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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is one of the sportiest, most fun-to-drive two-door cars on the road. Its outstanding driving dynamics and low total cost of ownership help it rank in the top half of the 2016 sports car class.

Pros & Cons

  • Top-notch handling
  • Spirited driving dynamics
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Tiny cargo area

Rankings & Awards

The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata's #3 ranking is based on its score within the 2016 Affordable Sports Cars category. It was the winner of our 2016 Best Sports Car for the Money award. Currently the Mazda MX-5 Miata has a score of 8.3 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 13 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.8
Performance: 9.3
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Overview

Is the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata a Good Used Car?

The 2016 MX-5 Miata is a good sports car, especially for those seeking a thrilling driving experience. It feels at home on winding roads, and its seats provide good driver support. It also gets good fuel economy estimates and has a low total cost of ownership score. We named it our 2016 Best Sports Car for the Money

Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on an analysis of hard data – including crash test scores, reliability ratings, and total cost of ownership estimates – as well as the reviews of the automotive press. We researched and analyzed over a dozen professional reviews for this 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata overview.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined car industry experience. You can trust that our reviews are impartial because we never accept pricey gifts or trips from automakers, and another company takes care of our website's advertising.

How Much Is the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata?

Our site has nearly 250 listings for the 2016 Miata. They range in price from $19,000 to $26,600, with an average list price of $23,000. Prices vary depending on a vehicle’s condition, mileage, location, and features.

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How Much Does the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Cost to Own?

Fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repair costs for the 2016 MX-5 Miata will run you around $22,500 over five years. These are some of the most affordable costs in the sports car class. These same expenses will cost you around $27,600 over five years with competitors like the 2016 Ford Mustang.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New MX-5 Miata?

There are few major differences between the new 2018 Miata and the 2016 model. A standard 7-inch touch screen and keyless entry are standard in the 2018 Miata, and the RF trim with a power-retractable hardtop is available. Otherwise, these two models are nearly identical – except in price. The 2018 MX-5 starts at $25,295, or about $2,300 more than the average-priced 2016 MX-5. Unless you want a hardtop, we recommend staying with the 2016 model.

Read about the new Mazda MX-5 Miata »

There are no 2018 sports cars that can compete with the average price of a 2016 MX-5. However, many other small cars can. The 2018 Volkswagen Golf starts at $20,910 and is one of the sportier options in the compact car class. Its sharp steering and adept handling offer an engaging ride both on city streets and winding hills. The Golf also offers more standard features and a significantly larger cargo hold than the Miata. The 2018 Kia Rio represents another sporty possibility. This subcompact car’s starting price is about $9,000 less than an average-priced 2016 Miata. Its firm suspension and peppy, four-cylinder engine boost the car’s athletic handling, and it’s even more fuel-efficient than the Miata.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata?

The 2016 Miata has a reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power. That’s average for the industry but a little below average for the sports car class.

Read more about MX-5 Miata reliability »

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are no recalls on the 2016 Miata.

See more information on Mazda MX-5 Miata safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Mazda MX-5 Miata Is Best?

Mazda completely redesigned the MX-5 Miata for the 2016 model year, shaving weight off the car and improving its driving dynamics. For 2017, the company introduced the MX-5 RF model, which comes with a power-retractable hardtop. Other than that, the 2017 model is unchanged from 2016. Models from the previous generation score similarly to the redesigned Miata, and they’re generally less expensive. However, they won’t feature the 2016 model’s lighter weight and updates, including an improved infotainment system, more standard features, and enhanced performance.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 MX-5 Miata »

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

The Miata comes in three trim levels – Sport, Club, and Grand Touring. The Club model is the way to go. It gives you an upgraded nine-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, and the Mazda Connect infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen. Getting the manual transmission adds performance-enhancing features like a sport-tuned suspension, Bilstein shock absorbers, and a limited-slip differential. It’s also the first trim available with navigation. However, it lacks advanced safety features. If you want these, you'll have to look for a Grand Touring trim.

See 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata trims and specs »

What Does Mazda's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Mazda offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For each certified pre-owned vehicle, Mazda extends the original limited powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty after the expiration of the original three-year/36,000-mile warranty. Every CPO Mazda must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits may include towing, a 90-day complimentary SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, extended coverage, and roadside assistance, so read the Mazda warranty page carefully.

Mazda’s CPO program is about average for an affordable auto manufacturer, according to our research. Chevy, Hyundai, and Kia all have better programs.

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How Safe Is the MX-5 Miata?

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted crash tests on the 2016 MX-5 Miata.

No active safety features come standard in the Miata. However, they are available in the top-of-the-line Grand Touring trim, which comes with blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and lane departure warning.

See MX-5 Miata safety scores »

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata or 2016 Scion FR-S?

Both the 2016 Scion FR-S and the MX-5 are fine sports cars. The Miata’s smoother ride quality gives it a slight edge when it comes to performance, but the FR-S is no slouch in that department. The FR-S comes with seating for four, which is not an option in the Miata, and it’s likely to cost less than the Miata. The Scion’s significantly better reliability rating pushes it ahead of the Mazda in our rankings, but both cars are excellent picks.

Which Is Better: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata or 2016 Subaru BRZ?

The 2016 Subaru BRZ has a strong engine and a smooth six-speed manual transmission. It also has agile handling and quick steering. Like the Miata, it's sharp around turns and has strong brakes. It seats four, but the rear seats are cramped. Forward visibility is better than in the Miata. Both cars offer similar performance, but the Miata outdoes the BRZ when it comes to infotainment and the quality of cabin materials. Additionally, the BRZ isn't offered as a convertible. Unless you need the rear seats, the two-seat Miata edges out the BRZ.

Compare the MX-5 Miata, FR-S, and BRZ »

2016 MX-5 Miata Performance

How Does the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Drive?

The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata's 155-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine only has half the power of its muscle car rivals, but it still delivers exciting acceleration. The Miata's six-speed manual transmission is impressive. It's refined and delivers quick, short shifts. A six-speed automatic is available. It's not as engaging as the manual, but it changes gears well.

Handling is where the rear-wheel-drive Miata really dominates, offering some of the best driving dynamics on the market. The Miata's steering is light and razor sharp. It also provides a comfortable ride, even over rough surfaces. For the performance enthusiast, the Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring is available with extra features like an aerodynamic body kit and Brembo brakes that make it even more fun to drive.

Does the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Miata's fuel economy estimates are some of the best in its class. It gets 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. With the available automatic transmission, it gets 26/36 mpg city/highway.

Read more about MX-5 Miata performance »

2016 MX-5 Miata Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 MX-5 Miata Seat?

The Miata seats two and comes standard with cloth upholstery. Heated and leather seats are available in the MX-5 Grand Touring model. Taller occupants might need a little more headroom, but space is good overall for most.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata?

With no rear seats, driving with children in the Miata is not recommended. It does not offer any LATCH connectors for child safety seats.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Features

The Miata's interior is made up of both hard and soft surfaces that are generally high quality. The cabin has a modern, straightforward layout. Standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, push-button start, Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary inputs, and a six-speaker stereo. It’s available with a user-friendly Mazda Connect infotainment system controlled with a 7-inch touch screen on top of the dash and a multifunction knob on the center console. A nine-speaker stereo and satellite radio are also available. The Grand Touring trim adds navigation and advanced safety features.

See 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata specs »

Read more about MX-5 Miata interior »

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Dimensions

Mazda MX-5 Miata Cargo Space

The Miata offers 4.59 cubic feet of trunk space. That’s small even by sports car standards. The Scion FR-S, which also has a below-average cargo area, has 6.9 cubic feet.

2016 MX-5 Miata Length and Weight

The 2016 Miata measures roughly 12.8 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 2,332 pounds with the manual transmission to 2,381 pounds with the automatic transmission.

Where Was the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Built?

Mazda built the 2016 Miata in Japan.

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