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