About the Mazda Miata
The Mazda Miata is a two-seater convertible roadster that helped revive the fortunes of the compact, affordable roadster. Introduced at the dawn of the 1990s, the Miata represents something of a modern update to the kind of compact, convertible that had once been typified by British models like the MG Midget. Affordable to purchase and inexpensive to maintain, the Mazda Miata suits those who enjoy the thrill of the road and the wind in their hair. Currently in its third generation, the Miata remains an appealing model that offers go-kart-like handling, good acceleration, and an engine growl that gets the blood pumping.Mazda Miata Features
The 2012 Mazda Miata offers drivers an appealing package of open-top thrills, spirited performance, and sporty styling at a reasonable price. The car’s steering responds as well as ever, and its inline-four engine seems built to be revved. Fun to drive, with a softtop that’s easy to operate, and a ride that’s comfortable enough for day-to-day driving, the 2012 Mazda Miata is practically in a class by itself with most comparable models being far less affordable.
For 2012, Mazda made the Miata available in three trim levels: Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. The base model Sport version rolls on 16-inch cast aluminum wheels and features a vinyl convertible top with a glass rear window. Interior features include air-conditioning, cloth seats, and a six-speaker audio system equipped with a CD/MP3 player and an auxiliary audio jack. The driver’s seat is height adjustable, the steering wheel leather-wrapped, and the windows and mirrors are fully powered.
Stepping up to the Touring model adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a front suspension with a shock tower brace, fog lights, cruise control, power locks, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, keyless entry, and a shift knob wrapped in leather. The top-of-the-line Grand Touring version offers drivers the choice of a black or beige cloth top, along with automatic climate control, silver interior trim, leather-upholstered heated seats, and a Bose sound system with seven speakers.
Mazda also offers a number of packages across the various trim levels. Sport models offer the option of a Convenience package that includes most of the features offered with the Touring trim level. Touring and Grand Touring versions can be outfitted with the Suspension package, which adds a sport-tuned suspension. The Grand Touring version can be outfitted with the Premium package, which features a keyless ignition, keyless entry, xenon headlamps, Bluetooth connectivity, and satellite radio. An Appearance package adds a front spoiler and extended rocker sills.
All models of the third-generation Mazda Miata contain a 2.0-liter, inline-4 engine that produces 167 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard on all Sport models. Touring and Grand Touring versions come with a six-speed manual transmission. Mazda also offers the option of a six-speed automatic with shift paddles on the steering wheel for all versions of the car.
EPA-estimated gas mileage for the 2012 Miata is 22/28/24 mpg city/highway/combined. Opting for the six-speed transmission sees a loss of one mpg when driving in the city. Reviews indicate that when outfitted with a five-speed transmission, the 2012 Miata is capable of accelerating from zero to 60 in 6.9 seconds.
Standard safety features for the model include anti-lock disc brakes, side airbags, stability control, and traction control.Mazda Miata Evolution
The first generation of the Mazda Miata was introduced in 1990. When it made its debut the Miata featured a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that produced 116 horsepower and 100 lb-ft of torque. Early models have a five-speed manual transmission and come in red, white, or blue. Eventually the engine increased capacity to 1.8-liters, and Mazda unveiled a special M-edition. The first generation continued until 1997 at which point the model took a one-year hiatus.
Introduced in 1999, the second generation of the Mazda Miata boasts a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 140 hp and 119 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission remains standard, but Mazda introduced the option of a four-speed automatic. Base model second generation Miatas come sparsely equipped, but add-ons such as leather upholstery and Bose audio systems are available.
The third and current generation of the Miata was introduced in 2006. After undergoing a complete redesign, the third-generation Miata became available in six trim levels: Club Spec, Base, Touring, Sport, Grand Touring, and Third Generation Limited Edition. Mazda scaled this down to just four trim levels in 2007. That same year Mazda introduced a power retractable hardtop as an option.