What's The World's Best Sports Car All About?
A review of the 2020 Mazda Miata Club.
It is a universal truth that the Mazda Miata is the answer to everything. It's reasonably priced, has a manual transmission, and is rear wheel drive...What could be better? Unfortunately, times have changed, and SUVs are the only cars people buy anymore. Does the Miata being the opposite of an SUV make it unattractive to all car buyers? Has its lack of practicality caught up to it?
The Mazda MX-5 Miata was first introduced in 1989, with the same setup as today: A rear wheel drive manual roadster. The first generation Miata had a party trick, something that made it one of the best cars ever made...Popup headlights. Sadly, pedestrian crash protection laws made them illegal, and stripped the Miata of its popups for the second generation. Nevertheless, the Miata carried on, generation after generation, until the current one was introduced in 2016. It had more modern styling, increased horsepower, and more technology than ever before.
The Miata has always started in the same price range, $20,000-$30,000. The current Miata is no different on the base trim, this Club model we're reviewing starts at $31,635, but has the optional $400 integrated navigation system. The other models and their prices (Including fees) are below. Most car enthusiasts know that the Fiat 124 Spider is basically the same as the Miata, but starts at a lower price. We say, don't go for the 124 just because of the price, you get a nicer interior with the Miata, more features, and it's a Miata!
2020 Mazda Miata Sport Manual (Base): $27,525
2020 Mazda Miata Sport Automatic: $28,875
2020 Mazda Miata Club Manual: $31,235
2020 Mazda Miata Club Automatic: $31,835
2020 Mazda Miata Grand Touring Manual: $32,615
2020 Mazda Miata Grand Touring Automatic: $33,140
Engine, Transmission, And Drivetrain
While most sports cars boast their 200+ horsepower engines, the Miata has a smaller, but sufficient, 181 horsepower Skyactiv 2.0L 4-cylinder that can be paired with either a Skyactiv MT4 6-speed manual transmission or an optional 6-speed Sport automatic transmission. The automatic allows for slightly better fuel economy, but comes at a higher price and isn't as fun. Obviously, we suggest the manual, it just isn't the same experience with the auto. 181 horsepower may not seem like a lot, and it isn't, but for a car that weighs about 2,350 lbs, it's more than enough. Its manual transmission eggs you on, daring you to shift to the next gear. The whole car really just tempts you to floor it, and releases your inner 9 year old. And that's exactly the point.
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Because the Miata is a sports car, good fuel economy isn't expected, but it is present. Its highly efficient Skyactiv engine allows it to achieve 26 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway when in manual form and 26 city/35 highway when optioned with the automatic. With the manual, it mainly depends on how you shift. In reality, you can see close to 38 mpg on the highway, as long as you don't drive like a maniac.
Hey! I Want My Miata To Look And Drive Like A Race Car!
No problem, it has many optional appearance and performance items to feed your inner race car driver. The coolest, but most expensive optional features come in the Brembo/BBS Recaro Package which is only available on the manual Club model. It includes Brembo front brakes with red calipers, Mazda rear brakes with red calipers, BBS forged 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels in dark gunmetal finish, an aero kit that includes side sill extensions and a rear bumper skirt in black, and heated black Recaro sport seats, all at the price of $4,470 - You have to be serious in order to buy this package. Some other optional appearance items include sport pedals, interior lighting, a front strut tower brace, chrome air vents, and more. In addition, an appearance package is available, and comes with side sill extensions and a black rear diffuser, all at a price of $800. We think the appearance package is a waste of money, so if you have $4,470 to spare and you're serious about track days, go for the Brembo/BBS Recaro package.
Mazda is famous for their interiors these days, they're usually packed with quality materials, great styling, and a plethora of technology. The Miata is a little different. It's interior is built around a different concept, a one of simplicity. With that said, technology isn't completely absent, and it doesn't look awful, it's just less premium than other Mazda models in the styling department. This Club model is equipped with heated black cloth seats with silver accent stitching, a Bose 9-speaker audio system with driver and passenger headrest speakers and subwoofer, a Mazda Connect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 7-inch display, an optional navigation system and a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Other trim levels and their features are listed below. The Miata Club is extremely well set up for a summer cruise, just don't try to bring a lot of stuff, not more than 4.59 cubic feet. Buyers who will use their Club as a daily driver will appreciate the heated seats.
2020 Mazda Miata Sport (Base): Mazda Connect infotainment system with 7-inch display, cloth seats, and a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
2020 Mazda Miata Grand Touring (Sport and Club Features Plus): Automatic climate control, an Auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, leather seats, and a Mazda Navigation system.
2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata Interior
In addition to being known for their interiors, Mazda is one of the safest brands in the world, with most of their vehicles earning the Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS. Similar to most sports cars, the Miata hasn't been crash tested by the IIHS or NHTSA, so its safety rating is unknown. Driver assistance features are onboard to prevent a crash in the first place, this Club model is standard with the same features as the Sport: Smart City brake support, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, dual front airbags and side-impact airbags. The only other safety features the Grand Touring model has is automatic headlights and traffic sign recognition. The Miata is packed with safety features, unlike most other cars in its class.
The 2020 Mazda Miata should stick around for quite a bit longer. People still love sports cars, and the Miata is the best one out there, especially at its price. Despite its lack of cargo capacity, it's practical enough to go on a 2 person road trip and is perfect for cruising around in the summer, or ripping around at the track.