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.

Reliability

We expect the 2022 MX-5 Miata will be much more reliable than the average new car. This prediction is based on data from 2019 and 2020 models. Select the used car model year to see reported issues with those similar past models.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
00
01
02
03
04
05
06*
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14
15
16*
17
18
19
20
21
Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for over 300,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2021 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA 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.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 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

CD player

"Will not unload cd’s. Five cd’s are stuck in there."

Anonymous, MD (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Six disc changer only releases some of the discs and then stops working. Requires removal of changer for a manual reset before reinstall."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"On fall pre-storage prep the 6 CD changer would not eject 4 of the discs. In the spring Mazda removed the player, but could not repair locally. Am awaiting return of the repaired unit while the dash has a gaping hole where the player used to be"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"CD Player stopped working completely."

Anonymous, NC (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen goes blank

"Problem was intermittent"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"On a random basis the display screen for the stereo would go blank"

David T., KS (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Intermittently the screen goes blank, unable to see current time, station or volumn level, though the radio still works and all features seem to work."

Gary M., HI (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Time/radio etc display intermittently goes blank. Dealer said there was no history of that problem published by the manufacturer. Replacing radio was only option ... $1,200. Radio works even when display is blank."

Todd L., FL (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"I think it happens when it's cold.. Everything works, but screen is blank."

Jeff S., NV (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

"Screen display on radio (station, volume, time, etc.) goes blank at times. Dealer said car is out of warranty and it would cost me $1,200.00 to replace the unit. I then contacted Mazda and told them this should not happen after only 18,000 miles even though the car is 5 years old. They claimed this is not an issue they have a history of and denied my request for a free or reduced cost replacement"

Todd L., FL (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Speakers

"Center rear speaker between seats stopped working."

Jeff S., NV (2012 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

Alignment

"oticed during tire rotation, resolved."

Anonymous, MD (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Shocks or struts

"I am not a mechanic and don't have car smarts. I was talked into a suspension package when buying the car. The fact that the suspension system is wearing out (what specifically, I don't know even though a mechanic tried to explain) in less than $40k miles driving the same streets I have been driving for 18 years with other vehicles that have had more miles, but no suspension problems truly annoys me. I paid a premium for a cr@p product."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Both rear shocks were leaking fluid. Replaced."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"normal wear. replaced struts front and back to regain tight sports car ride and handling."

Fred R., AZ (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"front strut began leaking and affected ride"

Richard J., MD (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The rear shock dampening got mushy ad did not feel as tight as when first purchased at 16,000 miles in 2014. I replaced the struts/shocks at 68000 miles."

Fred R., AZ (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Rear shocks replaced"

Anonymous, LA (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"left rear had small leak"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Rear wheels would hop around corner on a bump. Shock/struts were weak and needed replacement"

Steven L., NJ (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The rear shocks were making a grouning noise and casused an out of balance of the tires. Replacing the shocks fixed the issue."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Tire wear is uneven

"noticed during tire rotation, resolved."

Anonymous, MD (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand 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

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"The lens glass on a rear tail light was broken. The lens by itself cannot be replaced. It is necessary to replace the entire tail light assembly at a cost of over $700.00 for the part alone, exclucing installation cost."

Gary M., HI (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

"Power supply for the advanced headlight system failed and needed to be replaced (under warrantee)"

Elliott-Pam G., VT (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Interior lights

"Interior light went out which blew a fuse and the car lost various electrical functions Could not open the trunk BUT the car was drivable"

Joseph O., FL (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Warning lights

"Hand brake light comes on intermittently. Hand brake is not engaged!"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Emergency brake warning light illuminates intermittently and the AM radio reception shorts out. Short in cable bundle behind the dash is suspected"

Anonymous, CA (2012 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

Squeaks or rattles

"Squecks around retractable hard top"

Patti B., TX (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"I like this vehicle well enough to not sell it, but probably wouldn't buy it again. I have owned it for 6.5 years and I bet this thing has squeaked and rattled for more than 5 of them. Mechanics were constantly tightening things with the roof and the roof latch has been replaced multiple times, which I was told was a common problem for this vehicle."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"CONVERTIBLE HARDTOP INTERFACE WITH WINDSHEILD SQUEEKS WHEN DRIVING"

Ross H., WA (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"This has the retractable hard top. When closed, it makes some clunks that are not present when top is down. Also odd clicks that seem to be around the dash. Mildly annoying"

Michael G., CA (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

"AT 40MPH I HEAR WHISTLING FROM LEFT FRONT WINDOW"

Marshall C., ME (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata 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

"Original vinyl top cracked. Replaced it with an aftermarket cloth top. Mazda dealer installed incorrectly. Tool it to a specialist. It is fine now."

Kevin B., MI (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Cracks holes needs replacement"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Roof drain plugged with pine needles, leaves, etc and I had standing water on the floor. It was an expensive repair"

Anonymous, ME (2012 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)

"Check engine light came on. Had dealer check it out. They determined there was a problem in the emission system. Part was replaced. $450."

Todd L., FL (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"WE experienced this EGR problem once. Check engine light illuminated. Our local mechanic removed and replaced the EGR Valve resolving the issue."

Anonymous, (2012 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

What Owners Say

Ignition switch

"Car would not start the day after I bought it Had it towed to my local repair shop and a major fuse had blown Cost about $100 Dealer said he would remburse me but it would take a while so I get an oil change and pin stripping on the Miata Looks cool"

J O., FL (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 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

Rough shifting

"shfting improper and clutch assembly change upon inspection"

Michel B., QC (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"The catalytic converter is rattling and the dealer says it is close to failing and needs to be replaced. I will soon do that."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata 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

Squeaking

"After four times having the car serviced to repair the brake squeaking, we have just learned to live with it"

Barbara L., CA (2012 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.

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.

Engine Cooling

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

Drive System

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

Climate System

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

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