Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Jul 30, 2019

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For sheer joy of spirit, nothing beats hitting the open road in a two-seater convertible sports car like the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Are you interested in learning about insurance for this ever-popular convertible?

Take a few moments to read on and learn more about this thrilling little roadster–its features and characteristics, what reviewers are saying about it, some safety considerations, as well as a number of factors that affect the cost to insure the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Ever Popular and Fun to Drive

When it was first introduced in 1990, the Miata revived a tradition of lightweight and simple roadsters not seen since the 1960s and 1970s. Others like the mid-engine Porsche Boxster would follow in Mazda’s footsteps, but the Miata, now in its third generation, has remained immensely popular and always affordable.

Its razor-sharp reflexes, steering and transmission make it a treat to drive.

For 2011, US News ranks the Mazda MX-5 Miata best in its class for affordable sports cars, ahead of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, the Nissan 370Z, the Mazda RX-8 and the Mitsubishi Eclipse.

Edumnds highly recommends it, saying the current generation “still changes direction like a go-kart.”

Consumers Guide rates it a “Best Buy” that “delivers as much driving enjoyment–if not outright power–as two-seat sports cars costing thousands more.” Consumer Reports also named it a “Top Recommendation.”

Mazda MX-5 Miata Features and Options

The Mazda MX-5 Miata comes with a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine with 167-horsepower rear-wheel drive. It comes with a five- or six-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic transmission, the latter with less horsepower.

Three trim levels offer something for every budget, from basic to luxurious. A power-retractible hardtop version was added a few years ago alongside the softtop original, and reviewers find it a successful addition at only seventy extra pounds.

The hardtop, along with the increased roominess of the current generation of Miata, makes it more usable as a practical daily car.

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Prices for the 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata start at around $23,000, while fuel economy is a satisfying 22 city/28 highway for the standard transmission. The base model Sport is equipped with a five-speed manual, whereas the Touring and Grand Touring upgrades use a six-speed manual.

All trim levels have available an optional six-speed automatic transmission with steering-mounted manual paddle shifters.

Although the Miata preserves its simple barebones sports car driving feel, a number of packages and options are available to add practical, fun and high-tech goodies to the basic experience.

A Convenience Package includes remote keyless entry, power door locks, fog lights, cruise control, steering-wheel-mounted controls, and a trip computer. This package is standard on the Touring and Grand Touring levels and optional on Sport.

A Suspension Package option on Touring and Grand Touring includes a sport-tuned suspension, Bilstein shock absorbers and limited-slip differential with the manual transmission.

The Grand Touring’s Premium Package comes with Xenon headlights, Mazda’s Advanced Keyless Entry and Start System, Bluetooth, satellite radio, Dynamic Stability Control, and Traction Control.

Vehicle Safety Equipment and Considerations

The Miata comes with many standard safety features found on the most safety-conscious SUVs and sedans, signaling Mazda’s commitment to safety even in an open-top roadster. A full complement of crash-protection equipment includes front and side-impact airbags, as well as passenger-weight and driver’s seat-position sensors and a passenger-side deactivation switch.

All this is designed to insure that under-sized passengers and drivers are protected from the direct trajectory of deploying airbags at overly close range. Other safety features include seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters, ABS brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, side-impact door beams, collapsible steering column, tire-pressure monitoring and a complete antitheft alarm system.

The Grand Touring’s Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control add even more to its safety credentials.

As is the case with a number of convertible sports cars, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety do not regularly evaluate the Mazda MX-5 Miata, preferring to focus on family and conventional driving vehicles like SUVs, minivans, and sedans.

However, according to a US News review, its last evaluation in 2005 was favorable. That generation of Miata earned four out of five stars for front-impact on the driver’s side, five for front passenger-side impact and rollover, and three for driver’s side-impact.

How much is car insurance for the Mazda MX-5 Miata?

Despite the inherent risk and sporty driver profile associated with convertible sports cars, the Miata is reasonable to insure, costing far less than its rivals. National average premiums for the MX-5 average around $1400 annually as compared to $1600 for the Hyundai Genesis Coupe or almost $2300 for the Nissan 370Z.

Of course, a national average is merely a starting reference point. A number of variables come into play that affects the price you personally will pay for insurance, including the state and town in which you live, driver age and driving record, credit history, annual mileage, and multi-policy discounts.

These variables can change the price dramatically; for example, and the average premium price for the MX-5 in Vermont is around $900; in Louisiana, the same policy averages over $2300. Each other variable will shift the price up or down depending on how it is statistically factored in.

To learn what it costs to insure a Mazda MX-5 Miata in your area, simply enter your zip code in the box indicated and begin comparing rates.

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