2016 Mazda Miata
(U.S. News and World Report)

The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata currently ranks first among affordable sports cars, as test drivers praise its extremely engaging handling, peppy four-cylinder engine and upscale, modern interior.

Auto writers reported that the 2015 Miata, which ranked third in the class when it was new, delivers one of the most fun driving experiences of any car on the market, and test drivers say the 2016 Miata continues the trend with exceptionally athletic handling and sharp steering. Additionally, some critics assert that the redesigned Miata’s reduced weight makes it feel even faster than older models. Test drivers also appreciate how the 2016 Miata rides comfortably over rough surfaces, which isn’t always the case with sports cars.

2016 Mazda Miata
(U.S. News and World Report)

Inside, reviewers say the redesigned Miata retains the outgoing model’s high-quality materials and easy-to-use climate and audio controls. Most critics are also impressed with the usability of the new available touch-screen infotainment system. While previous Miata models were criticized for having hard and cramped seats, test drivers say the 2016 Miata’s seats are comfortable and supportive, and there’s enough room in the Miata’s cockpit for anyone under 6 feet 6 inches tall.

The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is also available with several new convenience and driver assistance technologies this year, including a USB port (standard), HD Radio, navigation, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and rear cross traffic alert.

Although the 2016 Miata is an excellent choice for your next sports car, be sure to check out some competitors before making a decision. Test drivers are impressed with the redesigned 2015 Ford Mustang’s powerful available engines (turbocharged four-cylinder and 5.0-liter V8), and they also like its premium cabin. If you want a sports car with plenty of space for your stuff, consider the redesigned 2015 Volkswagen GTI, which has excellent cargo capacity for the class. Reviewers also appreciate the GTI’s potent turbocharged four-cylinder engine and exceptionally agile handling.

2016 Mazda Miata
(U.S. News and World Report)

If you’re considering buying used, the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a solid option, as it currently ranks mid-pack among used sports cars $20K and up. While critics thought the 2014 Miata’s seats are cramped, they said its athletic handling and responsive steering make it extremely fun to drive.

U.S. News Best Cars rankings are based on the consensus opinion of America’s top automotive journalists. Our team gathers every published, credible review of a vehicle, and for each third-party review, we score the vehicle on three components: Performance, Interior and Critics' Rating, which is how strongly a reviewer recommends the vehicle. We combine these scores, along with reliability data from J.D. Power and Associates and safety data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, into a weighted average that is based on what car buyers say matters most to them. The result is an overall score for each new car on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best possible score. Our rankings are continually updated as more reviews of a vehicle become available, as well as when new safety and reliability data is released.

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