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Marrying the look and feel of classic 1960s British sports cars with the quality and reliability of modern Japanese models was the goaland this nimble, fun-to-drive roadster meets it admirably. Though it leans in corners a bit more than before, the latest version rides marginally better. Its twin-camshaft Four is willing and responsive, if not overly powerful, and the stubby manual shifter is a joy to use.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
NA
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
NA
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
NA
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2006. Side air bags standard from 2006. ESC available from 2006, standard from 2012.
Model Summary
Marrying the look and feel of classic 1960s British sports cars with the quality and reliability of modern Japanese models was the goaland this nimble, fun-to-drive roadster meets it admirably. Though it leans in corners a bit more than before, the latest version rides marginally better. Its twin-camshaft Four is willing and responsive, if not overly powerful, and the stubby manual shifter is a joy to use. You also get a glass rear window for the convertible top. The interior is cramped for tall people, however, and the Miata can prove tiring on a long trip. New for 2001 are a minor facelift, a six-speed manual transmission for the LS, and a modest power boost.
Seating
2 front
Drive Wheels
Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
convertible
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 4-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 1.8-liter 4 (142 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

“The steel cover, just forward of the steering column, that conceals the area under the dash panel, cannot be securly fasten down. It just hanks, slightly down on the right side”

Joseph B., CA (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“paint on both outside mirror chipping”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata LS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

“Clear coat has peeled on mirrors, doors, hood and totally peeled off on hardtop”

Anonymous, NY (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

“paint on hood has faded to point the base coat white shows”

Bernie M., NY (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata Unsure 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

“Fading and peeling”

Andres H., FL (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

“I purchased this car with rust on the body panels in front of the rear wheels”

Anonymous, VA (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

“Convertible top leaks where it attaches to the bodywork around the rear (i.e., at the "rain rail"). On the other hand, it's the original 16-yr-old top and the car has spent most of its life outside in the weather, so I can't complain too much!”

Kenneth K., FL (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

“Convertible top leak”

Anonymous, NH (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata LS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

“weather strip/ gasket around the top began to crack and allow a small amount of water to leak into the interior of car”

Suzanne H., SC (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata LS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

“Clutch squeaks when used”

Anonymous, WA (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata Unsure 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

“When Iam driving on the road I notice the sound of the wind around me , that bother me”

Andres H., FL (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Hydraulics (clutch master or slave cylinder)

“Replaced clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder”

Anonymous, OR (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Rough shifting

“Clutch chatters when starting from a stand still. Not yet fixed”

Anonymous, DE (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

“Minor leak from transmission dripping on exhaust. Smell of burning oil. Did not affect drivability. Replaced clutch during repair”

Pete P., IL (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“The OEM parts were worn to the point of feeling a little sloppy”

Anonymous, TX (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata LS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

“Replaced due to fluid leak”

Al F., NY (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata LS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Tie rods

“When the shocks were replaced the tie rods were worn but usable. Replaced them with new”

Anonymous, TX (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata LS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

“Purchased the car with a rips in the soft top”

Anonymous, VA (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Locks and latches

“The electrical lock system does not lock the driver's door. Can only lock that door by key”

Joseph B., CA (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Windows

“Needed new motor for power windows”

Anonymous, CA (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata LS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel injection system

“Pressure control valve developed a big and dangerous leak. Repair: part and labor $345.00”

Arturo J., CA (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata LS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“Sensor went out. Repair: $125 parts and labor”

Arturo J., CA (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata LS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

“Air intake sensor failed. Cost was almost $600”

Anonymous, OR (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata LS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

“Clutch chatters when moving from a stand still. Not yet fixed”

Anonymous, DE (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

“Due to age needed to replace the clutch”

Kim H., FL (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Heater system

“Heater core is leaking, smell of anti freeze when i turn it on”

Anonymous, MA (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata LS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

“Freon leaking. too costly to repair”

Anonymous, FL (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

“Cracked caliper & warped rotor on driver's side”

Anonymous, NM (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear caliper piston seals failed. Replaced the calipers with rebuilt ones”

Anonymous, OR (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata Base 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Water pump

“Hose broke. Engine overheated. Car had to be towed”

Anonymous, PA (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl)
Overheating

“Thermostat was replaced with an after market unit. Overheating started then and replaced with another after market unit. Finally worked properly when replaced with a mazda thermostat”

Anonymous, MD (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata LS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

“needed replacing”

Russell W., CA (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

“fan relay switch failed”

Anonymous, WA (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata LS 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

“Appears to have a slight engine oil leak at the front main (crankshaft) seal and at the rear of the valve cover, but car has almost 100K on it”

Kenneth K., FL (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Timing belt or chain

“Replaced timing belt while fixing rear main oil seal and oil pan”

Anonymous, NM (2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

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