2016 Mazda Miata Gets 36 MPG

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Automotive Editor

Armaan Almeida was an Automotive Editor who produced buying guides and sneak previews, in addition to publishing daily news stories and tracking monthly deals, incentives and pricing trends from Toyota, Nissan and Lexus.

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, Automotive Editor - April 24, 2015

Consumers win as cars continue to get more fuel-efficient--and fun.

Official EPA fuel economy numbers for the most loved roadster in existence have been released. The 2016 Mazda Miata equipped with an optional automatic transmission will get up to 36 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in the city, while the more sought-after 6-speed manual will get 34 mpg on the highway and an identical 27 mpg in the city. These numbers represent a substantial 20% improvement in fuel economy when compared the 2015 Miata--no small feat.

Earlier this week, we reported that production had officially begun giving Mazda the perfect platform to also announce pricing for all the trim levels. The Miata will start at $25,735 and will be chock full of SKYACTIV technology, including lower curb weight. The launch of the new Miata got us thinking. We all know that cars continue to get more fuel-efficient. But they're also getting faster and fun. Although the new Miata is the newest model to feature the tricky feature set, other models are also out there.

If you're looking for something fuel-efficient & fun, here are some other models to consider:

Ford Focus
  • MSRP: $19,450 (2014) or $19,785 (2015)
  • Fuel Economy: 26/36 MPG
  • Horsepower/Torque: 160 hp/146 lb-ft
  • Incentives: Rebates, Low APR

The Focus is an interesting model in that most consumers simply view it as more of an appliance than a fun car. Although it offers oodles of standard features, it's surprisingly fun to drive. If it were us, we'd opt for the more utilitarian hatchback bodystyle.

Vollkswagen Golf

Volkswagen continues to help lead the charge for fuel-efficient fun with their highly-touted (deservedly so) and capable Golf. Don't let it's FWD-layout fool you. Like the Focus, it handles extremely well and it a flat-out blast to drive, especially with the newly uprated turbo-four. That 184 lb-ft of torque is a driver's ticket to budget-based driving nirvana.

Ford Mustang

Mustang sales are skyrocketing, and after a test drive in the new Mustang--you'll know why. Ford's sleek coupe excels at value, offering a few different engine options that all produce solid horsepower and torque. We prefer the EcoBoost, especially since it rewards its owner with not only big power, but big fuel economy as well. In fact, we think it's better to buy the new 2015 model over a used one. The price will surprise you.

Mini Hardtop

Not many cars on this list are as iconic as the sought-after MINI Hardtop. It's an extremely popular vehicle that sells extremely well. The MINI offers the most in terms of customization, giving its owners the opportunity to express themselves with all sorts of aesthetic options. Not only does it feature cute, head-turning style, but it also gets 40 mpg on the highway and handles like a slot car. If you're going to own one, you're going to really have fun using it for even the most mundane errand. It's easy to drive and its short overhangs make it a cinch to park.

Mazda Mazda3

Don't let the Miata be the only Mazda you consider. The Zoom-Zoom moniker lives in all of Mazda's models, even the affordable 41-mpg highway-rated Mazda3 sedan. Yeah, it's available in hatchback form as well, but the hefty price premium might steer some shoppers away. Regardless, the sedan feels and drives almost just as well, but with a more affordable price.

Honda CR-Z
  • MSRP: $20,815
  • Fuel Economy: 31/38 MPG
  • Horsepower/Torque: 122 hp/107 lb-ft
  • Incentives: Owning one

The CR-Z is the only hybrid aside from the 514-hp Tesla Model S 70D that we'd legitimately recommend in terms of pure driving enjoyment. Oddly, the CR-Z is not the most fuel-efficient on this list, but it's short wheelbase and small dimensions make it a blast to drive. The 6-speed manual transmission that Honda offers with the CR-Z is arguably the best, offering short, solid throws. We dare you to find a better gearbox. Oh yeah, world around the campfire is that the next CR-Z will be turbocharged.

Mazda MX-5 Miata

We didn't forget you, little guy. Although the new 2016 Miata is going to be that much better then the current model, we couldn't help but leaving it off this list. The 2015 Miata is still unquestionably fun to drive. We just hope the rebates get a bit beefier in the coming months, especially has the 2016s begin hitting showroom floors. If you still want the 2016, beware of possible markups.

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, Automotive Editor

Armaan Almeida was an Automotive Editor who produced buying guides and sneak previews, in addition to publishing daily news stories and tracking monthly deals, incentives and pricing trends from Toyota, Nissan and Lexus.

Follow On: Google+ | Website

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