Mazda Miata MX5 Buying Guide – Every Generation

Mazda MX-5 Miata Buying Guide - Every Generation

The Mazda Miata mx5 is the most popular two-seater convertible sports car in the world, with over one million units sold.
Few people could have predicted the little Mazda’s huge impact when it made its debut at the 1989 Chicago Motor Show. Over the last three decades, sports cars have become lighter, more maneuverable, and unquestionably more powerful. However, in terms of driving pleasure, the Miata has always exceeded all expectations.

Market conditions for the Mazda MX-5 are substantially different today than they were a few years back. You have to pay big money to buy a proper original NA model, unless you want one that is in poor condition.

In this article we will cover everything you need to know about purchasing a Miata from this buyer’s guide. Every MX-5 generation, from the very first to the most recent, will be covered in a short way.

First Generation Mazda Miata MX5 (NA)

The first-generation MX-5First Generation Mazda MX-5 Miata (NA) was unveiled to the public in 1989. Only a few parts from previous models were used in the car, which weighed significantly less than 1,000 kg. It had a neat body with clean lines and independent front and rear control arm suspensions, which were first for Mazda.

The 1.6-liter 16-valve four-cylinder engine put out about 115 horsepower, which was adequate to propel the lightweight sports car.

The larger 128bhp 1.8-liter four-cylinder was the biggest improvement for the 1994 model year. Larger brake rotors were also added to the package, and the Torsen limited-slip differential replaced the viscous unit used in the standard limited-slip differential.

Second Generation Mazda Miata MX5 (NB)

The second-generation MX-5Second Generation Mazda MX-5 Miata (NB) , which debuted in 1997, appeared on the market in 1998. The vehicle maintained the same sizes as the previous generation, but it added weight and did away with the retractable headlights since they did not meet criteria for pedestrian safety.

A new 140bhp 1.8-liter engine was added to the 1.6-liter engine to help offset the additional 115 kg of heft on board. This more potent model could go from 0 to 100 km/h in only 7.8 seconds and achieve a top speed of around 210 km/h.

Mazda offered three transmission options for the MX-5: a four-speed automatic, a five-speed manual, and a six-speed manual for top-tier cars. Interior modifications were more sophisticated than those made in the previous generation.

Third Generation Mazda Miata MX5 (NC)

The third-generation Mazda MX-5 MiataThird Generation Mazda MX-5 Miata (NC), which debuted in 2005, was greatly influenced by the 2003 Ibuki prototype. The new MX-5 was noticeably more contemporary and had flared wheel arches for a more aggressive appearance. Although the third generation MX-5 has exterior aesthetics with the original design, it doesn’t share any internal parts.

The third-generation MX-5 received a little modification in 2009. The major alteration was a new frontal design that more closely resembled Mazda’s other models, which brought the MX-5 into line with them. Mazda also updated the taillights, rear bumper, and side skirts. The suspension and transmission were improved, and the engine’s horsepower rating was raised to 167.

Fourth Generation Mazda Miata MX5 (ND)

Third Generation Mazda MX-5 Miata (NC)

The fourth generation Miata, which will be unveiled in 2014, would be produced in Mazda’s Hiroshima plant. The 2016 New York Auto Show World Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year awards went to the new MX-5 ND, which has a significantly sportier and more aggressive appearance than the model it replaces.

Under the long bonnet of the MX-5 ND is a 2.0-litre inline-four producing 155 horsepower. Though this is lower than the past generation, the fresh ND was the fastest MX-5 to date, partly due to the 100kg weight reduction.
A 1.5-litre 129 hp model sits underneath the larger engine MX-5, but offers the same six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

Mazda Miata MX5 Car Buying Advice

Now that we’ve briefly presented to you each Mazda MX-5’s generation as the car have developed, let’s talk about buying one.
We’ll go over what you should look for when buying an MX-5 Miata. This section includes information relevant to all MX-5 generations.

  1. Conduct research. Take the time to determine what kind of car you want before you start looking. Are you satisfied with a low-spec model or do you prefer the fastest speed? Knowing what to look for when buying a car might help you save a lot of money.
  2. Do some comparison shopping. Don’t restrict yourself to a single dealer, seller, or location.
  3. Drive a variety of vehicles. Make an effort to test drive as many vehicles as possible.
  4. Start making use of any car problems to your advantage. Keep a note of any problems you see when inspecting and driving a car and bring them up while haggling over the price.
  5. Be willing to leave. Simply leave if you’re not pleased with the deal.

History of Services and Additional Documents

When inspecting an automobile, make a habit of looking over the service records and any other papers. You can get a fair picture of how the automobile has been cared for and maintained.

Condition versus mileage

Miata MX-5 Speedometer

First you should look at the condition of the car, then the mileage. You must be very cautious because there are many MX-5s with low mileage but in very bad shape.

What You Should Ask the Owner or Seller

  • What is your driving frequency?
  • Who provided the most recent service, and when?
  • What volume of oil does it use?
  • How recently was the timing belt changed?
  • What components have been changed?
  • Which modifications have been made to the car?
  • Has the car ever overheated?
  • Has the vehicle been in any significant or minor collisions?
  • Do you know anything about the previous owners and how they handled the car?
  • Is there rust present?
  • Has the vehicle ever been used on a racetrack?


This guidance should have covered the majority of the necessary information about purchasing a Mazda MX-5. In our opinion there is no such thing as a perfect car, but the very first Miata gets close. There’s a reason why nearly all kind current Road & Track employees possess or have owned one. It’s one of the most interesting and fun cars on the planet for the money, and a totally pure driving experience.



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