The Miata is a fun-to-drive, low-slung little roadster, with pinpoint handling, instant power delivery, and a crisp manual gearbox. Excellent fuel economy is an extra bonus. While it remains very tight, the cabin has grown a little more livable over the years. The ride is surprisingly tolerable, but cabin noise can grow wearying on long cruises.

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.
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.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
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.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

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
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
NA
2014
NA
2015
2016
2017
2018
NA
2019
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
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
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
NA
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
NA
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
NA
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2006. Side air bags standard from 2006. ESC available from 2006, standard from 2012.
Road Test

The Miata is a fun-to-drive, low-slung little roadster, with pinpoint handling, instant power delivery, and a crisp manual gearbox. Excellent fuel economy is an extra bonus. While it remains very tight, the cabin has grown a little more livable over the years. The ride is surprisingly tolerable, but cabin noise can grow wearying on long cruises. The retractable powered hardtop operates easily but adds additioanl expense and does little to reduce noise.

Seating
2 front
Drive Wheels
Rear
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

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 (158 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 (167 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

"Display screen has gone blank a few times, not sure what to do about it. Live in a very hot humid area, might be contributing to problem."

Anonymous, FL (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Dealer replaced. Under warranty"

Linda D., AZ (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Hardware replacement

"Bose Amplifier stopped working, causing radio to stop working. Thankfully Bose replaced at no cost. I believe high heat and humidity causes failure of unit."

Anonymous, FL (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Difficult to pair phone. Disconnecting after a call is finished problematic"

William C., NJ (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Unable to pair phone"

Linda D., AZ (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

"AM radio receiver not connected properly. Radio makes white noise when driven over expansion joints. Problem more pronounced in Winter than Summer. Never fix completely & problem still exist despite replacing several parts. Listen to FM instead now"

Anonymous, AB (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 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

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"pump that checks emissions monitoring failed"

Anonymous, (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Vacuum system solenoid failure/leak. Fixed under warranty"

Anonymous, CA (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel cap

"Started coming loose regularly, setting off CEL. Replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, CA (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"engine light came on...mechanic said it was the sensor that ensures the fuel system is properly pressurized. Not sure if just the sensor was bad or if there was leak near the sensor as well"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The O2 sensor went."

Anonymous, CT (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-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

Convertible top

"The vinyl top has three holes in it"

Russel R., ON (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Ripped in two places"

Adam B., KY (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Locks and latches

"Passenger door lock just broke in a failure where it still works, but is loose when pulled out"

Anonymous, CO (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Trunk does not release with key fobs"

Edward I., BC (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 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

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"The weather stripping where the hard-top convertible matches with the windshield was worn and had to be replaced"

Jeff H., CA (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"The hard-top convertible needed the rubber guides replaced where the top meets the windshield. The guides were worn"

Jeff H., CA (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"multiple squeaks in dash creaking driver seat loose bolt on an under dash part"

Anonymous, PA (2011 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

"Blower motor wore out."

Anonymous, NV (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Heater system

"In dash climate control module was replaced under warranty. CD player and MP3 plug cause the radio to stop working"

Russel R., ON (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

"After 8 years of service the A?C output was reduced when idling. Although the dealer didn't find any leaks, the refrigerant was down to 0.22kg from the specified 0.45 kg. The system was tested and recharged and now worked great."

Anonymous, AL (2011 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

Premature brake wear

"THE BRAKES NEEDED TO BE REPLACED AFTER ONLY 23K MILES"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Rotors

"THE ROTORS NEEDED REPLACING AFTER 23K MILES"

Anonymous, FL (2011 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

12V power plug

"When the MP3 plug is used it causes the sound system to lock up in the AUX mode. The car battery has to be disconnected for the radio to reset. Same applies when using the CD player"

Russel R., ON (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Warning lights

"Intermittent fault caution light for parking brake and airbag. Probably circuit error."

William C., NJ (2011 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

"Rear shock absorber began to leak, both rear shocks replaced under extended warranty"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"At less than 50,000 miles, both rear shocks blew out all of their fluid."

Thomas G., FL (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata 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

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Car spends all it's time outside in Miami. Certainly a difficult test of paint. Previous car, a Scion XB was not affected in 7 years. Mazda has hazing of the retractable top and its associated moving trim"

Anonymous, CO (2011 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

Gear selector or linkage

"Rough and occasional failure to shift into 2nd and occasional difficulty with 3rd gear"

Anonymous, NC (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 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

Differential

"Excess lapping compound installed in the fluid of the LSD differential causing wear and whine noise. Covered in a Technical Service Bulletin by Mazda, and hopefully will be replaced at no cost to me"

Anonymous, NY (2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

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

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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