2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata

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$4,910 - $6,452
$20,635 - $28,210

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent handling with near-perfect 50-50 front-to-rear weight distribution
  • Inexpensive relative to competitors
  • Power-retractable hardtop and soft top are easy to operate
  • Driver and passenger room is cramped, especially for taller occupants
  • Little interior storage space
  • No-frills, underpowered base stereo

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has a score of 8.9 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 53 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 9.5
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 6.5
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 8.3 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Overview

The Mazda Miata has been a perennial favorite since its introduction 18 years ago. This year's model is no different, as reviewers find it to be a sporty, fun-to-drive roadster for a very affordable price. In fact, Car and Driver describes it as "motorized pleasure," insisting that it's "surprisingly practical for a sporting roadster." Listed in the 2000 Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling two-seat convertible in history, the MX-5 was redesigned in 2006 to be a more powerful and muscular version of its former self.

Though test drivers commonly complain of the Miata's cramped interior cabin, most agree that its exquisite performance attributes more than make up for any discomfort experienced in the driver's seat. In fact, the MX-5 is so well-liked that in 2007 it racked up several honors. It's listed by Car and Driver as a "10Best Car" for the second straight year. Consumer Reports even lists the MX-5 as the most "Fun to Drive," noting it "won drivers over with its balanced handling, quick and precise steering, and crispshifting six-speed manual transmission -- all available at a reasonable price."

The MX-5 comes in several trims -- SV, Sport, Touring and Grand Touring -- with one universal 2.0-liter engine and three transmission choices. The two-door convertible is also available with a Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT) in either the Sport, Touring or Grand Touring trims.

  • "The new MX-5 is just like that bubbly, blonde cheerleader you knew in high school 15 years ago. Only now she's grown up and has a college degree. She's also put on a few more pounds. But she still knows all the moves." -- Motor Trend.
  • "Not so much as a nut, a bolt, or a switch has carried over from the second-generation Miata -- not even the name. And yet the most important element has not changed-that would be, simply, driving fun." -- Automobile Magazine
  • Compared to the Pontiac Solstice, the Miata is "quicker, more agile, more refined, quieter, roomier, more comfortable, [and] better looking." -- Car and Driver
  • "For what the car is, and what it has always been, the MX-5 Miata is essentially without peer. And whether you like the retractable hardtop or not -- and I do -- the soft top is still available for purists, and the hardtop just adds one more feature that makes the car a little more practical as a daily driver." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • "The latest generation is spectacularly good, both sweetly rewarding to drive and an excellent value." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Another plus for Miatas is that they have held their value over the years." -- Forbes

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