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2013 Mazda Miata MX-5

Overview
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2013 Mazda Miata MX-5 Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 8.3

Living legends are hard to come by these days, especially in the cookie-cutter world of modern mobility. But there are a few standouts, cars that remain true to their original concept even as they evolve to keep up with the times. The 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata convertible is one such car. Since its introduction 24 years ago, the MX-5 (more commonly referred to as the Miata) has attracted admirers worldwide, spanning all ages from both sexes and even earning a soft spot in the hearts of die-hard SCCA autocross buffs. The Miata isn't flashy or fast. It's just a fun, affordable and reliable roadster that is guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of anyone with a beating heart and a valid driver's license.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you love the look and open-air feel of the old British Triumphs and MGs, but you don't want to deal with the hassle of a 50-year-old used car, the 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata lets you have your cake and eat it too.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're over 6-feet tall or need a bit more hip room in your daily driver, the Miata's tight seats and limited headroom (top up) are going to prove problematic. A better choice might be the VW EOS or Beetle Convertible, or even a used Porsche Boxster.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 8.3
  • 9.9
  • 6.7
  • 7.9
  • 7.7
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#2

out of 2

Fuel Economy

#2

out of 2

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

9.4 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 Mazda Miata MX-5 Low/wide front photo What's New for 2013

The Mazda MX-5 Miata for 2013 sees minor revisions to its front-end design, some new interior and exterior color and trim treatments and a new wind blocker for the retractable-hardtop model. Fog lights are added to the Sport trim while all 6-speed manual-transmission cars come standard with the Suspension Package. The Touring trim is now called Club.

Driving the Miata MX-5
2013 Mazda Miata MX-5 Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions There is nothing about the 2013 Mazda Miata convertible that we don't like. Is it loaded with horsepower? No. But, with a total weight of roughly 2,500 pounds, the 167-horsepower...

2.0-liter engine is more than sufficient. From the lovely quick-shifting manual transmission to the near-instantaneous steering turn-in response, the Miata is a true enthusiast driver's dream. The Miata's all-independent suspension and almost 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution contribute to the terrific level of handling, as well as the compliant ride. And, while its development over 20 years has necessarily accommodated new safety and emissions legislation, the tight, lithe platform continues to deliver an almost magical connection with the asphalt and fresh air. It's more than mere transport; it's transport to another place.
Favorite Features

2.0-LITER DOHC 4-CYLINDER ENGINE
There is no supercharger or turbo to boost output, no V6 crammed under the hood to throw off the 50/50 weight balance, just a marvelously rev-happy 2.0-liter engine that responds without complaint and sips fuel to the tune of 28 mpg.

ALUMINUM
The 2013 MX-5 Miata utilizes a remarkable amount of lightweight (and relatively costly) aluminum. Hood, trunk, front-suspension control arms, rear-suspension uprights and rear brake calipers are all crafted in a material many carmakers seem yet to discover in any meaningful quantities. It keeps the Miata commendably light and wonderfully responsive.

2013 Mazda Miata MX-5 Details
2013 Mazda Miata MX-5 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

There is no getting around the fact that the 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata convertible's interior is a snug affair but, for those who can wedge themselves inside, it promises to be a great ride. The seats might be marginally comfortable for some, and a few people may find them not to be the best for longer trips. Amazingly, the Miata's trunk is big enough to fit a large overnight bag or a few days' worth of groceries. The interior materials are well above what we'd expect at this price, with Grand Touring models outfitted with heated leather seats, Bose audio and automatic climate control.

Exterior
2013 Mazda Miata MX-5 photo

We could describe the 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata convertible's most alluring features to you, or you could just look at a picture, because what you see is what you get. The sleek exterior shares no sheetmetal or parts with the last-generation Miata, but the two look amazingly similar. The MX-5 Miata's retractable soft-top is a marvel of engineering, requiring only one arm to open and close. Those looking for a bit more comfort and security can opt for the retractable-hardtop version, which amazingly takes up no trunk space and results in the loss of only a small storage compartment behind the driver's seat.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Despite an entry-level price tag, the Mazda Miata Sport for 2013 is comprehensively equipped. A 5-speed manual transmission, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, electronic traction and stability control, side-impact airbags, 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, air conditioning, glass rear window with defroster, power windows, leather-wrapped steering wheel, sport suspension, adjustable-height driver's seat and AM/FM/CD with MP3 playback capability are but a few of the highlights. In short, despite a relatively low price tag (under $25K), the entry-level Miata is almost elegantly equipped.

Optional Equipment

Most of the 2013 Mazda Miata's available options are packaged in the trim-level upgrades. Club and Grand Touring models add a sixth gear to the manual transmission; all three trim levels offer an available 6-speed automatic as an option. The Club has 17-inch alloy wheels, power door locks, an in-dash 6-disc CD changer and remote keyless entry. The Grand Touring adds a black or beige cloth top, automatic air conditioning, leather seating and a Bose audio system. A more aggressive Sport suspension (with Bilstein shocks and limited-slip differential) is standard on both Club and Grand Touring models equipped with the manual transmission. The retractable hardtop is offered on Touring or Grand Touring trim levels and adds the power-retractable hardtop with a glass rear window and rear defroster.

Under the Hood
2013 Mazda Miata MX-5 Engine photo

With 167 horsepower at 7,000 rpm from its 2.0 liters of displacement, the Mazda's 2013 MX-5 Miata's powertrain is merely middle-of-the-pack in terms of power output. But what it provides in driving enjoyment puts it solidly in pole position, with feedback – both mechanical and aural – fully appropriate to the classic sports-car experience. And much of that has been engineered into the car. One example: The engine's plastic composite intake manifold is designed to transmit – rather than mask – certain frequencies that duplicate a sports car's "sound." Both 5-speed and 6-speed manual transmissions are short in their throws and precise in their actuations. And, as noted, a 6-speed automatic is optional across the board, but truly appropriate only if you've lost your left leg in a racing accident.

2.0-liter inline-4
167 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm (manual); 158 horsepower @ 6,700 rpm (automatic)
140 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/28 mpg (5-speed manual), 21/28 mpg (6-speed manual), 21/28 mpg (automatic)

Pricing Notes

The three 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata convertible trim levels – Sport, Club and Grand Touring – range in price from about $24,500 (5-speed Sport) to almost $30,000 (Grand Touring automatic), plus whatever port or dealer-installed accessories the consumer would care to add. The power-retractable hardtop Club starts around $29,000 and a loaded Grand Touring tops out around $34,000. Be sure and check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price for what consumers are paying in your market area. Historically, the Mazda Miata's resale value has been consistently strong, a testament to both its long-term reliability and desirability to successive generations of car buyers.

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2013 Mazda Miata MX-5 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.4
Out of 10

Based on 191 Ratings for the 2006 - 2014 models.

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

Best Car I have Owned

By on Sunday, March 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

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: "Light, fast, sporty, more fun than anything!"

Cons: "Limited space for people or luggage"

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

Mica Red with Beige Top/Orange Interior

"The Miata is the best car I have ever owned...though not the most practical. It is small, but that means it is sporty, powerful and handles like a Lotus. As a daily driver, it is amazing...it makes me want to get in and drive somewhere, even when I have no place to go. This is the best selling sports car of all time, and once you drive it, you will understand why. Space is an issue, so it is best as a second car, or for someone who understands the limitations up front. Quality and Reliability are a 10...fun is a 10, and even the looks are a 10. Forget the whole "girl car" stuff...this is a car for people who are true drivers."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Mica Red with Beige Top/Orange Interior

fun to drive

By on Friday, March 28, 2014

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"handling, exhaust is tuned so perfectly. Not being a turbo it is pretty adequate for performance. Drive it year round with a good snows is very good in a snow storm. Just a great car to drive"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

So much fun to drive!

By on Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price, fun to drive."

Cons: "Battery (life and placement) some cheap interiors"

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

"I test drove every sports car under the sun, most 2-3 times more expensive than the Mazda Miata, but none felt as right as this car. It was light, fast and nimble. It hugs the road and feels completely balanced unlike many of the other sport cars, though most with more horsepower and a little more guts, felt front heavy. I am a small woman, and often have trouble getting up high enough to see comfortably over the dash without a cushion, but this car has a perfect driving position for me; like a perfectly designed cockpit. My 6"2 boyfriend however, is less than pleased with the head height unless the top is down. Oh well! It does fine in rain, scarey in snow so i try not to get caught which is difficult here in the northeast, but as impractical as owning one here may be, this is one lease that I do not want to return. I can't wait to see the redesign in 2015 which is supposedly a collaboration between Mazda and Alfa Remeo. If you want a fun, reasonably priced sports car, this is it, hands down."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

When I drive this car is like putting on a glove.

By on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 97,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Handling is awesome. Very responsive."

Cons: "Firm ride, interior not plush."

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

"The most fun for the price car out there. Have not had any problems in 97K. Starts and drives like the day I bought it. Replaced the struts at 70K. Regular service and the usual tires, front brakes."

Fun to drive but not practical

By on Saturday, January 25, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Inpracticality

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
3/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"It's a great car for the suitable person, but I made the mistake of buying a car in a rush. It's a great fun car to drive, except it can't take your daughter's friend when you pick her up at a school chorus practice; you can't take anyone to golf because the trunk won't accomodate a single golf bag, grocery shopping is out as you can't fit two bags of Charmin in the car. It looks too cute people thought it more of a female car. Getting in and out is a chore even for someone with a small figure."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Fun car but not great for everyday driving

By on Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "It's a hoot to drive"

Cons: "Seats could be a bit more supportive"

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

"Due to the 6-speed manual and Southern California traffic, I feel the car is not the best choice for everyday driving. Drive on a twisty mountain road, however, and a smile will come over your face. The car is not fast but sure is fun! Reliability has been excellent; have only replaced the thermostat in over 50,000 miles (outside of normal maintenance). Comfort is acceptable; cabin is a bit noisy. The body structure is quite good for a convertible and has far fewer squeaks and rattles than my previous sports car. Looking into installing a supercharger as I'd like to have about 60 more hp; the power is adequate for "normal" driving though. I just want a little more power."

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