Nothing causes anxiety quite like an illuminated check engine light, especially when the car in question is out of warranty. Most modern cars have separate dashboard lights to let us know specific info like if the gas cap hasn't been tightened enough, so when the actual check engine light comes on, we know we're not getting off easy.
Unless, of course, you own a Mazda, according to CarMD. Despite not showing up in the top 10 of the publication's most reliable brands, data collected by CarMD shows that when Mazdas do break—at least in a way that illuminates that scary orange dash light outside of the warranty period—it's the cheapest brand to fix.
According to last Wednesday's report, an out-of-warranty Mazda costs, on average, $285.70 to repair check engine light-related issues. The cheapest Mazda in the report was a 2013 Miata, which cost a paltry $81 to fix. Confusingly, the Miata did not make it on to CarMD's list of cheapest cars to repair since the sample size was too small.
Looking deeper into the data, the study only logs incidents that happened for a year between October 2017 and September of this year. It should also be noted that the study focused on just 10 manufacturers and 100 different models, built from 1996 up through the 2018 model year.
Still, it's promising information for Mazda owners, who can now add "cheap to repair" onto the list of reasons why they love their cars, along with "fun to drive," "well-built," and "great value for the money."