Base MSRP range
$25,730 – $37,995
The fourth-generation Miata remains true to Mazda’s original formula of a lightweight rear-wheel-drive roadster. The Miata quickly scoots along while returning a miserly 34 mpg overall. Shifting the delightfully accurate six-speed manual shifter is a joy; we’d skip the optional automatic transmission. It works fine but dilutes the driving experience. Quick and precise steering delivers sublime back-road handling, even though some body roll is noticeable. High levels of noise, thin and unsupportive seats, and a stiff ride all grow fatiguing during highway travel. Cabin space is snug, and the optional dial-controlled infotainment system takes time to master. Flipping the convertible top open or closed is a breeze. 2019 updates include a horsepower increase from 155 to 181.
Strip away all the technological complications of a modern car—and the weight that comes with it—and add in a playfully tuned rear-wheel-drive chassis, a rev-happy engine, and a crisp-shifting manual transmission, and you have a recipe for driving enjoyment that’s refreshingly pure. The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata offers precisely that and sets the stage for the rest of the Mazda lineup. Available as either the classic softtop convertible or the retractable-targa-top RF model, the Miata holds a special place in the hearts of driving enthusiasts like us for its simple, back-to-basics ethos. It’s not a practical buy—don’t expect vast cargo space in the Miata’s small trunk—but we can’t keep ourselves from daydreaming about riding off into the sunset in this 10Best-award-winning gem.
What’s New for 2019?
In addition to a few new standard features—a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a backup camera—the 2019 Miata comes with a revised four-cylinder engine that now makes 181 horsepower (up from 155) and a finessed six-speed manual transmission.