Vital Stats

Engine:
2.0L I4
Power:
167 HP / 140 LB-FT
Transmission:
6-Speed Manual
Drivetrain:
Rear-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
2,480
Seating:
2
Cargo:
5.3 CU-FT
MPG:
21 City / 28 HWY
In what could have been my final time reviewing a current-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata, I'll have to say it was like saying a bittersweet farewell to an old friend. You see, the third-generation Miata (NC) is my favorite iteration of the fun little roadster, and with the next Miata being co-developed with Alfa Romeo, I fear the car might lose some of the "jinba ittai" that has made it incredible track car for the last 23 years. If this was to be my last extended drive in the MX-5 Miata, I couldn't have asked for a better send-off with it being a black-on-red tester with a soft top, manual transmission and the all-new Club trim level.

Perhaps as a tip of its proverbial hat to the car's cult following among club racers, the 2013 model year for the MX-5 Miata sees the new Club model replace the Touring trim level in the middle of the car's lineup. This new model should also be a welcomed sight for buyers who were late in snagging one of the 450 Miata Special Edition units that were sent to the US this year, and with a starting price of $26,705, it is substantially less than the Special Edition car. Like the Special Edition, though, the Club comes with black wheels and black door mirrors, and other key elements helped give the car an eye-catching look that got the car noticed almost everywhere I took it.

Driving Notes
  • The first thing I notice every time I drive a Miata is how balanced the car feels. A low curb weight (less than 2,500 pounds) and an almost perfectly even weight distribution make the car fun to drive in just about any conditions.
  • More fun, of course, is driving with the top down, and the Miata's manual soft top has to be one of the simplest tops to operate in the history of convertibles. One central latch holds it in place, and it is light and hassle-free to raise and lower. You can even just reach back while at a stop light and raise the roof in about five seconds with one hand.
  • The six-speed manual transmission not only makes the Miata more engaging to drive, it also gives the car more power. Cars equipped with the automatic transmission are rated at 158 horsepower and those with the manual get 167 ponies under the hood, and while I've yet to drive an automatic Miata, at no point does the manual's power feel insufficient. Even better, it is still decent on gas with fuel economy numbers 21 miles per gallon city and 28 highway; I had no problems hitting either number even with a healthy dose of spirited driving.
  • Aside from maybe a Tesla Roadster, there are few cars on the road that feel as small as the Miata. To some, this might be a good thing, but when the average SUV bumper is at face level and getting into and out of the car feels like it should be a part of the Insanity Workout, the Miata might not be an ideal primary vehicle.
  • The 2013 Miata Club represents a slight price increase ($875) over the 2012 Miata Touring, but what you get is a truly unique look without having to make any modifications yourself. The Gunmetal Black 17-inch wheels do a lot for the car, but the Club also gets black side stripes, black headlights, a front lip spoiler, rear diffuser, "Club" fender badges and chrome trunk brackets; inside, the instrument panel gets a new body-color-matching insert and red stitching to accent the black seats.
  • In today's tech-savvy world, the Miata's option list is devoid of many options available on most entry-level cars, but for a car that shouldn't even have cupholders (especially on the manual-equipped models), the lack of technology inside the Miata makes the car feel even more raw and refreshing.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 41 Comments
      lazybeans
      • 2 Years Ago
      this is best looking production miata yet..
      Roman
      • 1 Year Ago
      My shrink says I drive a Miata because I'm compensating for my enormous penor.
      cross61roads
      • 3 Months Ago


      You can have it.................I will wait for the Abarth version that's on the way.................and another 30 HP...................

      Ducman69
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nice! I would be ALL OVER this car, if I had a vagina.
        ravenosa
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ducman69
        Then you never should have gotten rid of the thing in the first place (your vagina, not the car).
        Shahul X
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ducman69
        guess you don't exactly know how to drive eh?
      NightFlight
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd love to have a True Red NC Miata, it would look perfect in my garage next to my '90 True Red NA. I love my Miata.
      Steve
      • 2 Years Ago
      A nice car for a highschool girl! Looks like something Barbi or Bieber would drive......
        mary.keana
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Steve
        Sorry to hear about your penis Steve. hope your Dodge Ram Mega Cab cummins turbo diesel heavy duty helps you feel better.
        Mazdafreak
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Steve
        No it doesn't.
        ponycargt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Steve
        This is probably too much car for you, Steve. What do you drive? A Pinto?
      Scr
      • 2 Years Ago
      I could never understand how a car this small, this light, with such a small and weak engine could get such terrible gas mileage.
        Can Of Minus
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        Gearing.
        jeffreynross
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        the contstant desire to drive at wide-open throttle!
        Deslock
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        RWD and the high drag coefficient are part of the reason, but cars with small N/A engines tuned for throttle response and short gearing have always gotten poor EPA ratings, especially on the highway. The good news is that these cars also tend to significantly exceed their ratings in real-world driving.
        domingorobusto
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        You have to rev it to the moon to move at a normal rate, and it's geared quite low. In my friends regular NB Touring, you had to run well over 3000 rpm to do 65 on the highway, and almost 4000 to do 75. The Mazdaspeed NB he bought after that actually got better mileage because he didn't have to drive it as hard and because of the taller effective gearing from the 18" wheels and 6 speed trans. And like the others said, the Miata is not very aerodynamic. It's CdA is still decent because it's so small, but its drag coefficient is pretty terrible.
        CrunchyCookie98
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        The 0.34 drag coefficient?
        subierider
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        I was just thinking the same.
      RJC
      • 2 Years Ago
      ...and with the next Miata being co-developed with Alfa Romeo, I fear the car might lose some of the "jinba ittai" that has made it incredible track car for the last 23 years. Are you smoking crack? I fear for the Alfa being water down and losing soul by this co-development. Talk about slumming.
        Quen47
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RJC
        Yeah, I was just thinking about all the great-handling rear wheel drive cars Alfa has built over the past 25 years, like the... hmmm. Or there was the... wait, I just can't remember the name of it. On a non-sarcastic note, the Miata and especially RX-8 run rings around anything Alfa has done in modern times, so pretty sure it's Alfa that could learn a thing or two here.
      Mr. Sled
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm 6'3 and don't fit properly in a Miata. I wish I did, because that thing is great.
      Ben Dover
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cute. Does it come in pink?
      Codeman
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mazda, please just stop it with these tacky "special" editions which come out every month. Either release a hardcore edition with real tuning parts, not just decals and gun metal wheels, or keep quiet until the next-gen model is ready in 3 years or so.
      SS47
      • 2 Years Ago
      I currently have an FR-S, which is great, but I'm not head-over-heels for but for the life of me I can't figure out why. Which would you recommend between the two?
        gerhartweg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SS47
        There is a comparison between the Scion FR-S vs. Mazda MX-5 club http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDYaSwd4mmk Get your own conclussions ;-)
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SS47
        [blocked]
          SS47
          • 2 Years Ago
          Uh... thanks? I guess I should rephrase: I'm not huge on it after 10k miles of ownership. And are you sure I didn't test drive an MX-5? Basically I would just like an opinion between the FR-S/BRZ and the 2013 MX-5.
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