Mazda’s 2016 Miata MX-5 is 25% more economical than outgoing model with its manual transmission

It seems with the advent of improved automatic transmission technology, the manual transmission is being phased out into obsolescence.

Back in the early days of automatic transmissions, early designs and primitive technology made manual transmissions the choice for more frugal and efficient motoring because there was less of a drivetrain power loss factor with manual transmissions when compared to torque converter-based automatics.

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Now though, thanks to new technology, automatics are more efficient than ever, contributing to the death of the manual transmission.

But now, Mazda can officially join the movement to #SaveTheManuals as the Japanese automaker officially confirmed that their manual-equipped 2016 Miata MX-5 is about 25% more economical than the previous automatic model. Ok, so that’s not exactly speaking in favor of the current model in terms of comparing the same model year car but with different transmissions. But still…

According to Mazda’s official EPA estimates, the new Miata is capable of 27 / 34 / 30 mpg city / highway/ combined with the manual. The figures for the automatic are 27, 36, and 30. The automatic-equipped Miata may be more efficient, but the current manual-equipped model is still 25% more efficient than the last auto model.

This is thanks to the Miata’s low weight of around 2,332lbs while the Miata being compared from last year weighs 2,480lbs. Doesn’t seem like much of a difference, but for a Miata, that’s a lot.

Power is supplied even by a more economical engines, a 2.0L SKYACTIV-G four with 155hp and 148 lb-ft of twist.

Prices start at $24,915 for the US Miata.


Lighter, quicker and more nimble than its predecessor, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata demonstrates the power innovation can have when re-engineering a roadster from the ground up. In addition to all of the aforementioned improvements the 2016 MX-5 has, fuel economy can now be added to the list, with MX-5 achieving an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city/34 mpg highway/30 mpg combined when equipped with the standard SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission (EPA-estimated 27 mpg city/36 mpg highway/30 mpg combined when equipped with the six-speed automatic).

This performance represents a 25-percent increase in fuel economy versus the 2015 MX-5’s EPA-estimated fuel economy when paired with the outgoing model’s available six-speed manual transmission, highlighting the benefits of SKYACTIV Technology.

“SKYACTIV Technology is more than a catchphrase for Mazda; it’s a total effort to increase efficiency, improve performance, safety and technology and instill each Mazda vehicle with a directness and responsiveness that’s unmatched in the segments in which our vehicles compete,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations. “The 2016 MX-5 shows that a sports car can hit all targets today’s buyers want.”

MX-5 followed the same “Gram Strategy” Mazda global weight-savings initiative as other vehicles full engineered with SKYACTIV Technology before it – CX-5, Mazda6, Mazda3 in addition to the upcoming CX-3 – paring approximately 150 pounds while strengthening the body and improving safety. At the same time, the 2016 MX-5 has gained Mazda’s torquey, yet fuel-sipping, SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine.

“There has always been an MX-5 for all types of drivers, from weekend autocross and track-day enthusiasts to those who just want a stylish convertible sports car,” said O’Sullivan. “With its improved fuel-efficiency, we believe that audience will grow even larger when it goes on sale this summer.”

Chris Chin

Chris Chin is the Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech and is a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine.

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