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.