2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata's more horsepower will cost less money

Starting price is $915 lower than the outgoing model year

Mazda has already announced a power upgrade for the 2019 MX-5 Miata roadster after engineers tweaked the Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter inline-four for 17 percent more power and higher fuel efficiency than the outgoing 2018 model. Now we know the starting price for the soft-top version: $26,625, including destination charge, which is a $915 drop from the lowest-priced 2018 model.

As is standard across the Miata lineup, output increases by 26 horsepower to 181 hp, with torque nudging up 3 pound-feet to 151 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm. Other new features also track with the changes previously announced for the 2019 Miata RF, including the telescoping steering wheel and standard rearview camera. But the soft-top version gets an available brown soft top for an extra $200 for the Grand Touring trim (a black soft top is standard), new package options at each trim level and optional traffic-sign recognition and smart city brake support, which offers automatic emergency braking at low speeds. Also new is that steering column, which is made of aluminum to save weight.

Mazda will keep the six-speed manual as an option for all three trim levels, with an available six-speed automatic with paddle shifters and Sport driving mode. Standard features include LED head- and taillights, 16-inch wheels, Mazda Connect infotainment with a 7-inch touchscreen monitor, Bluetooth phone pairing and audio streaming, and keyless entry.

Jump up to the Grand Touring trim starting at $31,675 and get 17-inch dark silver wheels, body-color interior trim, auto on/off headlights, auto-dimming driver's side mirror, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated, leather-trimmed seats and a nine-speaker Bose Premium audio system, among other things. Mazda is also offering a $550 GT-S Package on the Grand Touring model with the six-speed manual, a front shock tower brace, limited-slip rear differential and Bilstein dampers.

MX-5 Club models start at $30,485 and come standard with the GT-S Package goodies when equipped with the manual transmission. Automatic versions get standard heated cloth seats with contrasting red stitching, body-color interior trim, black 17-inch wheels, front air dam and rear lip spoilers. There's also an i-Activsense Club Package for $450 that comes with smart city brake support and lane-departure warning, plus a Brembo/BBS package package that adds front Brembo rotors and calipers, red-painted brake calipers on all four corners, forged gunmetal wheels and a Brembo/BBS/Recaro package that adds heated Recaro bucket seats.

The EPA rates fuel economy at 26 mph in the city, 35 on the highway and a combined 30 mpg for the six-speed automatic, and slightly lower for the manual.

The 2019 MX-5 is now on sale nationwide.

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