Flash Drive

2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Model Tested: 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club

The 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata is largely unchanged from its 2017 restyle, but it’s still loaded with fun.

Engine:2.0-liter I-4, 155 horsepower, 148 lb-ft torque

Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission, rear-wheel-drive

EPA Rating: 26-mpg city, 33-mpg highway, 29-mpg combined

Base Price: $29,155

As Tested: $35,240


Quick and nimble

Excellent Brembo brakes, but an expensive option

Very smooth transmission and clutch

Great fuel economy—our best was 35.8-mpg highway

Much appreciated blind spot monitor

The best place to enjoy a Miata is on a lonely country road or perhaps a race track.

Built-in rollbars


OK room for driver; less for passenger

Great (optional) leather Recaro seats

Heated seats, three temps

Snug seat bolsters

Not much seat adjustment

Limited range tilt steering column

Right knee rides very close to center tunnel

Good headroom

Thick, mildly contoured leather steering wheel


Manual canvas top; quick and easy to operate

When wringing the most fun out of a Miata it’s nice to have the optional high performance Brembo brakes and BBS wheels.

Top fits well, but still lots of road noise

Deep trunk, high lift-over height

Room for a couple soft-side suitcases

Coats need to be stored in trunk

Console bin next to worthless; might hold a few sticks of gum

No glovebox in dash

Small, locking compartment between seats at shoulder height

No door bins

Minimal interior lighting

WOW Factors:

An ideal sunny day, country road car

A go-kart for adults

Excellent engine and transmission

The optional Recaro seats are comfortable and supportive. The deep side bolsters help keep you planted in aggressive corners.

Lots of smiles per mile

Handsome styling

Very useful blind spot monitor and lane departure warning


Minimal interior storage

Highly annoying, clip-on beverage holders

Not fun cruising next to big rigs

Lots of freeway road noise

Too small sunvisors

Brembo brakes, BBS wheels and Recaro seats cost $4470

Dim interior lighting

Passenger has noticeably less room than driver

Bottom Line:

Despite a long list of whines, the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata is an incredibly fun car that always makes you smile. It falls terribly short in terms of practicality, but that never was the intent of a true sports roadster like the Miata.