With much of the industry focusing on electric vehicles and SUVs, it’s nice that there are still a few cars for purists, like the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata. The MX-5 has stayed true to the same formula that it has since it’s inception, a lightweight , fun and affordable convertible.
The current MX-5 Miata has been out for a bit now, but Mazda continues to make small tweaks to its beloved roadster. For the 2022 model year the MX-5 gets a system called Kinematic Posture Control, which is designed to improve its performance. During high-g cornering, the system applies a slight brake to the inner rear wheel, to pull down the corner, limit body roll and improve the steering response. The system can also apply stronger braking when accelerating out of a corner. The 2022 MX-5 also gets a new Platinum Quartz Metallic paint option and Terracotta Nappa leather seats.
Under the hood there’s the same naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder that generates 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. That may not seem like a lot of power, but the MX-5 is no slouch. The MX-5’s powertrain is responsive, making it feel like the car is directly connected to you. With today’s tech packed cars, it’s nice to see how pure the MX-5 Miata is. It does take a bit of effort to pass or merge onto a highway, but the engine lows to rev high and its soundtrack is great.
The six-speed manual is one of the best you can get in any of today’s cars. The gear lever throws are short and the clutch has the perfect amount of weight. Shifting through the gears is a joy, it’s hard not to have a smile on your face when you’re behind the wheel of the MX-5. A six-speed automatic is available if shifting the gears isn’t your thing. The steering is direct and although there is a bit of body roll, the MX-5 is still eager to tackle any curve you throw at it.
The MX-5 Miata is a small roadster, so it should be expected that there isn’t going to be a lot of room inside with little storage areas. The only real storage is a small little box between the seats and a small space under the armrest. The detachable cup holders aren’t very tall, so large bottles won’t really work. On our drive we mostly detached the cupholders and just stored them in the little storage area. At the rear there’s 4.6 cubic feet of trunk space, which can hold a carry on suitcase or a few bags.
On the tech front, the MX-5 is showing its age a bit. There’s a 7-inch screen that runs the Mazda Connect infotainment system, which unfortunately has to mostly be operated via a rotary knob, since the touchscreen capability only works when you’re not on the move. The system feels dated and is a bit slow to respond, but the MX-5 does have wireless Apple CarPlay. There are two USB-A ports to connect your devices. In front of the driver there’s a small digital display to provide information, like how many miles you can drive until you run out of gas.
In terms of safety, the MX-5 gets the traditional driver assistance features, like blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and automatic emergency braking. Unfortunately adaptive cruise control isn’t available, but the MX-5 is so fun to drive that you shouldn’t ever want to remove your foot from the pedal.
The 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata is available in three trim levels: Sport, Club and Grand Touring. There’s also the MX-5 Miata RF with its retractable hardtop. The pricing starts at $28,715, while a fully optioned manual Grand Touring is priced at $33,715. The RF is only available in Club and Grand Touring trims and starts at $36,415.
At the end of the day, good luck finding anything as fun as the 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata, in this price range. The closet competitors are the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR86, but those coupes are not nearly as fun to drive.