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The 2017 Mazda Miata and Fiat 124 Spider Have One Big Flaw - How To Fix It

If you just bought a Mazda Miata or Fiat 124 Spider, here is the first simple thing you will want to do.

So you have just been out shopping for a new 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata, or better yet, just drove a new one home. The new Miata has some great surprises, but have you found the fatal flaw in the interior design yet?

2017 Mazda Miata & Fiat Spider Cupholder Flaw

As you may have noticed, the twin cupholders Mazda mounted inside the Miata are behind you. Not exactly an easy way to grab a drink while you both steer and shift. Worse yet, unless you are a very small person you may find that your right elbow contacts the cupholders when you are resting your arm on the armrest. If you have not yet noticed you have short arms, so we will call you T-Rex.

Why Did Mazda Make This Mistake On Miata & Fiat Spider?
Mazda designed the 2017 MX-5 Miata around the stick shift. Really. The driver's right hand perfectly placed was Mazda's interior design starting point. Everything else came next. Once Mazda put the stick shift, manual handbrake and infotainment controls on the console there was no room left for the cupholders. Now, if you are about to hammer us in the comments saying that "This is a driver's car and cupholders don't matter yada yada yada" let us tell you that we Torque News staff are former owners of Miatas and we know that people who own them do indeed like a tasty beverage while on the road. It is not a small thing to some owners. Particularly those who use their Miata as a Grand Touring car. Hey, that is actually the name of a Miata trim!

So What is The Miata & Fiat Spider Cupholder Fix?
The fix is very satisfying it turns out. First, grab the driver's side cupholder firmly. Then, pull up on it till it feels like it is going to break. At that moment the car will let it go. Hopefully, it went well and it popped out and the dust cover closed the hole. Stash that cupholder someplace you won't ever lose it. Next, grab the passenger side one and do the same rough treatment to it, but don't store it away. After you get the passenger side cupholder out, go around to the passenger side of the car and you will find a place to insert it. Jam it down in there like you mean business and it should click into place. Once locked in, it will be much sturdier than it appears. The result is shown in the top of page image. We tested the holder with a 16-ounce bottle of juice in a glass jar and it held the weight fine. It also handled a Starbucks Venti Latte with ease (20 oz).

Watch the Instructional Video On Miata & Fiat Spider Cupholder Below
In case you don't trust us, we made a video showing how all this goes down. Check it out on page 2 and let us know if it was helpful.


bob mckenna (not verified)    April 25, 2017 - 12:48PM

The value of bodily hydration is undeniable; however in my quite long span in this universe I have owned the following: MGTC; XK150; Austin Healy 100h; Sunbeam Alpine; two Alfa spyders and a Lancia Scorpion! Don't remember cup holders and don't recall missing them. A 1962 article in Americas leading consumer magazine complained that the Corvette could only seat two people. This complaint sounds just as silly. Due respect to the included fix?

bob mckenna (not verified)    April 26, 2017 - 11:00AM

reply to John! You betcha my friend and I probably would have asked my passenger to move his or her knee so I could be free to shift! The water bottle craze didn't come about till the 80's and I could throw my cigarette butts over my shoulder or used the built in ash tray. My favourite car was the 100h with the Laycock de Normanville overdrive on a trip round the Gaspaque penisular when the roads were yet to be paved. Always appreciate safety tips. Thanks for your comment.

Phil (not verified)    December 18, 2017 - 9:51AM

Now all we need is a fix for the missing glove box and an readily available 12v outlet without climbing under the dash.

jake scheele (not verified)    March 2, 2018 - 1:44PM

Advise on Fiat cupholders is great! takes about 10 seconds to do, and solves a real drawback about the car

LAMike (not verified)    June 17, 2018 - 1:08AM

I'm 6'/200 and have a 2016 ND, Do not have trouble with the cup holders. I leave them in the stock position. I find using the passenger cup holder easier than using the drivers and similar switch for the passenger. The cigarette lighter location is a pain, but how often does one need to access it - unless you're a smoker. Then you will have other problems. I plug my dash cam adapter in it (the adapter has an extra usb port) and it just stays there. no cup holders on my old Austin Healey or TR4. Most fun car I have ever owned plus get 26 mpg around town.

Mark J (not verified)    October 6, 2019 - 8:38PM

Can't you flip the driver's side cupholder around and stick it in the passenger side slot back there so a passenger could have a cupholder? Or would your elbow still bump it?