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8.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 8.9
Interior: 6.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

If you’re looking for classic roadster style and engaging performance, reviewers said the 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata delivers both in spades.

Pros & Cons

  • Superb handling
  • Cramped interior

2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Overview

Reviewers said that the 2012 Mazda Miata proves that sports cars don’t need to pack monstrous engines to offer thrilling performance. A four-cylinder engine is standard, and test drivers agreed that while the Miata isn’t the quickest car in the class, it still offers brisk acceleration that should please most shoppers. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and critics noted that it offers short, precise throws. A six-speed manual transmission and a six-speed automatic are also available. The 2012 Miata gets up to an EPA-estimated 22/28 mpg city/highway, which is quite good for a 2012 affordable sports car. The automotive press agreed that responsive steering, strong brakes and sprightly handling are among the Miata’s strongest attributes, which combine to make it one of the best-handling sports cars in the class.

Critics wrote that the 2012 Miata’s cabin features attractive materials that are appropriate for the class, as well as clear instruments and simple controls that are logically placed. The two-seat Miata also earned praise for its supportive seats, though some test drivers noted that the cabin is a bit snug for larger occupants. Additionally, the Miata’s 5.3 cubic feet of trunk space is quite small for the class. The base Miata comes with a manually operated soft top, while a power retractable hardtop was available on higher trims when the Miata was new. The 2012 Mazda Miata’s standard features include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power windows and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary jack. Available features include cruise control, power door locks, automatic climate control, leather seats, heated seats, a seven-speaker Bose stereo system, satellite radio and Bluetooth.

When it was new, we named the Mazda MX-5 Miata our 2012 Best Sports Car for the Money.

Other Cars to Consider

The Chevrolet Camaro, which is available in coupe and convertible body styles, also has a safety score that few 2012 sports cars can match. The Camaro also offers a bit more trunk space than the Miata, and reviewers said it’s surprisingly nimble for its size.

The Nissan 370Z Roadster is significantly more powerful than the Miata, and test drivers loved its responsive engine and razor-sharp handling. Additionally, critics noted that the 370Z features a functionally designed cabin that’s built with high-quality materials.

Compare the MX-5 Miata, Camaro and 370Z »

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