When it comes to speedy, nimble roadsters, the Mazda MX-5, more commonly referred to as the Mazda Miata, is one of today's most popular options. Combining sporty features with exquisite styling and a relatively low price, the MX-5 has more than earned its place in the hearts of drivers everywhere. This sleek, compact, two-seat convertible features a versatile 2.0-liter inline-4 with rear-wheel drive, although some drivers have issue with its trunk, a scant 5.3 cubic feet.
The MX-5 Miata, designed in Japan, is assembled and manufactured in Hiroshima, Japan and Pretoria, South Africa. Its inline-4 engine gets 167 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. Thanks to its light weight at about 2,500 pounds, the engine is more than sufficient. The Miata boasts superb acceleration capabilities. Fuel economy is respectable; 5-speed manual transmission versions of the roadster achieve 22 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the freeway and 24 mpg combined.
Upon its debut in 1990, the sleek outward appearance and engaging driving performance of the Mazda MX-5 made it an instant hit. First-generation models had distinct pop-up headlights that made them stand out from the crowd. The second-generation MX-5 premiered in 1998, losing the pop-up headlights in favor of fixed headlights. The third and current generation came out in 2005. This Miata is fitted out with a 2.0-liter engine but has otherwise maintained its distinctive and alluring style.
Like many convertibles, the Mazda Miata MX-5 offers a manual and a power-retractable roof. While the manual roof is easy enough to manage, many drivers opt for the power-retractable hard top. Options for the MX-5, available in three trim levels, are generally grouped into packages. The Suspension Package, with Bilstein shocks, is a popular option. The Premium Package, which adds Bluetooth connectivity and stability control, is often thrown into the mix by those who buy the Miata. Of all the trim levels, the top-notch Grand Touring, with heated seats and leather upholstery scores the most points with drivers.
The Mazda MX-5 has been a fan favorite ever since it initially rolled off of the assembly line. It's not a big surprise, then, that it has been showered with accolades over its long and illustrious history. It has appeared on Car and Driver's 10 Best list eight times, and has made Automobile Magazine's All-Star list on twelve separate occasions. In 2010, it was named Best Roadster in the New Car Awards by Auto Express, and will undoubtedly continue to earn more recognition in the future.
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