. The rear-wheel-drive sports car offers a choice between a six-speed automatic or manual transmission, accounting for enthusiasts and everyday drivers. The Miata doesn’t make sacrifices on practicality either, getting an average of 29 mpg overall and a peak of 34 mpg.
The 2021 model features a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine that produces 181 horsepower and reaches 7,000 rpm. The 151 lb-ft of torque is accompanied by a limited-slip differential with the Club trim, making the ride agile and speedy.
CNET recommends the Club trim package which gives the Miata an even better feel. In addition to the limited-slip differential, the trim also comes with Bilstein suspension, a front strut bar, Brembo brakes, and 205/45-series Bridgestone Potenza summer tires.
The speed of the Miata isn’t necessarily its best feature—it’s the way the car handles speed that has drawn drivers to it again and again.
Its momentum-style build gives it a smooth handle at high speeds. There’s an excellent clutch paired with a tight gearbox, which makes for swift shifting. This helps keep the speed up and minimizes the need to reaccelerate.
The new 2021 Miata has made several improvements to past models, allowing you to drive on freeways with no fuss. The car’s soft convertible top is more efficient at keeping out distracting road noise, though not perfectly. The Miata is relatively affordable even with its glowing reputation. The MX-5 Sport base model starts at $26,830, and the Club trim costs $30,290.
. The Miata has no glove box, 4.5 cubic feet of trunk space, and only a small vertical storage compartment in the center console.
The acceleration leaves something to be desired as well. Its design as a momentum car means it’s less powerful than other modern sports cars. While the Miata can take turns at incredibly high speeds, it needs almost double the time of other cars to hit 60 mph—around six seconds.
The main issue CNET found with the 2021 Miata was the
. The display screen is seven inches wide with a touchscreen option. However, you can only use this when the car is stopped. If you’re moving, you’re forced to use the inconveniently placed rotary selection knob on the center console
The Miata has limited driver assistance features, only offering blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert.
Overall, this car is best suited for those who want a fun drive. The smooth handling allows the Miata to fly down the road and shift like a dream. However, if the storage, cabin room, or infotainment system is important to you, there might be better options elsewhere.
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Hannah is a recent college graduate with a degree in English Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University. Currently located in Washington State, she's interested in applying her craft in news areas across new subjects, using her skills to stretch her comfort zone. Outside of writing articles about cars and insurance, Hannah is drawn to Creative Nonfiction writing, though she loves a good fiction book. In her free time, Hannah enjoys reading, playing basketball, sunny hikes in the PNW, and flexing her creative muscles through art.