Flash Drive

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Model Tested: 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring MT

The 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring soft top roadster lives for sunny days and open roads. It’s fun on four wheels.

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

Base Price: $30,065

As Tested: $31,325


Lively engine; revs quickly

Smooth 6-speed manual transmission and clutch

Quick, responsive steering

The Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission are wonderful.


Handsome 17-inch alloy wheels

Excellent fuel economy—our best was 34.2 mpg

Slightly aggressive exhaust note, but not obnoxious

Miata seats are comfortable if somewhat snug for people over 6-feet tall who weigh over 200 pounds.

Built-in rollbars behind each seat

Blind spot monitor and lane departure warning


Supportive seats

Three temperature heated seats

Good legroom

Tilt steering column

Big dead pedal

Manual top is quick and easy to lower

Small windscreen between seats

Good heater and defroster

Medium thick, slightly contoured leather steering wheel

Decent auxiliary controls on steering wheel


Pack light

Minimal, almost non-existent interior storage

Console bin good for a couple packs of gum

Interior storage space is extremely limited as witnessed by the flimsy removable cupholders between the two seats.

No traditional glovebox

Small, locking compartment between seat backrests

No door bins

Two intrusive, add-on cupholders

Tiny, hard sunvisors

Reasonable size trunk good for one medium suitcase

Low-grade trunk carpeting

Efficient rain-sensing wipers

Automatic high/low beam control

Small, weak dome lamp

WOW Factors:

Great fun to drive

Like a street legal go-kart

Strong engine

Excellent fuel economy

The soft top is tight, dry and easy to lower or raise, but not especially well insulated against road noise.

Sharp styling


Very snug for people over 6-feet tall

Almost no place for small items

Too much road noise through canvas top

Bottom Line:

The 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata is the modern evolution of fifties and sixties imported sports cars. The crudeness and unreliability are gone, but the fun and sheer joy of driving briskly on sunny days remains. The Miata is a very nimble commuter, but it’s best as a weekend fun car.