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2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata

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$6,100 — $14,676 USED
7
Photos
Convertible
2 Seats
24 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 5 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Handling
  • Six-speed manual
  • Quick hardtop operation
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Same trunk size with top up and down

The Bad

  • Confining cabin
  • Dwarfed by other vehicles
  • Cruise control optional
  • Power locks and windows optional
  • Sirius is only satellite radio offering

What to Know

about the 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Soft-top or power-retractable hardtop
  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Choice of three transmissions
  • Standard side-impact airbags
  • New driver's seat height adjustment
  • Standard tire pressure monitoring system

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2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Cars.com's Mike Hanley takes a look at the 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata hardtop convertible. It competes with the Pontiac Solstice and Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder.

Vehicle Overview
Ever since Mazda introduced the Miata as an early 1990 model, it’s officially been known as the MX-5 Miata. Anyone who has known the model, however, has known it as the Miata. Mazda discarded the Miata designation upon the model’s 2006 redesign. Officially, the two-seater is dubbed MX-5, but if you refer to it that way, expect a blank stare.

Changes for 2008 include the car’s first-ever driver’s seat height adjustment, a standard tire pressure monitoring system and, in the Touring and Grand Touring trim levels, a six-CD changer.

Now in its second year, the optional power-retractable hardtop gives the car greater four-season appeal, though it wouldn’t be our first choice for winter driving (or even our 100th). A manual vinyl top is standard, and a cloth soft-top comes in the higher trim levels. The retractable hardtop takes up no trunk space.

Exterior
The 2007 redesign was as substantial as the 1999 reworking, which did away with the pop-up headlights in favor of fixed units and a more curvaceous body. The current generation retains the fixed headlights but returns somewhat to the original shape, with fewer curves — except for the accentuated wheel arches that recall the Mazda RX-8.

The folding soft-top incorporates a Z-fold design that uses a single, centrally positioned latch handle. The top fits flush in its lowered position, so a detachable boot cover isn’t necessary. Standard wheels measure 16 inches in diameter, but 17-...

Vehicle Overview
Ever since Mazda introduced the Miata as an early 1990 model, it’s officially been known as the MX-5 Miata. Anyone who has known the model, however, has known it as the Miata. Mazda discarded the Miata designation upon the model’s 2006 redesign. Officially, the two-seater is dubbed MX-5, but if you refer to it that way, expect a blank stare.

Changes for 2008 include the car’s first-ever driver’s seat height adjustment, a standard tire pressure monitoring system and, in the Touring and Grand Touring trim levels, a six-CD changer.

Now in its second year, the optional power-retractable hardtop gives the car greater four-season appeal, though it wouldn’t be our first choice for winter driving (or even our 100th). A manual vinyl top is standard, and a cloth soft-top comes in the higher trim levels. The retractable hardtop takes up no trunk space.

Exterior
The 2007 redesign was as substantial as the 1999 reworking, which did away with the pop-up headlights in favor of fixed units and a more curvaceous body. The current generation retains the fixed headlights but returns somewhat to the original shape, with fewer curves — except for the accentuated wheel arches that recall the Mazda RX-8.

The folding soft-top incorporates a Z-fold design that uses a single, centrally positioned latch handle. The top fits flush in its lowered position, so a detachable boot cover isn’t necessary. Standard wheels measure 16 inches in diameter, but 17-inchers are available.

Interior
Because there’s no backseat, the two occupants get more legroom than you might expect; a tilt steering wheel helps, but longer-legged drivers sometimes can’t find a place where their knees and the wheel can live in harmony. Occupants above 6 feet in height may fit with the help of the new manual height adjustment, but the taller you are the more claustrophobic you’ll feel and the poorer your sightlines will be.

The cockpit is wider than the prior generation’s and has greater hip room, shoulder room and elbowroom, but the difference isn’t as great as we’d hoped when Mazda set out to redo this model.

The interior is highlighted with chrome and silver accents, and the driver faces a three-spoke tilt steering wheel. Coated glass covers the instrument cluster for easy visibility, even in direct sunlight. Despite the car’s tight confines and the stereo’s close proximity, there are audio as well as cruise-control buttons on the steering wheel.

Three compartments are built into the back wall of the cockpit, and one storage area locks.

Under the Hood
The MX-5’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder develops 166 horsepower at 6,700 rpm. The engine has dual overhead camshafts and variable valve timing. Torque output is 140 pounds-feet at 5,000 rpm.

Three transmissions are available: a five-speed manual, six-speed manual and six-speed automatic, all of which drive the rear wheels. The six-speed manual has especially short throws. The engine’s output dips by 3 hp when it’s teamed with the six-speed automatic, which includes steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles for manual operation.

The roadster has a 50/50 weight distribution (front/rear) and precise rack-and-pinion steering for legendary handling and predictability. The Miata is one of the most fun-to-drive cars around, despite its relatively modest engine power.

Safety
All-disc antilock brakes and seat-mounted side-impact airbags are standard, as is a tire pressure monitoring system. Apart from an optional limited-slip differential, traction control and an electronic stability system are also available.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.8
57 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.0)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Cool without the heavy price tag

by Coolrider from Southern Illinois on August 30, 2019

This car takes you back to what driving is all about.You get to feel the road.It not a luxury car but that’s not what I wanted.It’s a 2007 but the style is timeless. Read full review

(5.0)

An Underrated Grandchild

by MaximumMiata from Cincinnati, Ohio on July 26, 2019

The NC-generation Miatas are woefully underrated. They are a powerhouse as far as Miatas are concerned and while they certainly not the charming early 90s originals, they do NOT lack in style and head... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata has not been tested.

Latest 2008 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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