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2009 Mazda Miata MX-5

Overview
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2009 Mazda Miata MX-5 Review

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The 2009 MX-5 Miata roadster continues to capture the hearts of driving enthusiasts and open-air aficionados everywhere. The lightweight roadster may not be big on horsepower, but its 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution, dynamic suspension and lightning-quick steering make it a blast to drive, while its excellent fuel economy makes it the perfect commuter car. Despite its small proportions, the 2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata is easy to live with. The top, for example, can be operated from inside the car with just one arm and, when retracted, collapses into a small well behind the seats, as does the new available power-operated hardtop. As a result, the MX-5 Miata's small trunk is unaffected by the top's position, a claim the Pontiac Solstice, for example, can't make.

You'll Like This Car If...

If brutal winters make owning a soft-top car a nightmare, the 2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata's new retractable hardtop is a dream come true. The MX-5's excellent fuel economy makes it a viable commuter car for those looking to leave their gas-thirsty SUVs at home. Driving enthusiasts and sports car club members love its wonderful handling and overall nimble performance.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're long of leg or over six feet in height, the MX-5 Miata can still present you with a cramped driving position. The MX-5 has a small trunk and does not offer much in the way of interior storage space. If this is going to be your only mode of transport, you're not going to win many friends when it's your turn to drive the co-workers to lunch.

What's New for 2009

The MX-5 Miata celebrates its 20th anniversary with a mild exterior and interior makeover. Manual transmission models have their redline moved from 5,000 to 7,200 rpm, while a new Induction Sound Enhancer (ISE) places more of the engine's sound just ahead of the windshield. Enhancements are also made to the transmission, suspension and traction control system.

Driving the Miata MX-5

Driving Impressions Unlike the first-generation Miatas, the newest MX-5 demonstrates a noticeable reduction in engine roughness and vibration. Past Miatas would buzz and shudder at idle, but the new MX-5 Miata hums...

as serenely as a happy humming bird. The 2.0-liter pulls strongly and keeps right on giving well past the 55-mph mark. Once in motion, the MX-5 rolls comfortably over smooth pavement and takes dips and bumps with few theatrics. The MX-5's 50/50 front/rear weight balance allows the car to perform remarkably nimble maneuvers that would be more difficult if the car had more of its weight biased to either end. At speeds in excess of 35 miles per hour, the MX-5's windshield creates an air curtain above the driver's and passenger's heads, effectively directing at least moderate levels of rain to the rear of the car.

Bose Audio
It's tough to get a good sound system in an affordable convertible, but Bose finally pulled it off. With crisp highs and a thumping bass, the Bose system can easily defeat the most deafening wind noise.

Retractable Hardtop design
The MX-5's hardtop roof adds a mere 77 pounds to the car's weight and can be raised and lowered in just 12 seconds.

2009 Mazda Miata MX-5 Details
2009 Mazda Miata MX-5 photo Interior

The MX-5 Miata's interior is wider than the first two generation Miatas, offering much-needed improvements in hip and shoulder room. The driver's-side foot well has been widened by running the exhaust down the right side of the transmission tunnel. While good news for the driver, the passenger now has to deal with limited foot and knee space. Fit and finish are excellent, with easy-to-read instruments, steering wheel-mounted controls for audio and cruise control and a perfectly situated shift lever. The MX-5's center console could do with some padding, though, as we found our elbows starting to smart a bit during aggressive cornering. Bose has created an optional sound system that adjusts equalization settings depending upon whether the top is up or down. The system even has different settings for leather versus cloth interior.

Exterior
2009 Mazda Miata MX-5 photo

The 2009 MX-5 Miata receives a mild exterior freshening featuring larger headlamps, a new five-point grille and oversized triangular fog lamp bezels. Despite the changes, the familiar Miata DNA is still evident. Unlike the original Miata, however, differences are present. Where the previous generation Miata's doors bow out, the MX-5's are slab sided. Restrained wheel arches have given way to the same pronounced flair that first appeared on the RX-8. The convertible top is easier to use than ever, capable of being operated from the driver's seat with just one arm, while the clever retractable hardtop permits year-round driving without adding significant weight or cost. 16-inch aluminum wheels are standard on the base car, with 17-inch rims offered on the performance models.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata SV Convertible comes with a five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), 16-inch alloy wheels, glass rear window with defroster, vinyl top, dual power mirrors, power windows, three-spoke tilt steering wheel, cloth bucket seats, mesh windblocker, AM/FM stereo with CD, an auxiliary audio input jack and side-impact airbags. The Sport and Touring models add more standard features such as larger wheels, cruise control and power door locks. The Touring and Grand Touring add a six-speed manual transmission, while the Grand Touring trim adds a cloth (rather than vinyl) top, tan or black leather seats, automatic climate control, heated seats and a Bose audio system.

Optional Equipment

A six-speed automatic with manual shift mode is optional on the Touring, Sport and Grand Touring trims. The Suspension Package offered on the Sport and Grand Touring adds Bilstein shocks, limited-slip differential and sport suspension. Dynamic Stability Control with Traction Control, the limited-slip differential, Smart Key, Bluetooth and xenon headlamps can be had by ordering the Premium Package, which is available only on the Grand Touring trim level.

Under the Hood

The MX-5's 2.0-liter engine has plenty of pep and a newfound reserve of low-end torque that allows for quick off-the-line sprints. Both the five- and six-speed manuals provide precise shifts that make quick work of gear changes. The six-speed automatic delivers crisp gear changes designed to maximize every bit of the engine's power. When switched to manual mode, the six-speed automatic performs admirably, though we think you lose some of the gas-and-clutch driver interaction that makes the MX-5 so much fun to drive.

2.0-liter in-line 4
167 horsepower @ 7200 rpm (manual), 158 horsepower @ 6700 rpm (automatic)
140 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/27(five-speed manual), 21/28 (six-speed manual), 20/27 (automatic)

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2009 Mazda Miata MX-5 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.4
Out of 10

Based on 211 Ratings for the 2006 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.5/10
    Quality
    9.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.7/10
    Performance
    9.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

The most fun I've had driving a convertible.

By on Tuesday, November 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "very fun car"

Cons: "doesn't hold it's value for some reason."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"It's kind of like driving a go-kart because it's so small, but it has a wide footprint and handles extremely well. You can drive it all month on one tank of gas. The tank is 10 gallons. overall a very fun car."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

New owner, old sports car driver, why did I wait?

By on Thursday, October 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "More smiles per mile."

Cons: "I can't drive it 24/7; I have to sleep some time."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've driven MGs, Alfas, Fiats. I waited a long time to find a used MX-5 in good condition. Found a 2013 Grand Touring with less than 1000 miles on it. I let the first owner eat about $7000 in depreciation. The car even smells new. I also fly little airplanes; this car is even more fun than that cause I can do it any day I want, regardless of the weather. Buy one, it's fantastic for two empty nesters and there is no room for grandchildren."

22 people out of 35 found this review helpful

Good car, sporty and fun to drive

By on Monday, September 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Gas mileage, fun to drive"

Cons: "Only for 2 people"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This was my "fun" car and I truly enjoy driving it. It looks classy and I have never had any mechanical problems with it. Every time I drive it someone comments on the beauty of the car."

4 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Best priced hardtop convertible sports 2 seater

By on Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,440

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Pros: Corners like on rails. Great acceleration for a small car Hardtop goes up and down in less than 8 seconds Cons: The front fender skirt sits really low and can get scratch up easily at parking spaces blocks or curbs. It's hard to clean the space behind the seats with the top up and near impossible with top down."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

I have owned several Mazda convertibles.

By on Thursday, August 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "They are esp. fun to drive and very reliable."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I like how these cars ride...they look luxurious, and very sporty. Have owned and enjoyed several Mazdas over the yrs. My first one for 19 yrs, and looked as new when I traded it in as when I bought it. Love these Mazdas."

20 people out of 34 found this review helpful

It is my therapist!

By on Friday, July 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,200

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Reliable and fun to drive."

Cons: "Cozy driving accomodations; AC could be better"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"A Miata is not meant to be your only vehicle...but it sure is fun on a winding mountain road or cruising along the coast highway with the top down. The absolute best bang for the buck. It's very reliable, too. They're a much better value as a used vehicle as the majority have been very well taken care of and have relatively low miles. Mine is 8 years old and has just over 50K miles; that's a little over 6000 miles/year. The A/C is anemic and the noise can be problematic on a long trip, but....hey, it's a convertible. I have driven it from Los Angeles to San Francisco along the coast highway and enjoyed every minute of that trip. I have the 6 speed manual transmission but there's an automatic available."

15 people out of 19 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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