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2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata

2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

Audi TT

Hyundai Tiburon


Jaguar XK

Chevy Corvette

Mazda MX5 Miata

Ford Mustang Shelby

Mercedes-Benz SLK

Honda SC2000

Nissan 350Z


Christina Aguilera has nothing on the 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Both are known for their hot bods. But the Miata delivers driving fun, and Aguilera just exudes songs.

"Miata" is the name that Mazda seemed determined to mothball but lost out to a stubborn fan base that, to date, still refuses to diss. Hence the dual moniker. No matter what it's called, it identifies the original revival vehicle that burst on scene nearly two decades ago and still defines what a sexy roadster is all about.

2008 Hyundai Tiburon Interior
2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Interior

Revised two years ago, the Miata offers minor adjustments for 2008 including a standard manual driver's side seat lifter, and tire pressure monitoring system for all models, and a six-disc CD changer for Touring and Grand Touring models.

But above its delectably lithe exterior, luminous surface and haunchy attitude, it bears a secret added last year. When it's time to go topless -- at the beach, on the road, in the driveway, wherever a free attitude prevails and bland sensibility is ignored -- it takes merely a flick of a switch to totally undress it. And in public at that. Only a scant 12 seconds rests between demure coupe demeanor and baring it all, as hard-top cladding folds and disappears into truck well cleavage and sun-drenched driving takes over. (Think of the traffic lights that take more than 12 seconds to go from red to green. Think of the appreciative audience.)

If that isn't enough to get the energy flowing, think of the powerplant underneath. It's Mazdas "highly-responsive" MZR 2.0-liter that, with stick shift, kicks out 166-horsepower. With one automatic and two manual transmissions, best mileage ranges from 20-22 for city to 27-28 for highway driving. SV, Sport, Touring and Grand Touring models run from basic to well appointed, with starting prices in the low to high $20 K range.

For years, intenders have longed for something wickedly exciting to drive that wouldn't cost a fortune. Miata arrived at the right time. This genie in a bottle ha granted a lot of sports car wishes.