one for the stick shift lovers

The Best Cheap Sports Car on Sale Is Even Better for 2020


March 25, 2020 Cars By

The Mazda MX-5 Miata has a well-earned reputation developed over multiple generations as, arguably, the best affordable sports car on the market. Its power output — 181 horsepower from a 2.0-liter four-pot — won’t blow anyone away. But it provides the fun of a classic sports car, thanks to its rear-wheel-drive, masterful handling, six-speed manual transmission and total lack of compromises in the name of practicality. It’s the car automotive writers would bankrupt themselves to buy…if it weren’t already affordable enough to grab on a journalist’s salary.

If you also obsess over the MX-5, well, we have good news: Mazda has announced details for the 2020 Miata, and it’s getting even sportier.

The Club trim for the Miata (the harder-edged sportier version) will now offer a Brembo/BBS Recaro package when paired with the manual transmission. It includes Brembo front brakes, 17-inch dark gunmetal forged BBS wheels, heated Recaro sport seats, a black aero kit and (for the RF folding hardtop version) a hand-painted black roof.

Mazda is also giving the more-refined, top-of-the-line Grand Touring trim a sporty upgrade as well. The Club trim’s sport-tuned suspension, limited-slip differential and Bilstein dampers now come standard, making the choice between variants that much harder.

True to form, though, the Miata will remain very reasonably priced. The base sport trim starts at just $26,580. Manual versions of the Club and Grand Touring trims begin at $30,290 and $31,670, respectively, for the soft top versions. Now you need to adjust the rest of your life so a two-seat convertible makes sense.

If you like the Miata but still want something a bit cheaper, consider the MX-5-based Fiat 124 Spider. It went out of production after 2019, but with dealer inventory still piled up, there are plenty of deals to be had.

Today in Gear

The best way to catch up on the day’s most important product releases and stories. Read the Story
Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol's Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He's based outside Detroit.

More by Tyler Duffy | Follow on Facebook · Instagram · Twitter · Contact via Email
Sign Up for Gear Patrol Newsletters
Get the best new products, deals,
and stories in your inbox daily.

By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy and to receive email correspondence from us.