Home Mazda Mazda Miata MX-5 still delivering affordable driving excitement

Mazda Miata MX-5 still delivering affordable driving excitement


If you are looking for a two-seat convertible sports car full of fun with a performance-focus and also affordable, your choices are limited in today’s marketplace.

Fortunately, the folks at Mazda still offer their iconic Miata MX-5 two-seat soft-top convertible roadster with rear-wheel drive and 6-speed manual shift – trim full of fun and affordable as well.

For 2021, the Mazda MX-5 Miata Roadster convertible – rear wheel drive and manual shift – can be yours for well under $35,000 dollars.

Recently the people at Mazda sent us their top-of-the-line Grand Touring model for a week-long drive through the Hill Country environs near Austin and Lake Travis in Texas.

Right up front, we will tell you the MX-5 Miata Roadster is not a daily driver – going to work every day – rather, if you are a traditionalist for weekend ‘road’ driving, this baby is for you.

To that end, the Grand Touring trim moniker is maybe bit misleading.  A bit snug on the inside and short on cargo space, you would not want to ‘road trip’ this baby.  Putting that notion aside, the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring is just right for lots of fun driving in and around Central Texas.

Our test MX-5 Grand Touring arrived in a Deep Crystal Blue Mica w/Black on Black interior and a Gray convertible top.

The MSRP was $31,770. Adding the optional Gray Cloth soft top and delivery, this 2021 Mazda Miata MX-5 Grand Touring Roadster arrived in our garage for $32,950.


The 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata Roadster is both iconic and classic in its styling.

We really liked the distinctive look of the Deep Crystal Blue Mica exterior contrasted with the Gray Cloth Manual Convertible top.  Body Color front and rear bumpers, door handles and Heated Power side mirrors along with the alloy wheels complete what could be considered a refined look.

LED Headlights with Auto On/Off, LED Daytime Running Lights and LED Combination Taillights more than adequately light the way for this two-seater.

Other notable features include Rain Sensing Windshield Wipers, a Glass Rear window w/defroster, dual exhaust and an Aluminum Hood and Trunk Lid


The MX-5 Roadster is a spirited driver powered by a 2.0L SkyActiv-G DOHC 4-cylinder engine producing 181 horsepower @7,000 rpm w/151 lb.-ft. of Torque @ 4,000 rpm.  Delivering through the SkyActiv 6-speed Manual Transmission w/Short Throw Shifter and equipped with a Torque Sensing Limited Shift Differential – the Miata MX-5 is quick.

Top speed is rated at 143 mph and we are told – acceleration (0-60 mph) is reported to be sub six-seconds.

Making is sure-footed as well, underneath the MX-5 Miata Roadster runs on 17-inch Alloy Wheels mounted w/P205/45R17 High Performance Tires.


Its Sport-tuned 4-wheel Independent Suspension w/Bilstein Shock Absorbers gives a firm yet comfortable ride. The Double-pinion Electronic Power Assist Steering is very responsive.  Equipped with 11-inch front ventilated / rear solid disc braking – stopping is firm.

Featuring Traction Control and Dynamic Stability Control, we found our nicely balanced MX-5 handled some of our local serious ‘twist and turn’ Hill Country roads quite nicely.


The cabin of this two-seat roadster is actually pretty roomy considering the two persons only seating design.

Personally, I am one of those bigger folks who often struggle to get behind the wheel of any one’s two-seat roadster.  Frankly, I was pleasantly surprised that the slide of the driver seat and adjustment of the steering column enabled a relatively effortless entry and exit – even with the top up.

The Black-on-Black interior was nicely executed with artfully placed Piano Black and Chrome accents.  Of note was the Piano Black Back Seat Bar Trim.

The Leather Sport Seats featured 3-level heating and good manual forward/rear and recline adjustment. The very adjustable Tilt & Telescoping Leather Wrapped steering wheel was equipped with w/audio-cruise controls.  The nicely located Short Shifter and Parking Brake were wrapped in matching leather. Located immediately behind the seats was a Mesh Aero Board Wind Deflector.

Other features included Push Button Ignition, Advanced Keyless Entry, Automatic Climate Control, Power Windows and Black Doorsill Trimplates w/stainless steel inserts.


There are a nice range of technology and infotainment features in the 2021 MX-5 Miata Roadster.

A Bose AM/FM 9-speaker Audio w/AudioPilot system delivers.  Featuring 9-speakers including driver and passenger headrest and subwoofer, a speed sensing volume control maintains the volume at speed – top up or down.

The 7-inch Color Touchscreen Display at the top of dash utilizes and easy to operate Multifunction Commander Control to manage all of the infotainment and or system operation elements.

Mazda Navigation w/Traffic Sign Recognition is embedded. Other feature elements include SiriusXM, Traffic and Travel, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Wireless Apple CarPlay, HD Radio, Bluetooth Handsfree Phone/Audio and more.

If you are bringing along other entertainment or other devices there is a 12volt power outlet and 2 USB input jacks.


Important safety and driver assistance elements in our 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata Roadster soft top included Integrated Roll-Bars, Side-Impact Door Beams, Dual Front Air Bags, Front-Side Impact Air Bags, Adaptive Front-Lighting w/High Beam Control, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Tire Pressure Monitoring.

MX-5 Miata Roadster Lineup

The 2021 MX-5 Miata Roadster (soft top) comes in three trim levels: Sport (MSRP $26,388), Club (MSRP $30,290) and Grand Touring (MSRP $31,770).  Sharing the same power plant, all three come mated to the SkyActiv-MT 6-speed manual transmission with a 6-speed Sport Automatic Transmission also w/Paddle Shifters available.

The Club trim offers special package ($4,470) with Brembo front brakes w/Red Calipers and Mazda rear brakes w/Red Calipers.  Included also are 17-inch BBS forged aluminum wheels in Dark Gunmetal finish plus Side Sill Extensions and a rear bumper skirt in Brilliant Black.

Learn more about them all at: https://www.mazdausa.com/vehicles/2021-mx-5-miata


KEY DATA:   2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring

  • Model:                              Miata
  • Trim                                 Grand Touring
  • Class:                               Roadster
  • Convertible Top:                Manual Z-Top Folding Cloth
  • Seating:                            Two
  • MSRP:                               $31,770
  • As Tested:                         $32,915
  • Engine:                             SkyActiv-G 2.0L DOHC 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower:                     181 @ 7,000 rpm
  • Torque:                             151 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm
  • Transmission:                   SkyActiv 6-Speed w/ShortThrow Shifter
  • Drive System:                    RWD w/Torque-Sensing Limited Slip Differential
  • Top Speed:                        143 mph
  • Suspension:                      Sport-Tuned Double Wishbone (F) / Multi-link (R)
  • Brakes:                             Ventilated 11-in Disc (F) / Solid 11-in Disc (R)
  • Wheel size                        17-inch Alloy
  • Tires                                 205/45R17 High Performance
  • Fuel Economy                    26/34/29 mpg    city/highway/combined
  • Fuel Tank                           11.89 gallons
  • Range                                345 Highway Miles
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