With the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club six-speed, the sporty modern roadster marks almost 30 years of zoom-zoom on America’s highways and byways. The iconic roadster. And though it’s hard to believe the Miata has been around for so long, its enduring popularity is easy to understand. The classic shape (especially in red), sexy profile, and overall good performance add up to a car that’s a pleasure to drive while relatively kind to your bank account. But honestly – who can put a price on fun anyway?
First things first: The 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata six-speed is made for two people. Don’t try squeezing more in. As a matter of fact, don’t plan on carrying much cargo at all. That’s not why you buy a sports car anyway. Still, you don’t have to save this car for special occasions; it’s just as comfortable scooting around town – and it’ll fit in even the tightest parking spots. But instead of those trips to the big box stores, schedule a breezy jaunt down the PCH to Malibu, which we did, where it can show off a firm ride that handles curves well. The nimble and polished Miata is made for it, with a suspension system that suspension deadens the impact of potholes and uneven pavement.
To get the most out of the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata and its four-cylinder engine, you’ll want the six-speed transmission, though the automatic delivers nicely too. All models feature keyless entry with a push-button engine start, including the manual transmission. The Miata (with an MSRP of $25,295) doesn’t have quite the horsepower of its much pricier European equivalents, although its looks will have enthusiasts turning heads, but you won’t notice it at all in the feel of the drive. It revs and hugs the road like a champ.
The Miata is available in both hard and soft-top varieties, and a leather interior is available as an option. You can also upgrade the already comfortable seats to the highly desirable Recaros for extra grip. In fact, from a driver’s perspective, the proportions for the steering wheel, pedals, and controls in the Miata are nearly perfect for a small sports car. Taller drivers might feel a slight squeeze when the top is up, but the Mazda comes through as advertised.
Even retro-inspired sportsters can include modern amenities, and you’ll find them in the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata, starting with the 7-inch infotainment touchscreen up front, a USB input, and power windows and locks. Mazda also offers various upgrade packages with options for Bose audio, automatic climate control, and heated seats. All this comes with great mileage numbers: The six-speed manual gets you 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined; the six-speed automatic clocks 35 mpg highway but otherwise identical numbers.
The 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata comes with four airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability control as standard safety features. The Club trim adds blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alerts, and the top-line Grand Touring includes lane-departure warnings, adaptive headlights that curve into turns, and automatic high-beam headlights. The federal safety evaluators have yet to issue a score for the Miata.
The 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata is fun, no doubt about it. But you might be surprised to learn that it ticks many of the boxes you’d expect of any type of vehicle, including good mileage, excellent handling and road feel, and a competitive price. In other words, take a spin. You might like what you find behind the wheel. #DriveMazda