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2019 Mazda Miata vs. Fiat 124 Spider Fuel Economy - What Should Owners Expect?

We compare the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata and the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider's fuel economy.

Both the 2019 Mazda Miata and Fiat 124 Spider undergo changes for 2019. The Mazda Miata's are more substantive and involve drivetrain changes that both boost power and also fuel economy. The Fiat Spider's changes are important to buyers, but do not alter the power of the engine.

As our chart courtesy of the Department of Energy's fuel economy website, FuelEconomy.Gov shows, the Miata and the 124 Spider both have similar fuel economy. Both are rated by FuelEconomy.Gov using the recommended Premium fuel which increases fuel costs to owners by a pretty significant amount. Nationwide, AAA says that Premium fuel costs drivers 16% more today than Regular unleaded fuel does.

As the chart shows, both cars have similar, but not identical fuel efficiency. The Miata has a 29 MPG estimated rating when equipped with its manual transmission, and the 124 Spider is rated at 30 MPG with the manual (if you can find one). When equipped with automatic transmission, this reverses and the Miata is rated at 30 MPG and the Fiat Spider at 29 MPG. The EPA is splitting hairs here.

least driven cars

At the bottom of the chart, the group offers an estimated annual fuel cost for the vehicles. As you can see it is $1,700 to $1,750 depending on the transmission and model. However, we want to emphasize that this is an estimate for drivers who put 15,000 miles per year on their roadsters. This average may make sense for commuter and general use cars, but the Miata and Spider are neither. Most owners don't put anywhere near that many miles on a Miata. iSeeCars recently released data taken directly from state vehicle registration databases that shows that the average miles per year for a Miata is under 7,000. In fact, the Miata is one of the least driven cars in America. Most drivers of Spiders and Miatas will pay about $800 per year for Premium fuel.