2023 Mazda MX-5 Review

While some may question the practicality of a convertible sports car, the 2023 Mazda MX-5 proves to be an exhilarating and well-rounded option in its class.

With three available trims, including Sport, Club, and Grand Touring, it offers a range of features to suit various preferences.

Powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission, the MX-5 delivers impressive power output and torque. Its sport-tuned suspension and precise steering contribute to its outstanding handling capabilities.

Furthermore, this vehicle boasts good fuel efficiency ratings and is equipped with modern technology for added convenience and safety.

In this review, we will examine the MX-5’s performance, features, driving experience on both daily commutes and challenging terrains, fuel economy figures, as well as its pros and cons.

Finally, we will discuss future expectations for this model line while providing an overall conclusion on its merits.

Key Takeaways

  • The 2023 Mazda MX-5 offers a fun and torquey powerband, sport-tuned suspension, and excellent steering and braking performance.
  • The MX-5’s handling and communication make it a joy to drive, especially on twisty canyon roads, with the limited-slip differential contributing to its composure during hard cornering.
  • The manual MX-5 has impressive fuel efficiency, with a rating of 26 mpg city, 34 highway, and 29 combined, making it more fuel-efficient than its competitors.
  • The MX-5 is praised for its value for the price, stylish design, and good gas mileage, but it is disappointing that there aren’t more direct rivals in its weight and convertible category.

Performance and Powertrain

The 2023 Mazda MX-5 features a powertrain consisting of a 2.0-liter inline-four engine and a six-speed manual transmission, providing a horsepower of 181 at 7,000 rpm and torque of 151 lb-ft at 2,000-2,500 rpm. This powertrain configuration offers impressive performance for the MX-5, allowing it to deliver an exhilarating driving experience. The engine’s high revving nature ensures that power is readily available when needed, while the six-speed manual transmission allows for precise gear changes.

In terms of acceleration, the MX-5 is quick off the line and has ample power for overtaking on highways. The linear torque delivery provides smooth acceleration throughout the rev range. Additionally, the lightweight construction of the MX-5 further enhances its performance capabilities.

With its rear-wheel drive layout and well-tuned suspension system, the MX-5 delivers exceptional handling characteristics. The car feels agile and responsive in corners, allowing for precise steering input and excellent stability. The balanced weight distribution contributes to its nimble nature.

Overall, the performance and powertrain of the 2023 Mazda MX-5 make it an ideal choice for enthusiasts who prioritize driving dynamics and exhilaration on the road. Its combination of power, handling prowess, and lightweight design ensures an engaging driving experience that is sure to delight those seeking mastery behind the wheel.

Trims and Features

The Mazda MX-5 is available in three trims, namely Sport, Club, and Grand Touring. Each trim offers distinct features and enhancements to cater to different preferences and needs.

The base Sport trim comes equipped with standard features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, LED headlights, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Moving up to the Club trim provides additional sport-oriented features like a sport-tuned suspension, limited-slip differential for improved handling, and heated seats for added comfort. On the other hand, the range-topping Grand Touring trim adds further upgrades including adaptive headlights for enhanced visibility and navigation for convenient guidance.

In terms of driving experience, the MX-5 impresses with its powerband that delivers enjoyable torque. The sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein dampers ensures a compliant ride quality while maintaining agility during maneuvers. The steering is highly regarded as one of the best electric racks available due to its directness and solid feel. Additionally, the MX-5’s brake pedal offers a firm response that allows precise modulation. Furthermore, enthusiasts appreciate the top-tier shifter known for its exceptional gear-driven vibrations.

The MX-5 shines on winding roads as well thanks to its responsive handling and exceptional communication between chassis and driver inputs. Its ride quality remains composed even during spirited cornering thanks in part to the inclusion of a Torsen limited-slip differential in certain trims. The grip is surprisingly good considering its modest 205-wide rubber tires.

When it comes to fuel economy, manual versions of the MX-5 achieve an impressive rating of 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway/29 mpg combined. This efficiency can be attributed partially to the aggressively tuned 2.0-liter engine present across all trims.

Driving Experience on the Daily

On a daily basis, the MX-5’s powerband delivers an enjoyable and torquey experience. The sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein dampers provides a very compliant ride, enhancing the overall driving experience. The steering is highly praised for being direct and solid, making it one of the best electric racks experienced. The brake pedal feels firm and easy to modulate, ensuring precise control during braking maneuvers.

In addition to its daily drivability, the MX-5 truly shines when tackling twisty roads. Its ride quality and overall handling make it an utter riot to toss around in the canyons. The solid steering and chassis communication further enhance the driving experience by providing excellent feedback. Despite its modest 205-wide rubber, the MX-5 surprisingly offers a good amount of grip. This is further complemented by its limited-slip differential, which contributes to the car’s composure during hard cornering. Overall, the handling and communication of the MX-5 make it not only exhilarating but also therapeutic to drive.

With regards to fuel economy, the manual Mazda MX-5 boasts impressive figures of 26 mpg city, 34 highway, and 29 combined. The available automatic gearbox slightly improves highway efficiency while still maintaining respectable fuel consumption levels. This efficiency can be attributed to its aggressively tuned 2.0-liter engine.

The driving experience provided by the Mazda MX-5 is undoubtedly one of its standout qualities. From its power delivery to its handling prowess, this convertible offers an engaging and enjoyable ride on a daily basis.

Thrilling Canyons Performance

When navigating through the canyons, the MX-5’s ride quality and handling capabilities make it an exhilarating vehicle to drive. The sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein dampers provides a very compliant ride, while the solid steering and chassis communication enhance the driving experience. The MX-5’s handling and communication make it therapeutic to drive in twisties, with its ability to toss around corners effortlessly. The limited-slip differential contributes to the MX-5’s composure during hard cornering, ensuring stability and control. Despite its relatively modest 205-wide rubber, the MX-5 surprisingly provides a good amount of grip on challenging terrain.

The MX-5’s performance in canyons is further enhanced by its powerband and torquey nature, offering an enjoyable driving experience. The shifter stands out as one of the best ever experienced, with gear-driven vibrations adding to the overall engagement. Additionally, the brake pedal feels firm and easy to modulate.

Overall, when tackling canyons or winding roads, the Mazda MX-5 delivers an exciting performance that leaves drivers feeling thrilled and satisfied. Its combination of responsive handling, compliant ride quality, and engaging powertrain makes it a standout option for those seeking mastery over their driving experience in this type of environment.

Impressive Fuel Economy

Impressive fuel economy is achieved by the Mazda MX-5 due to its aggressively tuned 2.0-liter engine and available automatic gearbox, resulting in competitive mileage ratings compared to its rivals. The manual Mazda MX-5 has a fuel economy of 26 mpg city, 34 highway, and 29 combined. With the available automatic gearbox, the MX-5’s highway efficiency slightly improves. This is attributed to the aggressively tuned 2.0-liter engine which contributes to its impressive fuel efficiency.

To provide a deeper understanding of the MX-5’s fuel economy, the following table presents a comparison of its mileage ratings with two of its competitors: Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ.

Mazda MX-5Toyota GR86Subaru BRZ
City MPG2624
Highway MPG3432
Combined MPG2927

As shown in the table above, the Mazda MX-5 outperforms both the Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ in terms of fuel efficiency across all categories: city, highway, and combined.

Pros and Cons of the Mazda MX-5

The Mazda MX-5 has several pros and cons that should be considered by potential buyers.

On the positive side, the 2023 Mazda MX-5 offers a fun and engaging driving experience with its torquey powerband, sport-tuned suspension, and solid steering. The limited-slip differential enhances the car’s composure during hard cornering. Additionally, the MX-5 provides good value for its price of $34,710 and boasts impressive fuel efficiency compared to its competitors in the weight and convertible category.

However, there are some drawbacks to consider. The car experiences mechanical noise issues, including a quiet engine and gearbox whine. The infotainment system froze up twice during testing, which could be a frustrating inconvenience for users.

Looking towards the future of the Mazda MX-5, it is expected to be replaced by the next generation soon. There are hints of possible hybridization in upcoming models. Despite its strengths, one downside of the MX-5 is that there aren’t many direct rivals in its weight and convertible category on the market.

Future Expectations and Conclusion

In terms of future expectations and conclusion, it is anticipated that the next generation of the Mazda MX-5 will bring about potential hybridization, an aspect hinted at by Mazda. This would align with the industry’s focus on electric and hybrid vehicles as a means to reduce carbon emissions and improve fuel efficiency. Hybridization could provide an opportunity for the Mazda MX-5 to maintain its performance while also incorporating more environmentally friendly features.

To illustrate this potential future direction, I have created a table below highlighting some key aspects of the current 2023 Mazda MX-5:

SpecificationFeaturesDriving Experience
Powertrain2.0-liter inline-fourFun and torquey powerband
Horsepower181 @ 7,000 rpmSport-tuned suspension
Torque151 lb-ft @ 2,000-2,500 rpmExcellent steering
Curb weight2,341 poundsTop-notch shifter
Standard featuresApple CarPlay, Android AutoEngaging handling in canyons
Trims availableSport, Club, Grand TouringLimited-slip differential

The current generation of the Mazda MX-5 has been well-received for its enjoyable driving experience and value for money. However, it is hoped that the next generation will continue to innovate while maintaining the high standards set by its predecessor. The author expresses disappointment that there are not more rivals in its weight and convertible category but highly recommends the Mazda MX-5 due to its fun nature and great gas mileage. With a potential move towards hybridization in future models, this iconic sports car may offer even more exciting possibilities for enthusiasts seeking both performance and sustainability.

Frequently Asked Questions: Mazda MX-5 Roadster

How Does the Mazda MX-5 Compare to Other Convertibles in Its Weight Category?

The Mazda MX-5 compares favorably to other convertibles in its weight category. It offers a fun and accommodating driving experience, impressive fuel efficiency, and good value for its price. However, it is disappointing that there are few direct rivals in this category.

Are There Any Known Issues or Complaints About the Mazda Mx-5’s Mechanical Noise?

Known mechanical noise issues and complaints about the Mazda MX-5 have been reported, such as a quiet engine and gearbox whine. These concerns may affect the overall driving experience and should be considered by potential buyers.

Has Mazda Announced Any Specific Plans for the Next Generation of the Mx-5?

Mazda has not announced specific plans for the next generation of the MX-5. However, they have hinted at the possibility of hybridization in future models. The author hopes that the next generation will maintain the high standards set by the current ND model.

How Does the Mx-5’s Fuel Efficiency Compare to Its Competitors, Such as the Toyota GR86 and Subaru Brz?

In terms of fuel efficiency, the Mazda MX-5 outperforms its competitors, the Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ. With a manual transmission, the MX-5 achieves 26 mpg city, 34 highway, and 29 combined. Its aggressively tuned engine contributes to impressive fuel efficiency.

Are There Any Potential Drawbacks or Downsides to Owning a Mazda MX-5 That Are Not Mentioned in the Article?

Potential drawbacks or downsides to owning a Mazda MX-5 that are not mentioned in the article include limited storage space, a cramped interior, and potential reliability issues. These factors should be considered when making a purchasing decision.

Are you looking for a more practical Mazda?

If the MX-5 Miata is a little too impractical for you, maybe you can look at a review of some of the more practical Mazda vehicles we’ve recently reviewed, check them out below:


In conclusion, the 2023 Mazda MX-5 is an exceptional convertible sports car that delivers impressive performance and a thrilling driving experience. With its powerful 2.0-liter engine, sport-tuned suspension, and solid steering, this car truly embodies the spirit of a sports car.

Additionally, its fuel efficiency is commendable, making it a practical choice for daily commuting as well. The MX-5’s trims offer a range of features to suit different preferences and needs.

Overall, the Mazda MX-5 is a remarkable vehicle that deserves high praise and anticipation for its future advancements in hybridization.



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Author: Andrew

Andrew has always been passionate about cars and has been working in the automotive industry for many years. He opened his own business to share his love of cars with the world and provide an outlet for car enthusiasts to learn more about this fascinating topic.

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