• 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata - Performance, Price, and Photos

Unbeatable driving dynamics at a value for the quality level is what gave the Miata its lofty status. Can the king of affordable sports cars retain the crown?

LISTEN 07:42

They say the answer is always Miata. For the 2022 model year, that statement still holds its weight. For over 30 years, Mazda has been refining the Miata. Now the MX-5 has become Mazda’s brand icon. A true representation of the enjoyment of driving.

There has never been more value in the blueprint for the affordable sports car than now. Why? The lack of competition. There are no other cars in its category at its price that offer a convertible top. Its closest competition, the Toyota GT86, offers a similar package, but no convertible. Yet, the 2022 MX-5 Miata shows its strength with clean styling, immersive character, and fantastic MPG.

2022 Mazda Miata Performance and Capability

2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata - Performance, Price, and Photos
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The 2022 MX-5 Miata comes in three trim options:

  • Sport
  • Club
  • Grand Touring

Regardless of trim choice, the only engine option offered on the Mazda MX-5 Miata is the 2.0-liter Skyactiv 4-cylinder engine. With 181 horsepower at 7,000 RPM and 151 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 RPM, the engine rewards drivers by keeping it high in the powerband.

While the engine is not the shining star of the Miata, it is very well-rounded and has seen many improvements. At the end of the day, you never buy a Miata for the engine. Experience one first hand and you’ll realize the MX-5 is fun even at 20 MPH. The chassis and driving dynamics are that good.

The reason this is possible is because of how the Miata communicates with the driver. The 6-speed manual gearbox comes standard in every trim except the high-end GT package. Mazda made a conscious effort to focus on the manual transmission. If you buy a Miata with an automatic, you’re missing the point. Yet, Mazda still offers the automatic as a $500 option on the GT trim for those who need it.

2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata - Performance, Price, and Photos
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To further improve the driving experience, Mazda introduces a new technology for the 2022 model year. It’s known as Kinematic Posture Control. By applying slight braking to the inner rear wheel during cornering, the system is able to reduce body roll. It also increases linear steering feel through the entire corner. When applying power mid-corner, the system adapts to help the car rotate quicker.

This system finds the most strength when combined with the limited-slip differential. The LSD is only offered on Club and GT trims. Those seeking the best response from their MX-5 should consider that limited slip diff as the most important option available. It is a necessity for any rear-wheel drive, driver’s car.

One of the most understated features of the 2022 Miata is its fuel economy. The 2.0-liter engine finds no rival in efficiency, with 26 MPG City and 35 MPG Highway. Those familiar with the ND chassis know that it is common to exceed those values with common averages over 30 MPG. Considering increasing gas prices, the Miata is the definition of an affordable sports car.

2022 Mazda Miata MX-5 Specs
Engine Skyactiv 2.0-liter Inline-four cylinder 
Horsepower 181 @ 7,000 RPM
Torque 151 lb-ft. @ 4000 RPM
Transmission 6-speed manual transmission (automatic optional on GT trim)
Drive Layout Rear-wheel drive 
0-60 MPH 5.7 seconds

Exterior Design

2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata - Performance, Price, and Photos
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Whether optioning the standard soft top or retractable hard top RF model, the 2022 Miata has undeniable good looks. Recognizable from every corner, its mini proportions make it unlike any other vehicle on the road.

New for the 2022 model year is the Platinum Quartz Metallic paint option, along with six other available colors. Those who want to spice up their exterior will find interest in both the Club and GT trims.

The Club trim, the best value package, adds 17-inch wheels, LED DRLs, and some aerodynamic pieces. Also included are Bilstein shocks, chassis bracing, and the limited-slip differential. This is the ultimate driver’s trim no question.

2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata - Performance, Price, and Photos
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Yet, those seeking more from their MX-5 can also choose the Brembo BBS Recaro package. This beefs up the already capable Miata. Brembo front brakes, BBS forged wheels and heated Recaro seats with even more aero. Can you tell Mazda knows its drivers? Even as a $4,500 package, it is still one of the best options available on any vehicle on the market.

The top-of-the-line GT trim turns the 2022 MX-5 into a mini-luxury sports car. Unique dark 17-inch wheels and body-color mirrors paint the Miata to a classier take. Adaptive front lighting ensures perfect vision on a canyon cruise.

Exterior Colors
Standard Colors Jet Black
Optional Colors Platinum Quartz Metallic (new for 2022)
Snowflake White Pearl Mica
Soul Red Crystal Metallic
Deep Crystal Blue Mica
Polymetal Gray Metallic
Machine Gray Metallic 
Jet Black Mica
Dimensions
Length 154.1 in
Width 68.3 in 
Height 48.6 in
Wheelbase  90.9 in
Track Width 58.9 in (front) / 59.17 in (rear)
Cargo Space  4.6 cu-ft

Interior Quality and Technology

2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata - Performance, Price, and Photos
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The interior, though tight as expected, feels and looks quality. Yet, what exactly did you think you were going to store in a Miata? Touch points such as the leather steering wheel provide great feedback. Aluminum trim accents that grace the entire interior are a nice touch. The Club trim upgrades the audio to a sweet Bose nine-speaker system.

The instrument cluster and dash are driver-focused with a large tachometer. In the age of no longer displaying temperature values, we appreciate having a coolant temp display.

2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata - Performance, Price, and Photos
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Those seeking the utmost interior quality will need the GT trim to unlock leather seats. New optional Terracotta Nappa leather comes as a $300 option. For spirited driving, the Heated Recaro seat package is an obvious choice.

Even the base model Sport has no shortage of standard features. From blind-spot monitoring to lane departure warning, expect the latest in safety features. Standard is a 7.0-inch touchscreen display with Mazda Connect. Crucial Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality are standard across all trims.

2022 Mazda Miata Price and Availability

2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata Price
2022 Mazda Miata Sport $27,650 (est)
2022 Mazda Miata Club $31,150 (est)
2022 Mazda Miata Club RF $38,550 (est)
2022 Mazda Miata GT  $32,650 (est)
2022 Mazda Miata GT RF $35,350 (est)

The base model 2022 Mazda Miata MX-5 in Sport trim starts at $27,650 MSRP. The mid-level Club trim tacks on an extra $3,500, well worth its value. Those seeking the ultimate performance from the Miata will need the $4,500 premium of the Brembo BBS Recaro package.

Try to source those parts in the aftermarket, we guarantee you’ll be paying twice as much. At the Club trim and above, you can get the RF hardtop model for a total of $38,550. The high-end GT model is the only trim to offer an automatic transmission at a premium of $500.

Main Competition

2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata - Performance, Price, and Photos
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The obvious direct competitor of the 2022 Mazda Miata is the Toyota GT86. The GT86 offers a very similar driver-focused package at near identical pricing. It will come down to personal preference and aesthetics. If you think a GT86 has more storage space because it has 4 seats, you’ll be lucky to fit a toddler back there.

End of the day, they are both sports cars to the core and sit alone in their segment and price point. Yet, if having a convertible is a necessity, the answer becomes obvious. We could write another 1,000 words about both, but these cars are about driving first and last. If you haven’t driven either, do yourself the favor of taking one for a test drive. You’ll thank us later!

Daud Gonzalez
Daud Gonzalez
Daud Gonzalez is a lifelong car enthusiast and automotive writer with a specialty in modified and race-ready rides. He spends most of his time modifying his cars and ruining them in the process. He is currently the owner of a track-ready 2011 BMW 335i, a mild off-roading 1981 Toyota Hilux, and a 2008 Lexus RX400H for daily driving. Most of his free time is dedicated to making sure his vehicles survive to see the next day. You are likely to catch him at one of Southern California's race tracks on the weekends.  Read full bio
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