2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata

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starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Seating capacity

157.3” x 49.0”


Rear-wheel drive



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

9 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best Convertibles for 2024

Notable features

  • 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

2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata review: Our expert's take

By Sara Lacey

Upon hearing that I was testing a 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata, my friend Meredith told me her Miata story. When she went to buy her first car after her daughter was born, she settled on a station wagon. After the ink dried on all the paperwork, her husband asked her if she was excited. She said that while she was content with the wagon, there was really a Miata in her soul.

This wasn’t the only story I heard from people about the deep fulfillment attained from a Miata (from driving it, that is). And I get it – oh, do I get it. On the first sunny day I had with it, I became a confirmed convertible addict. There is nothing in the world that can’t be worked out from inside the cockpit of a Miata. It’s a very small interior; there’s little room to carry your baggage, literal and otherwise. In fact, I was most comfortable ditching my purse and just bringing a small clutch. A diaper bag would have fit in the trunk. OK, fine, I know I’m not kidding anyone.

Honestly, like in any other two-seater, a car seat is not much of an option in this car. Boosters are a stretch; my test Clek booster fit best on the narrow, contoured seats. In case you’re wondering, the Miata has a hard switch to turn off the passenger-side airbag in case the little sensor fails or makes you uneasy. I have to tell you, my daughter has bought into convertible therapy as much as anyone can.

I know you’re not here to learn how a convertible might fit a kid on a day-to-day basis, and I’m not going to do you the disservice of acting like you are. The Miata is nothing more than pure indulgence after a long day. Seriously, if you are looking for a fun second car to calm your stress, this baby will cure what ails you, while carting you to the local burrito joint to pick up dinner. The retractable hardtop is so awesome; it goes up and down so quickly, you can take advantage of even a small errand with the top down.

I really do believe there’s merit to getting a little sun, some wind in your hair and a little car to help you get some perspective. My recommendation is, even if you can’t buy a new one, rent one for a day or evening. Bring your soul out to play in a Miata.

*For more information on the 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata and its safety features, visit Cars.com. With questions or comments regarding this review, write to editor@motherproof.com.


Latch Connectors: 1

Seating Capacity (includes driver): 2


Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Puny

Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Puny


Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Not Really

Fun Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove On): Groove ON!


2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring

Base price: $26,960

Price as tested: $29,535

Engine: 166-hp, 2.0-liter I-4

Fuel: 21/28 mpg

Length: 157.3″

Width: 67.7″

Ground Clearance: n/a

Turning Radius: 15.4′

Cargo space: 5.3 cu. ft.

NHTSA Crash-Test Ratings

Frontal Impact

Driver’s side: Not Rated

Passenger’s side: Not Rated

Side Impact

Front occupant: Not Rated

Rear occupant: Not Rated

Rollover resistance: Not Rated

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.1
  • Interior 4.5
  • Performance 4.7
  • Value 4.7
  • Exterior 4.7
  • Reliability 4.8
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Most recent consumer reviews


Fun! Fun! Fun!

This is my second Miata (first was a 1990), and I love it so much! Retractable hardtop roof is SO convenient!! Love the manual 6 speed for all the pep, and gas mileage is exceptional. I would consider a new one if the traditional, bright red paint and retractable hard top were both available. Since they're not, I'll stick with what I've got and enjoy it many more years!


Best value ever for a Real 2 Seater.

As my 2nd MX5......fantastic. This has been one of the best purchases I have ever made to enjoy myself. The engineering is exceptional and the handling great, mileage with the 6 speed on a good drive is 34 MPG.


Some of the most fun you can have driving a car.

The car's handling and responsiveness is outstanding. It loves to be driven. It has excellent torque for a 4 cyl. engine. It puts a smile on your face everytime you drive it.

See all 64 consumer reviews

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