The Mazda Miata has been a fun-driving vehicle for over 20 years. To continue this tradition, the 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata brings a refreshed front end, new color treatments and a revised wind blocker for the retractable hardtop model.

The 2013 Miata comes in three trim levels: base Sport, mid-grade Club and the top-of-the-line Grand Touring. Standard on all models is the easy-to-operate manual folding soft-top, but the power retractable hardtop automatically lowers in just 12 seconds!

There is no denying that the 2013 Mazda Miata is still a small sports car. To start, the cabin is still small and the trunk is still tiny. Taller and wider people may not find the Miata to be all that comfortable, due to the low front window height and seats that do not offer much hip room.

Technology is also on the small side, and includes Bluetooth connectivity, keyless entry and an audio input jack. Even the top-of-the-line Grand Touring trim does not offer navigation or USB, but it does come with the AudioPilot system that automatically adjusts the audio based on exterior road noise and vehicle speed.

You might expect the 2013 Miata to continue with the small theme under the hood. As it turns out, though, engineers installed a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine that produces 167 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque. This might not seem like much, but since the MX-5 Miata weighs only 2,400 pounds, this Mazda scoots!

Three transmissions are available, depending on trim, including a 5-speed manual transmission in the Sport model, a 6-speed manual transmission in both the Club and Grand Touring trims, and an optional 6-speed automatic transmission.

There are two downsides of having a Miata with an automatic transmission. First, when equipped with the automatic, the engine is slightly detuned and mileage is slightly less. Second, you can add the Suspension Package to the Miata with the 6-speed manual transmission, which includes Bilstein shocks and a limited-slip differential.

The price for the 2013 MX-5 Miata starts at just $23,720, while the hardtop Grand Touring trim starts at just under $30,000. All trims, no matter which transmission is fitted to the engine, come with a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

For over 20 years, the Miata has been the pinnacle of the compact sports car segment, and many competitors have tried to steal its thunder. Today, competition includes the pricier MINI Cooper Roadster and the more comfortable Volkswagen Eos.

The 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata may be the most fun-driving vehicle you can find for the money. Thanks to its go-kart handling and affordability, this Mazda might be the experience you've been looking for.

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Joe Tralongo started in the industry writing competitive comparison books for a number of manufacturers, before moving on in 2000 to become a freelance automotive journalist. He's well regarded for his keen eye for detail, as well as his ability to communicate complex mechanical terminology into user-friendly explanations.

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