club trim costs $600.

Grand Touring

The Grand Touring trim is the range-topping model in the lineup and costs $31,085. A six-speed automatic transmission raises the price by $1,075.

On the outside, the Grand Touring adds auto on/off headlights, a black cloth convertible top with a cloth liner, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated exterior mirrors, and a trunk light as standard. The interior also benefits from upscale touches, including automatic climate control, leather-trimmed seats, and body-colored upper door trim.

There are no available packages for the Grand Touring trim.

Club RF

The hardtop MX-5 starts at $32,800, but the Club serves as the base. It shares a lot of the same features as the soft-top version MX-5 Club, including 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, a 4.6-inch LCD display, sport-tuned Bilstein shocks, black cloth seats, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

The Brembo/BBS Package's prices is down to $3,400, but comes with most of the same gear. Adding advanced keyless entry costs $130. The price for the automatic is down to just $600.

Grand Touring RF

The Grand Touring RF is the range-topping model in the MX-5 Miata line and starts at $33,640. The trim comes with the same features as the soft-top model, but features the retractable roof. Grabbing an automatic on this top-of-the-line MX-5 demands $1,075.

CarsDirect Tip

Enthusiasts looking to get into the sportiest, most enjoyable MX-5 Miata should go with the Club trim and the available Brembo/BBS and Recaro package. Drivers wanting a sports car that they can enjoy on a daily basis should go with one of the Grand Touring trims. The MX-5 Miata RF is better looking and quieter than soft-top variant, without sacrificing the open-air pleasure this line is known for. It's the better all-around choice for most consumers.

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