MPG-o-Matic 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club Review Summary: The 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata tops the charts when it comes to low-ticket, drop top roadster fun. Affordable rear-wheel-drive (RWD) convertible sports cars are tough to find these days, given the departure of the Honda S2000, Saturn Sky, and Pontiac Solstice. While some may decry the Miata’s relatively low power output, it’s the sum of the parts that makes this little roadster so enjoyable to toss about when the sun is shining. With a power retractable hard top, the fun needn’t end when the weather turns cold or the rain starts to fall.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is equipped with a naturally aspirated 16-valve VVT 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 167 horsepower and 140 foot pounds of torque (with the manual transmission). All models can be equipped with either a manual or automatic transmission, for those with that inclination. The engine is detuned to 158 HP with the automatic. The base MX-5 Sport gets by with a five-speed manual, while all other models are fitted with six-speed transmissions.
The official fuel economy estimates for the 2013 MX-5 are 21 city / 28 highway miles per gallon (MPG) for either the six-speed manual or automatic. Never mind what they say about more speeds equaling better gas mileage. The base five-speed manual is rated at 22/28.
We rolled up roughly 300 miles on our six-speed manual-equipped True Red Club Edition with the Power Retractable Hard Top and breezed past the official mileage estimates, with an average of 34.9 MPG on the Interstate highway and 27.8 MPG combined with temperatures ranging from the forties through the sixties.
Interstate Mileage Testing:
- Cruise control set to 68 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 34.4 MPG
- Cruise control off, target speed 60-72 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 35.4 MPG
Interstate highway testing was performed with the top up. Temperatures were in the mid-fifties.
Our test vehicle was equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, clad with Bridgestone Potenza RE050A 205/45R17 max performance summer tires, and was delivered with under 1000 miles on the odometer. The 2013 Miata is equipped with an 12.7 gallon fuel tank and is designed to run on premium unleaded gasoline. Highway driving range is good.
The Miata is fitted with four-wheel-disc brakes with Anti-Lock Braking (ABS) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). The 11.4-inch front discs are ventilated, while the 11.0-inch rear discs are solid. The manual transmission-equipped Power Retractable Hardtop MX-5 tips the scales at 2,593 pounds.
The MX-5 delivered a 0-60 MPH time of approximately 7.5 seconds, with a bit of wheelspin.
Needless to say, Miata owners don’t buy the their cars for straight line acceleration. They buy them to tear up the twisty bits, and tear them up, it does. The Club manual’s handling is enhanced with Bilstein Shocks, a Limited Slip Differential, a Shock Tower Brace, and a Sport Tuned Suspension.
While quite not a match for the factory unit in the discontinued Honda S2000, the Miata’s short-throw shifter is rather splendid.
The Miata Club’s exterior is enhanced with a front air dam, rear diffuser, and blacked out trim. Along with our tester’s True Red, the Club’s color choices include Crystal White Pearl, Brilliant Black and Liquid Silver.
The Trip Computer is limited to Average MPGs and ambient temperature. The Miata can be quite fuel-efficient when you’re not hooning about. A ScanGauge would be a welcome addition for the fuel conscious.
The cabin is purely functional, with black cloth upholstery set off with red stitching. If you’re looking for niceties like leather upholstery and heated front bucket seats, you’ll want to order the Grand Touring model. If you’re looking for an over abundance of cup holders and glitzy infotainment, look elsewhere.
The Club model includes a basic six-speaker audio system. The Grand Touring kicks it up with seven-speaker Bose system. Factory Handsfree Bluetooth is only available in the Grand Touring model, as part of the Premium package. An iPod integration module, Motorola hands-free device, and Garmin Nuvi navigation (with integrated Bluetooth) are available as dealer installed options.
You’ll find a solitary twelve-volt outlet located at the base of the dash, alongside the auxiliary audio input port.
There’s just 5.3 cubic feet of storage in the trunk. You’ll just have to live with it. Find something else to take antiquing. Or just go for a drive. With someone you enjoy being with. (Or your dog. It’s your choice!)
The power retractable hard top is a welcome addition, delivering a snug-feeling cabin when the weather turns cold or the skies open up. The top operation is relatively speedy, simple, and secure: one button up, one button down, and one latch.
Rumor has it that the Honda S2000 may return to provide the Miata with some tough competition, all the while Mazda preps the next version of the MX-5 with a 2,200 pound target weight and a potential collaboration with Alfa Romeo.
But for 2013 the Miata stands alone, as the last standing truly affordable rear wheel drive two-seat roadster in America … proving that you can still burn rubber with the top down, without burning gasoline or your wallet.
The Club Edition takes it up a notch. It isn’t for latte sippers or cell phone yappers. It’s for drivers. This isn’t the car you buy to show off or for creature comforts. It’s the car you buy to drive. Through the corners. Fast.
Take a look at the entry prices of other ragtop roadsters … the Nissan Z is forty one thousand and change. The Porsche Boxster is forty nine and a half. The Mercedes-Benz SLK250 is a hair under forty three. BMW’s 1-series starts at just under thirty seven and the Z4 clocks in at over forty seven.
The Mustang V6 convertible is closest at just over twenty seven. The Camaro V6 convertible is over thirty thousand.
The base Miata starts at under twenty four. And it delivers driving characteristics like nothing else sold today.
Some folks still don’t quite get the Miata. Those are the folks who are most likely to have not driven it. At speed.
2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club PRHT
Parts Content Information
US/Canadian Parts Content: 1%
Major Sources of Foreign Parts Content: Japan – 96%
Final Assembly Point: Hiroshima
Country of Origin:
Engine – Japan
Transmission – Japan
2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club Review
– by Daniel Gray
January 25th, 2013
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