Mazda Says 76 Per Cent Of Miata Buyers Opt For Stick Shifts

While the manual transmission continues to slowly die out, a number of car manufacturers stick (pun intended) to them – and one of them is Mazda with the ever-popular MX-5 Miata.

Curious to see just how popular manual Miatas are, Autoblog reached out to Mazda PR program manager Tim Olson and was told that no 76 per cent of Miata buyers select the manual transmission option, with the remaining 24 per cent prefer the six-speed automatic. These figures are specifically for the Miata soft-top and are based on sales data from July 2018 through to April 2019.

Also Read: 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Unveiled In Japan With 181 HP And 7,500 RPM Redline

As for the Miata RF, 52 per cent of sales in the past 12 months were made up of stick shift cars while the remaining 48 per cent sold have the automatic gearbox.

While it is not particularly surprising to learn just how fanatical Miata buyers are about rowing their own gears, we were recently surprised by news that just 33 per cent of Toyota 86 models sold in the United States last year have manual gearboxes. Like the Miata, the 86 is an exceptional driver’s car aimed at enthusiasts and we would have thought more buyers would be going for the stick shift.

Mazda introduced the 2019 model year Miata in the middle of last year with a heavily revised 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G engine. This uprated engine features different cylinder heads, revised pistons, new connecting rods, and an optimized air intake, increasing power from 155 hp and 148 lb-ft (205 Nm) to 181 hp and 151 lb-ft (205 Nm) of torque.

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  • Callanish

    This is not a shock whatsoever.

  • Mr. EP9

    It’s the only way to drive a Miata.

  • TheAmerican2point0

    As it should be #savethemanuals

    • Bash

      So true, and in that regard, so many things need to be saved. stick shifters, V12/V8, RWD, less screens in the cabin, less Autonomous.

      • TheAmerican2point0

        Yep. Give me a simple manual, v8, and a radio/CD player and I’ll be perfectly happy.

        • Bash

          And so do I man, and so do I.

          • stelvio

            They’re not going anytime soon, they might go but they will be back. You just have to pay more, much like what porsche is doing with their special edition lightweight cars

    • Shahul Usman

      I have one of those shirts when Car&Driver started that campaign years ago.. true to this day

  • SteersUright

    Mazda’s automatic is an old gen’ slushbox. Good enough for CUV’s but the Miata deserves a proper, light and fast-shifting DCT. Then, we’ll see how many less opt for stick. They ought to just pay another automaker for theirs if they cant develop their own, everyone else seems to have one these days even Hyundai.

    • Lucius

      People don’t settle for a stick if they can’t or won’t drive one, any automatic will be fine for them. And if you look at the DCTs on the market, they’re dwindling like manuals. Manufacturers are going towards what they tell us are “automatics that are practically as good as a DCT.” That excuse sound familiar? If you are a fan of manuals it does.

    • Kyle Newberry

      Actually, the 6 speed is massively better than most over CVT’s on the market. It is also better than anything in the lower tiers of DCT. The DCT’s are problematic and jerky in low speed traffic, and why so many automakers are moving away from it. It’s expensive, and not innately better for 90% of car driving. It is quick to shift, and learns quite well how you drive.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    I can’t really fathom who would buy one of these, or a GT86/BRZ or any similar car with an auto. It would be a waste of money.

    • Kyle Newberry

      Well me for one. My wife won’t learn to drive a stick, and so my next car has to be an auto. Just incase there is an emergency, and her car is unavailable or such. Plus, if you have to drive in traffic, an auto is always better. And fun fact, the auto in the 86 is actually faster than the stock stick.

      • Wandering_Spirit

        I fully respect that. The point, from my sole perspective, is that there are better cars for that purpose. Buying an MX5 with an auto is like hiring an eunuch for the sole pleasure of appreciating his shapes without actually being able to exploit the skills that have been removed. If i have to drive in traffic, i get an XC40 or a standard sedan or a comfortable coupé without any sporty velleity. But that is solely and uniquely my opinion and in full understanding that others have different needs, perspectives and likings.

        • Kyle Newberry

          I mean sure, if I could have a fun car and a normal car lol. But an 86 is still practical. We are going to start a family soon, and so there are seats and room for a kids seat in the back etc.

          • Wandering_Spirit

            That makes entirely sense. Italian mind here. We just do not like autos. I’d teach my wife to drive stick (they can anyway in Italy as default, not in Asia where i am based and many have the same problem. Man wants stick, lady refuses to even think about it).

  • db

    Whoever said a Miata was a “chick’s car”.
    Reading this makes me think there is hope yet.

  • Six_Tymes

    So, almost the exact opposite of the buyers of the Toyota 86, who buy mostly automatics.


    if mazda decided to kill the manuals for revised MX5, no one will buy it

  • db
  • Shahul Usman

    and only about 20-25% of Corvette owners do.. and now the C8 wont have 3 pedals

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