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8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 9.3
Interior: 6.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

The 2015 Mazda Miata has razor-sharp handling and excellent powertrain performance, but a short list of features along with limited passenger and cargo space contribute to this roadster’s midpack ranking.

Pros & Cons

 

  • Sublime handling
  • Lively engine
  • Pleasant manual transmissions

 

  • Few standard features
  • Tight cabin
  • Small trunk

2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata Overview

Is the 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata a Good Used Car?

The Miata loves a winding road, and you will too behind the wheel of this spunky little convertible. It was a top pick for the best 2015 Affordable Sports Cars in our rankings. It makes sense as an enjoyable second vehicle to toss around the twisties as you admire its handling finesse. However, you’ll appreciate having a larger vehicle when it’s time for a longer road trip, as the Miata lacks the space and creature comforts of its rivals.

Used 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata Performance and Interior

The rear-wheel-drive MX-5 Miata is an absolute joy to drive, with a four-cylinder engine that produces 158 to 167 horsepower (depending on the transmission). You can count on the Miata for zippy acceleration, jack-rabbit handling, responsive steering, and a comfortable ride. An available sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers and a limited-slip differential improve grip around turns. 

A five-speed manual transmission comes with the base Sport trim, and a six-speed manual is standard in all other trims. With either manual gearbox, the short-throw shifter and light clutch pedal make the driving experience engaging. The Miata is available with a six-speed automatic transmission, but it cuts the engine’s power output. Fuel economy is slightly above average for the class, at 21 to 22 mpg in the city (depending on the transmission) and 27 mpg on the highway.

Read more about MX-5 Miata performance »

Hard plastics cover the interior, but the cabin doesn’t feel cheap. Rivals employ fresher styling, leaving the Miata’s cabin with a dated look by comparison. Cloth upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel come standard, and heated leather seats are available. Because interior dimensions are snug, tall folks should sit in the MX-5 Miata with the top up to check the fit. Also, the seats are too firm for some folks. 

Lowering the Miata’s manual cloth top is a breeze, but raising it back up is a bit trickier. For those who’d press a button, the power-retractable hardtop (PRHT) does all the work for you and goes back in just 12 seconds. With either convertible top, the Miata has a small 5.3-cubic-foot trunk, which is room for little more than a large suitcase. 

The MX-5 Miata’s features are sparse. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, power windows, and a six-speaker audio system. Available features consist of power door locks with keyless entry, cruise control, automatic climate control, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, Bluetooth, and satellite radio. Instruments and controls are simple to use. 

Read more about MX-5 Miata interior »

Used 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata Prices

The price of used 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata ranges from about $16,700 for a base soft-top Sport trim with a manual transmission to around $22,900 for a Mazda MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition with the automatic transmission and a retractable hardtop. Prices depend on the vehicle's condition, mileage, location, and demand.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 85 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve researched 85 reviews of the MX-5 alongside hard data, like interior comfort and predicted reliability, to help you make the right buying decision for your needs.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles for 10 years. Our team has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To remain unbiased, we refuse expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles the ads on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata?

The 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is average.

Read more about MX-5 Miata reliability »

How Safe Is the MX-5 Miata?

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has evaluated the Mazda Miata for its crashworthiness. It doesn’t offer any of its competitors’ active safety features, like a rearview camera or blind spot monitoring. 

See MX-5 Miata safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used MX-5 Miata?

The third-generation MX-5 Miata spans the 2006 through 2015 model years. The Miata underwent a styling refresh for 2013, and there were no changes for 2014. A 25th Anniversary Edition debuted for 2015, and cloth replaced the vinyl material used in previous soft-top models. You might save money by choosing a 2014 MX-5 Miata instead – and the only significant difference will be the vinyl versus cloth roof.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 MX-5 Miata »

Which Used Mazda MX-5 Miata Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata comes in four trims: Sport, Club, Grand Touring, and 25th Anniversary Edition. If you’re looking for many of the basic features the base trims lacks, consider the Mazda MX-5 Miata Club. It comes with power door locks, cruise control, a trip computer, and 17-inch alloy wheels. 

Compared to new car prices, you can find great deals on certified pre-owned vehicles, which offer several other benefits as well. For each CPO vehicle, Mazda extends the original limited powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited vehicle warranty. To qualify as CPO, each vehicle must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mazda warranty page carefully. 

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Mazda certified pre-owned program »

2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata or 2015 Subaru BRZ?

If your priorities include deft handling, the Subaru BRZ is a worthy alternative to the MX-5 Miata. Like the Miata, the BRZ’s manual transmission has short throws and easy clutch action. Inside, the BRZ outshines the Miata, with room for four, comfortable seating, and more standard features, including navigation and a touch-screen infotainment system. The BRZ’s sister car, the Scion FR-S, offers similar performance and features.

Which Is Better: 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata or 2015 Ford Mustang?

Although nothing drives quite like a roadster, the Ford Mustang is a better-rounded sports car. For a larger coupe, it has nimble handling. Unlike the MX-5 Miata, the Mustang is available with a V8 for blazing acceleration. Its interior is nicer, with higher-quality materials, a larger trunk, and two extra seats (albeit cramped). The Mustang also ponies up more driver assistance features, like a standard rearview camera as well as available adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning.

Which Is Better: 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata or 2015 Mazda3?

The Mazda3 offers nimble road manners, peppy engines, and a comfortable ride. The MX-5 Miata has sharper handling, which makes sense considering its diminutive size and lighter weight. Still, the Mazda3 – available as either a sedan or hatchback – is more practical. Over the Miata, it boasts better gas mileage, a larger trunk, and rear seats that allow you to carry up to three additional passengers. Unlike the Miata, the Mazda3 comes standard with power door locks and cruise control. Navigation and a slew of driver assistance features are available.

Compare the MX-5 Miata, BRZ, and Mustang »

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