6 Reasons Why You’ll Love Road Tripping in the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata

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2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring RF
Key West, Florida has long been on my bucket list of destinations to visit. A large reason has been the desire to make the 113-mile drive on the Overseas Highway through the Florida Keys, including the famous Seven Mile Bridge.

Of course a road trip through such an epic destination like the Florida Keys should have a vehicle to match. Enter the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring RF!

I had the opportunity to test drive the Mazda MX-5 Miata for four days while exploring South Florida & The Keys and, let me tell you, it was the perfect vehicle for a perfect destination. I was beyond excited to get behind the wheel of this six-speed manual with a 2.0-liter four cylinder SKYACTIV-G engine, which gave the MX-5 some serious “get up and go”. Two aspects that I particularly enjoyed were the power retractable hardtop roof and the vehicle’s size made it a breeze to navigate the narrow streets of Key West. The compact MX-5 made it no problem at all to find and fit into parking spaces in a town notorious for being difficult to secure street parking.

Key West Parking

Now let’s be honest, while it’s great zipping around in a sporty vehicle during a road trip, it also needs to be practical. I decided to poll my Instagram followers to discover the top features they look for in a good road trip vehicle. The top answers that came back were fuel economy, sound/music, safety, comfort, tech features, and trunk space. Here’s how the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata stacked up in each of those categories!

Fuel Economy

In my book, good fuel economy is the most important feature of a quality road trip vehicle. The Mazda MX-5 gets 26 miles per gallon city, 34 highway, and 29 combined, which is fantastic for a sports car. I drove from Fort Lauderdale to Key West and back to the Homestead area (a total of 360 miles) on one standard 12-gallon tank of gas. That breaks down to an impressive 30 MPG! And that most likely would have been higher had I not been so rusty with driving a manual transmission.

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Interior

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring RF


One of the game-changing features that caught my attention was the Bose 9-speaker audio system. We all know, an essential item of any great road trip is your playlist. That’s why I was more than pleased with the minimal time it took to connect my phone via Bluetooth, pull up my Spotify playlist, and hit the South Florida roads with all of my favorite music at my disposal. The convenient Multifunction Commander Controls on the center console allows you to control the Infotainment Center from the right side, eliminating the need to reach up to the dashboard to operate the SiriusXM Radio, the Navigation System, or switch on your favorite podcast on the 7″ color touch-screen display.

Mazda MX-5 Miata 7" Touch-Screen Display

7″ Touch-Screen Display

Mazda MX-5 Miata Multifunction Commander Controls

Multifunction Commander Controls


Navigating unfamiliar roads in new destinations can sometimes be a bit daunting. That’s why I absolutely loved both the traffic sign recognition that displays a stop sign on the dashboard before you even enter an intersection and the ability to be updated on the speed limit of the road I was on in real time. A few more of my favorite safety features were the blind spot monitoring, the rearview backup camera (because I’ve been known to be a bit careless when backing up), the lane departure warning system, and tire pressure monitoring.

Mazda MX-5 Miata Traffic Sign Recognition

Traffic Sign Recognition

Comfort & Style

The cabin isn’t cavernous, but most people will have ample room. I found it fairly easy to get in and out of the Miata, and the seats provide more than enough room even for taller-than-average drivers. Visibility is excellent, and the newly available telescoping steering wheel makes it very easy to find a comfortable driving position.

Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

The exterior color of this model was a sleek Snowflake White Pearl, while the interior had warm Nappa Auburn leather sport seats. The black leather-wrapped steering wheel also offered cruise, audio, Bluetooth controls. Cupholders are located at the back of the console (right where your elbow rests) and just to the right of the emergency brake.

Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Interior

Tech Features

There aren’t a ton of bells and whistles in this category, but the Mazda MX-5 does check off most of the tech features that you would want and expect. To start, it offers keyless start technology using a push button as well as keyless entry. This is always a convenient feature for me why traveling, as I often find myself carrying camera gear and don’t have enough hands to find my keys.

Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

As soon as you get behind the wheel, you’re immediately greeted by the centrally mounted 7-inch full color touch-screen display housing the comprehensive Infotainment system, which features the Mazda Navigation System, SiriusXM Radio, and Bluetooth capability.

On any road trip it’s essential to have your phone charged at all times, so it was great to have a USB port (2) available for each passenger.

Mazda MX-5 Miata Interior

Mazda MX-5 Miata Interior

Trunk Space

If there is a negative to this vehicle, it can be found in the lack of trunk space. I had to get a bit creative to fit my 24×17 inch suitcase in the small trunk (4.48 cubic feet), with minimal space left on each side for a few smaller items. While this is to be expected in a sports car, it’s clear the Mazda MX-5 is ideal for the solo traveler or a couple that tends to pack light.

Mazda MX-5 Miata Trunk Space

The Verdict: the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring RF was a dream to drive in a destination like The Keys. The fuel economy of 29 MPG made it great for zipping around Key West and longer drives on the Overseas Highway, with no need for a stop at the gas station. The MX-5 is perfect for the solo driver/traveler or couples who want to add a little style to their driving experience. This model will no doubt make any drive feel special and fun!

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring RF Details
Fuel Economy: 26 City / 34 Highway
Engine: SKYACTIV-G 2.0L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with VVT
Price: Starting at $33,335


2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring RF