The most reliable Mazda MX-5 Miata over the years of purchase, rating | Taza Khabre

Mazda stands out as the preeminent Japanese automaker in the industry, showing impressive resilience despite its smaller scale compared to automotive giants such as Toyota. The brand consistently excels at combining form and function with its exceptional vehicles. Take, for example, the Mazda MX-5 Miata. It is fuel efficient and very popular sports car it serves as a great example of the brand’s engineering prowess. It’s a great first sports car for many enthusiasts who don’t want to boast high power.


Most Mazda Miata models are famous as reliable cars, as evidenced by the continued popularity of Miata models from the ’90s, which are still considered a favorite choice for project cars. That said, here are some of the most reliable Miata models, as determined by their reliability ratings and cost to maintain.

HotCars analyzed Mazda MX-5 Miata models up to the 2023 model year. JD Power Quality & Reliability indicators were taken into account when choosing models, and were also used to rank models from least reliable to most reliable. The following models are ranked from least reliable to most reliable according to their JD Power scores.

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8 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata: 76/100

2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata - Front Quarter

Main characteristics

MPG

30 combined (26 city, 25 highway)

Horsepower

181 hp

Method of transmission

Automatic (S6)

Engine

2.0-liter, in-line-4

Transmission

Front-mid engine, rear-wheel drive

The 2023 MX-5 Miata costs $429 for annual maintenance

The JD Power predicted reliability score for the 2023 MX-5 Miata is just above average at 76 out of 100. According to CarEdge, typical maintenance costs in the first 10 years of ownership for a modern Miata are around $5,761. a significantly lower figure compared to the standard costs associated with other popular convertible models in the industry.

The 2023 model is virtually unchanged from its predecessor, and has not yet been recalled once since its release. That’s why it competes well with rivals like the Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ. A 2023 model car has an average annual maintenance cost of only about $429.

7 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata: 79/100

2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Main characteristics

MPG

30 combined (26 city, 25 highway)

Horsepower

181 hp

Method of transmission

Automatic (S6)

Engine

2.0-liter, in-line-4

Transmission

Front-mid engine, rear-wheel drive

The 2022 Miata is equipped with a kinematic position system

The 2022 MX-5 Miata has a slightly higher JD Power reliability rating of 79 out of 100 compared to its immediate successor. The model’s EPA-estimated combined fuel economy is around 30 mpg.

Mazda has introduced an all-new Kinematic Position System for the 2022 model year to assist drivers when cornering. Unfortunately, among other things that Mazda Miata owners will never tell you, the fourth-generation Mazda Miata has a rather small interior that, for example, doesn’t even have a glove box, unlike its competitors like the Subaru BRZ. However, its outstanding fuel efficiency and maneuverability can more than compensate for these shortcomings, making it a compelling investment.

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6 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: 83/100

Red 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata on the road

Main characteristics

MPG

30 combined (27 city, 34 highway)

Horsepower

155 hp

Method of transmission

Automatic/Mechanical 6-step

Engine

2.0-liter, in-line-4

Transmission

Front-mid engine, rear-wheel drive

The 2016 Mazda Miata marked the beginning of its fourth generation

There have been times when updated sports cars have been worse than the originals, and automakers have often gone overboard during the transition between generations, but Mazda consistently ensures that the essence and character of the previous generation Miata is perfectly preserved in the new models. The 2016 model, which opens its fourth generation, shows a completely fresh design. It’s worth noting the minimal negative changes that contribute to an impressive reliability score of 83 out of 100 on JD Power.

There are several reasons why the Mazda Miata is considered a special car, and its long life and excellent weight distribution are just a few of them. There are a few things to consider before buying a new car, and for those on a budget, it’s important to consider more than just the initial cost when evaluating a car, both used and new. Take the 2016 Miata, for example. According to the NHTSA, it only has two recalls that need attention before making a used-car purchase decision. The 2016 Miata is 200 pounds lighter than its predecessor and boasts a number of innovative features and technology upgrades.

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5 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata: 85/100

Gray 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Main characteristics

MPG

29 combined (26 city, 33 highway)

Horsepower

155 hp

Method of transmission

Mechanical 6-step

Engine

2.0-liter, in-line-4

Transmission

Front-mid engine, rear-wheel drive

The Mazda Miata RF was introduced for the 2017 model year

The 2017 MX-5 Miata has a relatively modest 155 horsepower output, especially when compared to recent models. Although it doesn’t show high power figures, it has earned a commendable reliability rating of 85 out of 100 on JD Power. This is further complemented by its impressive resale value.

Prospective buyers should make sure the car’s recall issues have been resolved before buying it on the used car market. Mazda has announced the 2017 MX-5 MIATA RF Launch Edition a model with a folding hard roof and a much lighter structure. The RF looks a bit different and almost sleeker than its base counterpart. Notably, annual maintenance on a car is about $434, according to data from RepairPal.

4 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata: 85/100

Silver 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Main characteristics

MPG

24 combined (22 city, 28 highway)

Horsepower

167 hp

Method of transmission

Mechanical 6-speed/5-speed

Engine

2.0-liter, in-line-4

Transmission

Front-mid engine, rear-wheel drive

The 2010 Mazda Miata costs $413 a year to service

The fact that the 2010 Miata model belongs to an older generation should not distract potential buyers from the car’s unmatched reliability compared to its main competitors. The 2010 model earned a respectable 85 out of 100 reliability rating on JD Power. Those on a tight budget should consider looking into the 2010 Miata as it can serve them well before they can get their hands on the next generation of sports car.

Despite being over a decade old, its adaptability and appeal to tuners make it the perfect project car for anyone looking for a solid project car. Although this model year doesn’t have any significant differences from its predecessors, its simple design and long-lasting potential make it a compelling option.

The Miata stands alone on the car scene as the latest contender among its peers like the Honda S2000, Pontiac Solstice, and Saturn Sky, all of which are some of the coolest sports cars we want back on the road. This makes the 2010 Miata an attractive choice for those looking for a long-lasting and valuable investment.

3 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata: 86/100

2019 Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary

Main characteristics

MPG

30 combined (26 city, 35 highway)

Horsepower

181 hp

Method of transmission

Automatic

Engine

2.0 liters, inline-4

Transmission

Front-mid engine, rear-wheel drive

Mazda Miata 2019 has a power of 181 hp

The 2019 Miata is one of the most reliable cars in recent years, thanks to an excellent reliability rating of 86 out of 100 from JD Power. Several features, such as advanced keyless entry and a rearview camera, have come standard on all. The 2019 Miata has a unique charm that sets it apart from the sheep. Plus, it’s hard not to notice the MX-5 Miata’s excellent fuel efficiency and near-perfect weight distribution.

Estimated annual maintenance costs for the 2019 Mazda MX-5 are still quite affordable for the average buyer. Starting with the 2019 model year, power output has been increased, with the inline-4 rated at 181 horsepower, a far improvement over the 155 horsepower rated in its predecessors. The 2019 model offers a telescoping steering wheel and several new advanced safety features. Notably, the 2019 Subaru BRZ has a comparable drivetrain and engine displacement, making it a strong contender against the MX-5, which also deserves a test drive.

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2 2007 Mazda MX-5 Miata: 86/100

Red 2007 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Main characteristics

MPG

24 combined (22 city, 27 highway)

Horsepower

166 hp

Method of transmission

Mechanical 5-step

Engine

2.0-liter, in-line-4

Transmission

Front-mid engine, rear-wheel drive

The 2007 Mazda Miata costs just $365 for annual maintenance

The 2007 Mazda Miata boasts an 86 out of 100 reliability rating on JD Power, which is a commendable achievement considering its age. However, transmission owners looking for manual transmission cars may find the automatic transmission less favorable, as older automatic transmission systems are said to lack the responsiveness of their modern counterparts. In addition, the 2007 Miata marked the introduction of a retractable hardtop to its trim line.

The 2007 Miata bests its rivals like the Scion tC and Saturn Sky when it comes to reliability, earning higher scores than both. According to RepairPal, the average annual maintenance cost for a 2007 Miata is about $365. A 2.0-liter inline-four justifies its presence under the hood of this car, offering 166 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque. This efficient engine also delivers decent fuel economy for a car that ranks as one of the best light sports cars out there in terms of speed and maneuverability.

1 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata: 86/100

Black 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Main characteristics

MPG

24 combined (22 city, 27 highway)

Horsepower

166 hp

Method of transmission

Mechanical 5-step

Engine

2.0-liter, in-line-4

Transmission

Front-mid engine, rear-wheel drive

The 2008 Mazda Miata is a great choice for budget shoppers

The 2008 Miata was praised by fans and critics alike, earning a solid JD Power reliability score of 86 out of 100, ranking second on the compact sport utility vehicle list behind the Saturn Sky. The car is likely to sell for less than $10,000 on the used car market, making it a cheap used sports car that can serve as a reliable vehicle for buyers. If someone is looking for a Mazda Miata for sale on a very tight budget, the 2008 model is a great choice.

This reliable sports car is compact and light like its predecessors, but has a higher power output than some of its descendants, around 166 horsepower.

Sources: JD Power, Edmunds, RepairPal, EPA, CarEdge

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