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The MX-5 Miata is fun to drive, with extraordinary handling and a slick powertrain. The interior is nicely finished and the manual convertible top is simple to operate from behind the wheel. The ride is comfortable for a sports car, although noise levels and cramped quarters make long trips tiresome.

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 (sec.) 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?
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.
Road Test

The MX-5 Miata is fun to drive, with extraordinary handling and a slick powertrain. The interior is nicely finished and the manual convertible top is simple to operate from behind the wheel. The ride is comfortable for a sports car, although noise levels and cramped quarters make long trips tiresome. Acceleration, agility, braking, powertrain, fuel economy, top operation, available folding hard top.Noise, visibility with the top up, head room.

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
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 (166 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

Convertible top

“I have the power retractable hard top. It stopped recognizing end-of-travel resulting in a constant warning beep. The problem wound up being due to loose electric motor mounts”

Christopher P., TX (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Top tore where the tabs that pull fold in. Common problem and bad design”

Anonymous, VA (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“developed a tear. Needed to be fully replaced”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Rips in the vinyl top over the passenger and drivers side mirrors. I was able to get the first top replaced under warranty as the rips occured just prior to the 3 year warranty expiration. The second top started to rip just after the replacement tops warranty was up. The rips are now over 5 inches long. This was clearly a product defect with the disign as the rips occurred at a major pressure point. I owned a previous Miata 2000 model year and got well over 7 years before I got a very slight tea”

John P., NY (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Cracking clear coat and paint fading on hardtop components”

Anonymous, AR (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Power retractable hardtop sensors and motor required replacement $1500”

Lincoln L., MI (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Mirrors

“Inside sun visor and seatbelt not retrackting”

Anonymous, OK (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Seat belts

“driver side seat belt does not retract and sometimes locks in place”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Driver's seat belt slow to retract. Dealer replaced take up reel”

Anonymous, VA (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“will not retrack”

Anonymous, OK (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

“neither the interior trunk latch release or the key fob release button will open trunk. only way to access trunk is with a key”

Anonymous, AZ (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

“There are drains at the rear of the soft top for rainwater that become clogged and cause water to enter the interior of the car. Sometimes there will be an inch or two of water at my feet”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Drains for the convertible top are very small and prone to clog with little or no debris. After clogging the water will go into the trunk”

John P., NY (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“This year model is known occasionally getting clogged drain holes which cause water to back up and leak into car. Since I have no choice but to park under trees and since I do not care to have to go out and vacuum these difficult to reach areas weekly, I just accept problem. First major leak car was under a year old. They put in a replacent "fix" that had recently come out, and that kept leak at bay for 4 more years. Am a front drain plug leak now, but this is only 2nd time on that one in 8 yrs”

Nelda C., GA (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Hard top release latch rattles”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Various rattles in the dash board and top”

Linda C., FL (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“New ongoing rattle on passenger side that I have not been able to identify. Sounds like something loose under car. Could be new rear bumper replaced after rear ended accident. Have not had time to take car in for identification of problem”

Nelda C., GA (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Squeaks in retractable roof when closed”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

“More issues with noise from retractable roof”

Anonymous, MD (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Very noisy car”

Linda C., FL (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

“Drivers side exterior trim along top edge of door next to window came loose. Needed to be glued down”

Anonymous, AZ (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“Premature fading of clear coat/paint on convertible hardtop and tonneau cover. Remainder of paint in better shape than those parts”

Anonymous, AZ (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“hood, which gets most exposure to the sun, is dull and chalky and defect highly noticeable and cannot be waxed out”

Anonymous, AZ (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Clear coat cracking and fading on plastic areas of side mirrors and hardtop components”

Anonymous, AR (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Loose interior trim or moldings

“Skid plate chipped on the drivers side of the door. The plastic plate now gets caught on the drivers pants ever so often and completely comes off. It can be reattached easy enough but it does get annoying at times”

John P., NY (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2.0-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.

What Owners Say

Body control module

“Actually, I think it was because I had a wreck one year due to iced roads and it hit the bottom of the car. So, I think the problem was from the small wreck and not the manufacturer”

Jane C., TX (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

“Control module failed - cost of $600”

Karl E., VA (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Keyless entry

“Broken lock/unlock button pad on remote key card and car would not start. Had to buy a new remote card”

Bruce O., GA (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“can not open trunk with remote must use key”

Howard S., NJ (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Gauges

“The hand break light comes on sometimes when I am driving even when the hand break is not deployed. It goes away after a few minutes. It is a sporadic problem”

Jagdeep S., CA (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata SV 2.0-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

“they say its a common problem ,with E.G.R. getting dirty ,not under warrenty”

Barb P., OH (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“The car sat for 18 months after an engine failure (due to poor maintenance). Parts of the emissions systems have failed due to the inactivity. I'm still working on getting it legal, so far have replaced the evaporative system pump”

Christopher P., TX (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel cap

“Continual Check Engine light. After several trips to the dealer, I replaced the fuel cap and problem was cured”

Richard M., TX (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“expensive repair”

Anonymous, BC (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

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.

What Owners Say

Display screen goes blank

“radio display / clock blank until unit warms up”

Anonymous, TN (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“It failed and was replaced with a 3rd party aftermarket unit with cabling that connects to the steering wheel audio controls”

James C., GA (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“CD player could not eject CDs”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-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

Blower (fan) motor

“sensor in the heat/cool box went bad causing the blower to run constantly. Had to remove dash to fix. $500 cost”

Anonymous, WV (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Evaporator

“The A/C stopped cooling. The evaporator, expansion valve and dehydrator were replaced by dealer. Total cost $ 1000”

Anonymous, PR (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

“ABS electronic system failed causing all warning lights to come on. Diagnosis took a week and involved Mazda HQ”

Anonymous, MO (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Parking brake

“Parking brake light stays on sometimes. Technician cannot find any "fixable" problem with cable”

Anonymous, NH (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-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

Shocks or struts

“The squeaks and rattles were due the malfunction of schok absorvers and bushings. Once these were replaced, the noise stopped”

Anonymous, PR (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“All four shocks were.leaking oil. Parts were ordred by dealer on February 7, 2015. The rear shocks arrived and were replaced recently. The front ones are still pending delivery. Total cost : $ 1555”

Anonymous, PR (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Radiator

“The threaded neck of the radiator (where the cap screws in) snapped off, while I was on the freeway...causing a massive immediate catastrophic fluid leak, making the car overheat”

Kevin T., NV (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Water pump

“Water pump was due to change as per the maintenance booklet. It broke”

Anonymous, PR (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-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)

“Failed. Clutch became non responsive”

Kenneth B., NC (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2.0-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

Driveline vibration

“premature failure of wheel bearings and also O2 sensor”

Anonymous, ON (2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

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

Exhaust

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

Engine Major

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

Engine Minor

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

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