27/36/30. Those are the city/highway/combined fuel economy numbers for the 2016 Mazda Miata with a six-speed slushbox will see according to the EPA testing method. If you opt for the manual transmission (and why wouldn’t you?), highway fuel economy drops by 2 MPGs by everything else stays the same, making the 2016 Miata about 29% more efficient than the 2015 model.
Automatic transmissions now frequently return better fuel economy than manuals, where once the shift-for-yourself option was meant for efficient driving. The 2015 Miata saw 21/28/23 with a six-speed auto, while the five-speed manual was rated at 22/28/25. A major component of this big jump in fuel economy is the new 2.0 liter SkyActiv gas engine, but also the fact that the 2016 Miata dropped some 150 lbs of excess weight in preparation for its big debut. The 2016 Miata weighs between 2,332 and 2,381 lbs, for the manual and automatic transmissions, respectively.
That makes the Miata pretty much the lightest sports car you can buy in America, though there are a handful of vehicles (like the Smart ForTwo) that still manage to be a little bit lighter. With all of 155 horsepower, it’s still about twice as powerful as a Smart car, and almost certainly more fun to drive. Now with fuel economy that rivals many economic compacts, you can enjoy your Mazda Miata with at least 29% less guilt about the damage done to the environment in the name of a long, fast scenic drive.