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2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata (photos)

More than 20 years ago, the Miata reintroduced the idea of a small, sporty roadster. The current 2010 model shows the roadster is still going strong, offering new options such as a retractable hard top.

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Wayne Cunningham
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1 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET
After more than 20 years of production, the Mazda Miata is still going strong. The Miata single-handedly brought back the roadster. It may not be the most practical car around, but it is a lot of fun. It has excellent driving dynamics and the retractable hard top gives it security and weather proofing.
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Mazda goes a little overboard with the happy face on the front of this car, but its pronounced fenders give it a stronger look on the sides.
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The 2-liter four cylinder engine produces 167 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque, not a great amount of power for this car.
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For open-top driving, Mazda includes a few tricks for the climate control and audio system, each designed with special modes to deal with an open cockpit and increased wind noise.
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This retractable hard top is an excellent option on the Miata. It stows behind the cabin, and does not impact trunk space.
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With the top up, the Miata has a race car-like profile.
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Our car came with the optional Suspension package that adds a limited slip differential and Bilstein shocks. At $500, this package is a steal.
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Trunk space is not huge with the Miata, but it is adequate.
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In Grand Touring trim, the Miata gets leather sport seats, giving the cabin an upscale feel.
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Where the Miata falls behind is in its cabin tech. Navigation and iPod integration are not available on the Mazda, but it does come standard with a Bluetooth phone system and Bose audio.
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The steering is exceptionally tight in the Miata, which makes it very fun to drive.
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The gauges are simple, with a classic look. The center display shows trip information, including fuel economy.
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The six-speed-manual transmission has a very precise gate, with short throws making for quick shifts.
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The stereo is fairly simple, although it does have a six CD changer that can play MP3 CDs. Along with satellite radio, there is also an auxiliary audio jack.
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The Bluetooth phone system is voice operated, but does show some feedback on the radio display.

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