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2005 Mazda MX-5 Miata

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$5,023 — $10,787 USED
10
Photos
Convertible
2 Seats
25 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 2 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Handling and maneuverability
  • Fun to drive
  • Gearbox operation
  • Fuel economy

The Bad

  • Ride comfort on rough surfaces
  • Engine noise
  • Difficult entry and exit
  • Snug cockpit

What to Know

about the 2005 Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Available six-speed manual
  • Optional suspension packages
  • Convertible body style
  • Traditional sports-car experience

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2005 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Mazda is the automaker most responsible for the sports-car revolution of the 1990s, and the MX-5 Miata continues to provide driving entertainment at a moderate price. Base and LS editions of the rear-wheel-drive two-seat roadster remain available.

During the 2004 model year, Mazda introduced a high-performance Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata with a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder that generated 178 horsepower rather than the regular Miata’s 142 hp. Equipped with front and rear under-spoilers, the Mazdaspeed model rides on 17-inch tires and has a body that’s 7 millimeters lower. A six-speed-manual transmission goes into the Mazdaspeed model; this gearbox is optional in the regular Miata. (The Mazdaspeed edition has its own cars.com model report for 2005.)

Sirius Satellite Radio is available from dealers for 2005. Considering how long this model has been on the market, a significant redesign is likely soon.

Exterior
Loosely patterned after an older British Lotus Elan, the Miata body still exhibits an amalgamation of curves that are offset by few straight lines. The manual-folding fabric top has a glass rear window with a defogger. The back window can be raised or lowered from the driver’s seat without undue twisting, and a wind-blocker panel is included. A detachable hardtop and a rear spoiler are optional.

The fully independent suspension includes double wishbones, coil springs and stabilizer bars. Special suspension packages with Bilstein shock ab...

Vehicle Overview
Mazda is the automaker most responsible for the sports-car revolution of the 1990s, and the MX-5 Miata continues to provide driving entertainment at a moderate price. Base and LS editions of the rear-wheel-drive two-seat roadster remain available.

During the 2004 model year, Mazda introduced a high-performance Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata with a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder that generated 178 horsepower rather than the regular Miata’s 142 hp. Equipped with front and rear under-spoilers, the Mazdaspeed model rides on 17-inch tires and has a body that’s 7 millimeters lower. A six-speed-manual transmission goes into the Mazdaspeed model; this gearbox is optional in the regular Miata. (The Mazdaspeed edition has its own cars.com model report for 2005.)

Sirius Satellite Radio is available from dealers for 2005. Considering how long this model has been on the market, a significant redesign is likely soon.

Exterior
Loosely patterned after an older British Lotus Elan, the Miata body still exhibits an amalgamation of curves that are offset by few straight lines. The manual-folding fabric top has a glass rear window with a defogger. The back window can be raised or lowered from the driver’s seat without undue twisting, and a wind-blocker panel is included. A detachable hardtop and a rear spoiler are optional.

The fully independent suspension includes double wishbones, coil springs and stabilizer bars. Special suspension packages with Bilstein shock absorbers are available.

Interior
Cloth bucket seats are installed in the base model. Because the car is only 4 feet tall to the top of its roof, occupants have to drop down into the seats. The driver faces a simple dashboard, and the controls and gauges are within easy reach.

Standard equipment includes air conditioning, a theft-deterrent system, power windows and mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, intermittent wipers, a CD player and a power antenna. The LS version adds leather seating surfaces, cruise control, remote entry, power locks, a limited-slip differential and a 225-watt Bose CD stereo.

Under the Hood
Base and LS models carry a 1.8-liter four-cylinder with variable valve timing. The engine develops 142 hp at 7,000 rpm and teams with either a five-speed-manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic. The LS can be equipped with either of those transmissions or a six-speed manual.

Safety
Side-impact airbags are not available, but antilock brakes are optional on the LS model.

Driving Impressions
The Miata is just as enjoyable to drive today as it was when it debuted. The ride can be a bit stiff, which causes the roadster to bounce when traversing rougher pavement, but nothing seems to detract from the enriching sports-car experience. Engine noise is noticeable, and performance admittedly lags behind some rivals.

Though the snappy-shifting manual gearbox and positive clutch behavior add to the driving pleasure, even a good thing can become tedious in heavy traffic. This roadster is snug inside, and getting into the seat might be a bit of an ordeal if the top is up.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.7
11 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(3.5)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.8)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Great Budget Sports Car

by AwesomeAlexMan from New Braunfels, TX on July 24, 2018

I purchased this car as a fun vehicle to enjoy on the weekends and also commute to work with. It is great if you only need to take one person (occasionally two) and don’t need to transport anything. ... Read full review

(5.0)

Awesome Car

by michael P from Cincinnati, Ohio on December 22, 2017

Not the fastest sports car, but has good handling.. Have owned 2004 MX5 for 5 years, and shes my baby.. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2005 Mazda MX-5 Miata currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2005 Mazda MX-5 Miata has not been tested.

Latest 2005 MX-5 Miata Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The MX-5 Miata received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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