2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata

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starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Combined MPG


Seating capacity

157.3” x 49.0”


Rear-wheel drive



The good:

  • Handling
  • Six-speed manual
  • Quick top operation
  • Same trunk size with top up or down
  • Standard side-impact airbags

The bad:

  • Confining cabin
  • Dwarfed by other vehicles

4 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2012 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
  • Choice of three transmissions
  • Timeless styling
  • Rear-wheel drive

2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview

The two-seat Mazda MX-5 Miata roadster has been around for more than 20 years. Much has changed over the decades, including the disappearance of the Miata name from the car’s exterior in 2006 as part of a redesign. The Miata name has since returned, but what hasn’t changed is the formula: small, lightweight and affordable.

New for 2012
An electronic stability system is now standard, but there are no other significant changes.

Exterior features include:

  • Manual-folding soft-top
  • Smile-shaped grille
  • Exhaust pipes flush with rear bumper
  • Standard 16-inch wheels
  • Optional 17-inch wheels
  • Optional power-retractable hardtop
  • Optional high-intensity-discharge headlights

The MX-5 Miata is small, but the two-seat configuration provides more driver space than expected. Interior features include:

  • Standard air conditioning
  • Standard leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Standard cloth upholstery
  • Optional leather seats
  • Optional heated seats
  • Optional steering wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls

Under the Hood
A 2.0-liter four-cylinder powers the MX-5 Miata with 158 horsepower when teamed with the optional six-speed automatic transmission. When equipped with the five- or six-speed manual, it produces 167 hp. The difference comes from a higher redline with the manual: 7,200 rpm rather than 6,700 rpm with the automatic. Mechanical features include:

  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Intake runner tuned to provide a sporty sound
  • Dual exhausts

The MX-5 Miata has the mandated front airbags, and the passenger’s airbag can be deactivated. Safety features include:

  • Standard side-impact airbags
  • Standard antilock disc brakes
  • Standard electronic stability system with traction control

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.2
  • Interior 4.4
  • Performance 4.9
  • Value 4.8
  • Exterior 4.9
  • Reliability 5.0

Most recent consumer reviews


A fun car to drive....when you need it fast too

You can adjust the seats. Heated seats are nice and the sound system sounds good for its Dolby system. Can't beat the design or its performance.


Most reliable and fun car I ever owned.

The 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a wonderful car. 100% reliable. In the eighth years I've owned this car, I have never had any kind of mechanical problem whatsoever. 100% fun to drive. Makes going out for a quart of milk a fun experience. Power Retractable Hard Top is a simple and very convenient feature. Great sports car. Nothing beats it in this price range.


Best value for a fun roadster!

This is my third Miata and I can't help but smile everytime I drive it! I have previously owned a 1999 and a 2008 model. They were both great vehicles. I currently own a 2012 hard top convertible and it's my favorite Miata. Every chance I get, I have the top down. With a press of a button I can have the top down for some open air fun. The car is so nimble and quick that you enjoy the driving experience. The car responds to the driver and provides plenty of feedback to enhance your driving experience. I have had no issues with the vehicle. All you have to do is change the oil and go for a fun drive. All my Miatas have been great weekend vehicles and the 2012 hard top is by far my favorite. Test drive one and you will smile from the experience!

See all 25 consumer reviews


New car program benefits
36 months/36,000 miles
60 months/unlimited distance
60 months/60,000 miles
Roadside assistance
36 months/36,000 miles

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