A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The Miata is one of the few cars of the last few decades to become an instant – and enduring – classic. Adored among young and old, male and female alike, the car has maintained popularity as well as kept its basic look. While Mazda has added features and refined the beloved model over its 25+ years as an American convertible mainstay, its charm is rooted in the petite, athletic structure, superior handling and renowned reliability.

Key Features

The sleek, light aluminum body keeps the handling beautiful and the car well balanced. Standard electronic traction and stability control bring safety into the picture, and luxury touches like the height-adjustable driver’s seat and leather-wrapped steering wheel almost fool you into thinking you paid more.

Changes for 2012

The Miata keeps its smooth, stylish exterior, with very little overall change except the addition of the electronic traction and stability control as standard on all models.

What We Like

The near perfect 50/50 front to back balance and dependable handling make the Mazda MX-5 Miata as fun to drive as it is to show off. The convertible top boasts one-arm operation, and is also available in a hard-top version for those northern fans who still want a sporty ride even when the weather is chilly.

What Concerns Us

If you’re over six feet tall you might have issues with head room, although that’s to be expected with a car in this size class. Grocery shopping for longer than a few days won’t be easy, and for people-moving the two-seater falls short.

Available Models

Among the standard Sport, Touring, Grand Touring and Limited Edition models, only the Sport offers a 5-speed manual. All of the others feature a 2.0L 4-cylinder 6-speed in either manual or automatic options, with manual soft top or optional power-operated hard top.

The manual versions sport 167 HP while automatic sits at 158 HP. All models feature 140 lb.-ft. torque, with fuel economy of 22/28 mpg for the 5-speed manual and 21/28 mpg for 6-speed manual and automatic.

Major Recalls

There have been no recalls on the 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Common Issues

The Miata is remarkably short on complaints. There has been an incident of a person on the shorter side being unable to engage the parking brake properly when the seat is moved up far enough to reach the pedals.

Mazda MX-5 Miata 2012 Interior


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Attila

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19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
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Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

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18 years of experience
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18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
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Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
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I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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