It only takes one drive in a Mazda MX-5 Miata to be hooked. With its razor-sharp handling, snappy acceleration and traditional rear-wheel-drive setup, few cars can match the thrills provided by Mazda's roadster. Factor in the Miata's sub-$25,000 starting price and its best-in-class 5-Year Cost to Own Award, and the MX-5 remains unbeatable.
Now celebrating its 25th year of granting affordable open-air motoring, the 2015 model of Mazda's compact 2-seat convertible marks the last of its current generation ahead of an all-new version for 2016. And while the upcoming version promises better technology and improved efficiency, the current model still nails the fun-for-the-money factor while providing a modicum of practicality. The MX-5 Miata's trunk manages to hold several grocery bags, and for buyers wanting the security of a hardtop, one is available in the Power Retractable Hard Top version.
Beyond its value, the appeal of the Mazda MX-5 Miata remains its ability to make an ordinary commute feel like a thrill ride. As we note in our full review, "The oft-used comparison is true: The 2015 Mazda Miata indeed feels like a go kart for adults. That means razor-sharp handling, a peppy but not overpowering 4-cylinder engine, and the rear-drive setup of a traditional sports car. Just try not to grin while throwing the Miata around a corner."
It's little wonder that the Miata is recognized as the world's most popular sports car. Though rivals have come and gone, after a quarter-century of endearing itself to drivers the MX-5 continues to thrive. That this remarkable roadster is so affordable to buy and own feels like more icing on an already sweet cake.