2010 MX-5 Miata New Car Test Drive
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the best selling two-seat roadster ever, and there's good reason for that. The MX-5 is remarkably fun to drive, regardless of the driver's age, with trouble-free operation, easy care requirements and good fuel economy, at a very attractive price.
The 2010 MX-5 gets a slight realignment in model features and color availability. These changes follow substantial updates for 2009, which included fresh exterior styling, interior enhancements, a stronger, higher-revving engine and increased fuel mileage.
Yet 21 years after its introduction, the basic Miata formula hasn't changed. The MX-5 has been modernized, updated and improved, but its lighthearted spirit remains intact. It still puts a big grin on our collective face, no matter when or where it's driven. With a simple vinyl roof, it starts at about $23,000; loaded with everything, including a convertible hardtop, it barely cracks $30,000.
Its traditional soft convertible top operates manually, and it's very simple to use, without leaving the driver's seat.
The Power Retractable Hard Top features a solid roof that lowers in seconds at the touch of a button. It offers the advantages of a hardtop overhead: reduced wind and road noise, increased security and a sense of solidity. But it folds completely out of sight for stylish cruising, and not a whit of the driving experience has been sacrificed for the hardtop practicality. The Power Retractable Hard Top, or PRHT, is constructed of plastic composite materials
Five distinct MX-5 models, along with two suspension setups and dozens of dealer installed options and accessories, mean lots of choices and potential for personalization. There's a model with cloth upholstery, manual air conditioning, a simple stereo, and a five-speed manual transmission. On the other hand, there's rich leather, automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, a decent automatic transmission, and Bose audio that remixes sound in real time to account for ambient noise with the top down.
The engine delivers 167 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque with the manual transmission, and 158 hp with the automatic. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 21/28 mpg with the manual gearbox.
Some 850,000 worldwide sales later, the MX-5 Miata remains the quintessential affordable two-seater. The 2010 MX-5 is spectacularly good, rewarding its driver with loads of satisfaction and excellent value. It remains the standard by which affordable sports cars are judged.
The 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata is available with a manual folding soft top or a power-retractable hard top. All variants are powered by the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, with standard manual transmission.
The MX-5 Sport ($22,810) comes with a vinyl soft top and a five-speed manual transmission. Standard features include air conditioning, power windows, cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, single-CD audio with six speakers, power mirrors, various interior storage pockets and 16-inch aluminum wheels. All MX-5s come with a tire-puncture repair kit, as opposed to a spare. A six-speed automatic ($1,100) is optional. An optional Convenience Package ($1,160) adds cruise control, fog lamps, power locks with window operation from the remote key fob, a trip computer and steering steering-wheel audio controls.
The MX-5 Touring ($25,150) adds a six-speed manual transmission and the contents of the Convenience Package, plus 6CD changer, and 17-inch wheels with summer performance tires.
The MX-5 Grand Touring ($26,410) adds heated leather seats, a nicer fabric soft top, automatic climate control and a Bose audio upgrade with subwoofer and Sirius satellite radio.
The MX-5 PRHT Touring ($26,850) and Grand Touring ($28,250) come with the Power Retractable Hard Top.
Option packages are available for all MX-5 models: The Suspension Package ($500) is geared toward enthusiast drivers, with Bilstein gas pressure shocks and a limited-slip differential. The Premium Package ($1600) adds Dynamic Stability Control anti-skid electronics, Advanced Keyless Entry proximity key, high-intensity xenon headlights and a theft alarm. The Appearance Package ($1145) dresses the exterior in sporty duds, including a front air dam, side skirts and rear under skirt. Standalone options include the CD changer ($500) and Sirius Radio ($430). Dozens of port and dealer installed option range from a cargo net to door edge guards, all-weather mats, chrome fuel filler door, splash guards, a rear spoiler and wheel locks.
Safety equipment includes two-stage front-impact airbags, seat-mounted, side-impact airbags designed to protect the chest and head, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and a tire-pressure monitor. The passenger-side front airbag has an on/off switch, and that seat is fitted with LATCH child safety seat anchors. DSC stability control is available only in the Premium Package.