Highlight: Mazda’s tiny roadster shares a platform with the Fiat 124 Spider.
Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $36,275 (Base Model: $27,500)
Seating Capacity: 2
Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; daytime running lights; a rearview camera; forward collision mitigation; an electronic blind spot monitoring; a lane departure warning system; a rear traffic cross alert system; a tire puncture repair kit; and a tire pressure monitoring system
Standard Equipment (Base Sport Model): 16-inch tires; rear wheel drive; a 6-speed manual transmission; front and rear stabilizer bar; body colored door handles; a black cloth convertible top; a glass rear window; a manual a/c system; a push button ignition system; leather trimmed parking brake; cloth bucket seats; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; and a windblocker (when the vehicle top is down); carpeted floor mats; a locking rear center console; a keyless entry system; a push button ignition starter system; a remote trunk release; and a 7-inch infotainment screen
Standard Equipment (Club Model): 17-inch high-performance tires; 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels; induction sound enhancer; Bilstein shock absorbers; limited slip rear differential; shock tower brace (front); a sport-tuned suspension; a trunk lid mounted antenna; a black front air dam; LED daytime running lights; a high mounted stop lamp; a rear lip black spoiler; a piano black seat back bar trim; a vinyl-leather center console; a body color upper door trim panel; a vinyl leather door trim panel; an engine start switch with a bright ring; heated seats; cloth seats with black and silver stiching; an automatic controlled a/c; Android/Apple Carplay; a Bose 9-speaker audio system; and a SiriusXM satellite radio
Optional Features On Test Vehicle: special exterior color; front air dam; rear lip spoiler; Brembo brakes with red front and rear calipers; a rear bumper skirt; side sill extensions; heated Recaro sport seats; and BBS 17-inch alloy wheels
Other Trim Level:
MX-5 Miata RF
Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AM/FM/HD
Apple or Android Compatibility: Available
Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes
USB Connectivity: Yes
Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/181-hp
Recommended Fuel: Premium
Standard Fuel Mileage: 26-city/34-hwy
What’s New: The major change for the 2020 model year is that a number of safety driving aids have been made standard, ranging from an electronic blindspot system to a lane departure warning system.
Also both Android and Apple Carplay are standard on the Club and Grand Touring trims.
Why: The stylish rear-wheel drive roadster, which marked its 30th year anniversary in 2019, is available in three trims. The three trims are Sport, Club and Grand Touring.
Moreover, during the 2019 model year, the MX-5 Miata boosted the performance of the 4-cylinder engine, adding an astounding 26-horsepower to the roadster, while also expanding the fuel driving range.
Mazda’s tiny iconic roadster continues to be loads of fun to tool around in, especially when outfitted with the brand’s smooth-shifting, 6-speed manual transmission. For those who prefer not to spend their time behind the wheel shifting gears, an optional automatic transmission is available with paddle shifters.
In our opinion, the joy of driving is enhanced, while cruising around curvy roads, especially, when experiencing the open air, when the easy-to-use manual operated top has been folded down. The driving factor is intensified, when one opts for the standard easy-to-shift 6-speed manual.
Our MX-5 Miata was trimmed-out in the Club package, which was slotted below the top of the line Grand Touring trim. While our vehicle included such standard features as 17-inch alloy wheels, a premium Bose system, SiriusXM and heated seats, the manufacturer added such options as color-keyed Brembo brakes, BBS alloy wheels and Recaro sport seats. This appearance package enhanced the overall style, comfort and performance of our MX-5 Miata.
Moreover, for the 2020 model year, a number of driving aids were made standard across all three trims, ranging from an electronic blind spot system to a lane departure system.
But: Because of the MX-5’s compact size, it’s just not suitable for most people, especially if one needs to haul a lot of cargo. Moreover, the MX-5 requires premium fuel too. It would be great if Mazda could deign the engine in this roadster to run of regular fuel.
Furthermore, BMW’s i-Drive-like central nerve center (system) is somewhat complicated to operate. Unlike many of today’s audio infotainment systems, Mazda requires an additional step or two to change the radio system or to program a station.
Verdict: Despite the auto industry shifting away from cars due to the demand for trucks, crossovers and SUVs, the MX-5 continues to thrive in the automotive space. While the aforementioned segments noted might be more practical, they’re just can’t replicate the fun factor the MX-5 Miata has provided for over three decades, especially, when the top is dropped.