MX-5 Miata

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2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata Overview

The Mazda MX-5 Miata endures because it fills a need for simple and affordable driving enjoyment. It’s one of the most affordable sports cars on the road, and one of the most fun, despite its modest specifications. The Miata was introduced in 1990 and is now in its fourth generation, which was introduced in 2016. The 2020 model sees minor feature updates.

The roadster’s exterior design remains sleek and simple, with the major decision remaining whether to stick with a cloth soft top or go for the Miata RF with a power-retractable hardtop. Still, there are a number of new options for 2020. Polymetal Gray joins the paint palette, and a new gray cloth soft top is available on the top trim level.

All Miata models get a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine with 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission comes standard, and a 6-speed automatic is optional, both paired with rear-wheel drive (RWD). With the manual transmission, expect fuel economy of 26 mpg city, 34 highway, and 29 combined; the automatic gains 1 mpg highway and combined. The mid-range Club and top-tier Grand Touring trims, when equipped with the manual transmission, gain a sport suspension system, Bilstein dampers, and a limited-slip differential. Manual Club models can be further enhanced with a Brembo/BBS Recaro Package that adds Brembo front brakes, heated sport seats, a black aero kit with side sills and a rear bumper skirt, 17-inch forged BBS wheels in a gunmetal finish, and, on RF models, a hand-painted black roof.

Three trims are available and carry over mostly unchanged from 2019. The Sport features keyless entry, push-button start, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Club trim adds a 9-speaker Bose audio system, heated seats, and cloth upholstery with silver stitching. The top-end Grand Touring adds leather upholstery and automatic climate control.

A 7-inch touchscreen infotainment display and a 6-speaker audio system come standard in the base Sport trim. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are newly added for the Club trim in 2020, while the Grand Touring trim adds navigation and satellite radio.

The Miata has not been evaluated for crashworthiness, which is typical for vehicles in this class. A reversing camera comes standard. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure warning are also standard, while adaptive headlights, automatic high beams, and traffic-sign recognition are available.

Although the Mazda MX-5 Miata gets only minor updates for 2020, that’s fine, because this minimalist sports car is best appreciated with as few distractions as possible.


Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She owns a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, 2015 Honda Grom, and 1979 Boston Whaler Montauk.

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Miata Spare Tire

I am thinking about buying a 2020 Miata MX-5, but am uncomfortable with having no spare tire. Is there an aftermarket doughnut-style spare tire available?