When the Mazda Miata MX-5 debuted in 1989, it became instantly popular. Many people loved its sporty looks, peppy performance, affordable price, and Mazda’s solid reputation. When it debuted as a two-person convertible at the Chicago Auto Show, it included a 120-horsepower, 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine. It light weight, fun drive, and low sticker price helped boost this roadster to stardom.
The 2002 Mazda Miata MX-5 represents part of the sixth generation of this line and its popularity still stays strong. This two-seat convertible contains offers a variety of powertrains. It also comes in three trim levels: base, LS, and SE. The Miata gets recognition as the world's best-selling sports car in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2002 for having more than 700,000 on the road.
Body Styles: convertible
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Mazda Miata MX-5 M5, Mazda Miata MX-5 A5
The 2002 Mazda Miata MX-5 adds a new Special Edition that comes in two special paint colors: Titanium Gray and Blazing Yellow Mica. It also receives exclusive black leather seats with silver trim and embroidery. Mazda adds an optional six-speaker, in-dash, six-disc CD changer to the SE; all models can get the optional perimeter alarm with shock sensor.
The 2002 Mazda Miata MX-5 comes in three trims: base, LS, and SE. Standard exterior features for the base include: 15-inch alloy wheels, a power remote driver’s window, painted bumpers and mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, remote keyless entry, a rear defogger, power steering, tinted windows, and a black cloth convertible top with a glass rear window. The LS has 16-inch alloy wheels, and the SE trim features a standard six-speed manual transmission. You can add an optional spoiler or swap the soft convertible top for the optional hardtop.
The cloth top can easily be lowered with one hand and stowed away in the well above the small trunk. Cargo capacity reaches a mere 5.1 cubic feet, which gets slightly reduced with the top lowered or removed and stowed away. The exterior has been styled to pay homage to the roadsters of the 1950s and 1960s with its curved silhouette and large, round headlights.
Standard interior features for the 2002 Mazda Miata MX-5 include air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a four-speaker in-dash AM/FM/CD stereo system, cruise control, speed control, bucket seats, and speed-sensitive steering. The LS features an upgraded Bose stereo system. You can add the optional leather trim to the shift knob.
The cockpit of the Miata MX-5 appears well-designed with white-faced gauges surrounded by chrome trim that look easy to read. The ventilation, heating, and radio controls in the center stack prove easy to reach and operate. The location of the cup holders makes operating the manual shifter a bit awkward, while the comfortable bucket seats have high seatbacks that accommodate the taller passenger and offer good lumbar and thigh support. Interior material quality seems good, giving the Miata MX-5 a sporty look.
Performance & Handling
The power supply for the 2002 Miata MX-5, a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, produces 142 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque. It comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission and rear drive. You can also get the six-speed manual or the optional six-speed automatic transmission. The suspension system consists of a double-wishbone in the front and rear.
The 2002 Mazda Miata MX-5 displays good instantaneous throttle response and brisk acceleration with the manual transmission, completing a zero to 60 mph sprint in 7.8 seconds. The automatic transmission remains slightly slower to respond. The manual transmission shifts gears easily, and the suspension feels firm but not uncomfortable. The optional sport suspension package seems a bit tighter and you feel the sharp bumps. Handling proves excellent, displaying good control and grip in hard turns.
Standard safety features for the 2002 Mazda Miata MX-5 include: ventilated front disc brakes, driver and passenger airbags, and a front anti-roll bar. The LS also has anti-lock braking system (ABS) as a standard feature; for the other trims, ABS remains optional. You can also get the optional anti-theft alarm system.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration gives the Miata MX-5 five stars for passenger impact protection and four stars for driver frontal-impact protection. The NHTSA also awards it three stars for front-seat protection.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mazda Miata MX-5 LS: 23/28 mpg city/highway
Mazda Miata MX-5 SE: 23/28 mpg city/highway
Mazda Miata MX-5 Base: 23/28 mpg city/highway
- Good acceleration
- Good handling
- Powerful brakes
- Good fuel economy
- Very reliable reputation
- Affordable price
You Won't Like
- Noisy interior
- Not much torque output
- Meager cargo room
- Snug for tall drivers
Fun-to-drive convertible that gives thrills with the top up or down and makes a good choice for the budget conscious.
If You Like This Vehicle
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