Looking for help?
< All Topics

NA Miata buyers guide: Find Your Perfect Roadster

Welcome to the NA Miata buyers guide, where we’ll help you navigate the exciting world of this classic roadster. Whether you’re a seasoned car enthusiast or looking for your first sports car, the Miata NA (first generation) has timeless appeal. In this guide, we’ll explore the reasons to consider a Miata NA, provide valuable insights into purchasing one, and offer tips for ownership.

What is the Mazda Miata MX5 NA?

The Mazda Miata MX5 NA, also known as the Miata NA or simply Miata, is a legendary sports car known for its lightweight design, responsive handling, and classic roadster styling. Produced from 1989 to 1997, this first-generation model laid the foundation for the entire MX5 series. Key features of the Miata NA include a manual soft-top, rear-wheel drive, and a rev-happy 1.6-liter or 1.8-liter engine. Its enduring charm lies in its pure driving experience.


CarbonMiata Long-Tail Trunk Spoiler For Miata NA/Mk1

Why buy a Mazda MX5 NA?

  • Classic Sports Car Appeal

The Miata NA captures the essence of the classic British roadsters of the 1960s. It’s a small, agile car with a simple design and a focus on the driving experience. Its open-top design makes it a true roadster, perfect for weekend cruises and spirited drives on winding roads.

  • Affordable Entry

One of the most attractive aspects of the Miata NA is its affordability. While some classic sports cars can break the bank, the Miata NA remains accessible to many enthusiasts. You’ll find a range of models at different price points, making it an excellent entry into the world of sports cars.

  • Maintenance and Reliability

Miata’s are known for their reliability and ease of maintenance. The simple design of the NA model means fewer complex systems that can go wrong. Many owners perform their maintenance tasks, which can save you money in the long run.

  • Community and enthusiastic Support

The Miata community is passionate and welcoming. Whether you need advice on maintenance or want to find a local club to join, you’ll discover a strong support network. Enthusiasts often share their experiences and knowledge, adding to the overall enjoyment of Miata ownership.

Things to Consider Before Buying Miata NA

  • Budget Planning

Before embarking on your Miata NA journey, establish a budget. Consider not only the purchase price but also ongoing costs like insurance, taxes, and maintenance. It’s essential to know your financial boundaries to avoid overspending.

  • Condition Assessment

Inspecting the condition of a used Miata NA is crucial. Check for rust, signs of accidents, and engine health. If you’re not confident in your assessment skills, consider hiring a mechanic to inspect the car. Choose a well-maintained model for peace of mind. Read more about this subject here.

  • Understanding Common Issues

While Miatas are known for their reliability, common issues can arise, such as rust in the rocker panels or a worn soft top. Familiarize yourself with these issues, so you can make an informed decision when evaluating a potential purchase.

Top Miata NA Models

The Mazda Miata NA, particularly the first-generation models produced from 1989 to 1997, holds a special place in the hearts of automotive enthusiasts. Known for its perfect balance of power and agility, the Miata NA is celebrated for its timeless design and open-top driving experience.

Among the most revered NA models are the early 1.6-liter engines and later 1.8-liter versions, with the latter offering a bit more power. The limited-production Miata’s, like the British Racing Green and the special M-Editions, are highly sought after by collectors. For those who appreciate the pure driving essence of a sports car, the Miata NA remains an iconic choice.

NA Miata buying guide

British NA Miata

Where to Find a Miata MX5 NA

  • Dealerships and Private Sellers

Dealerships and private sellers are the most common sources for purchasing a Miata NA. Dealerships often offer certified pre-owned models with warranties, while private sellers might have well-maintained examples.

  • Online Marketplaces

Websites like eBay, Craigslist, and specialty Miata forums are great places to search for Miata’s. These platforms often have a wide variety of models and sellers, giving you more options to choose from.

  • Enthusiastic Clubs and Forums

Miata clubs and online forums are valuable resources for finding a Miata NA. Enthusiasts frequently post cars for sale, and you can benefit from their expertise when selecting a vehicle.

  • Inspection and Test Drive Tips

When you find a potential Miata NA, it’s crucial to inspect and test drive it thoroughly. Look for signs of wear and tear, and ensure the soft top is in good condition. Take it for a spin to assess its handling and performance. If you’re not confident in your ability to assess the car’s condition, consider hiring a mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection.

Negotiating and Buying

Completing the purchase of a Miata NA involves multiple steps, from negotiating the price to transferring ownership. Be organized, patient, and thorough throughout the process to ensure a seamless purchase.

  • Price Negotiation Strategies

When it comes to negotiation, research is your ally. Understand the market value of the Miata NA model you’re interested in. Be prepared to walk away if the seller’s price doesn’t align with the car’s condition and market value.

  • Paperwork and Documentation

Ensure that all the necessary paperwork is in order. Verify the car’s title, maintenance records, and any additional documents. This step is essential for a smooth and legal transaction.


In this Mazda MX5 Miata NA Buyer’s Guide, we’ve explored the allure of this classic roadster, what to consider before buying, where to find one, negotiation strategies, and ownership tips. Owning a Miata NA is a thrilling experience that combines nostalgia and driving pleasure. So, are you ready to embark on this exhilarating journey? Your perfect Miata NA might be just around the corner.

FAQs for Miata MX5 NA Buyers

Q1: What’s the difference between Miata NA, NB, and NC? The Miata NA, NB, and NC represent different generations. The NA is the first generation (1989–1997), the NB is the second (1998–2005), and the NC is the third (2006–2015). Each has its own unique characteristics and improvements.

Q2: Are there any common issues I should watch out for? Common issues include rust in the rocker panels, wear on the soft top, and engine oil leaks. Regular inspections can help detect and address these problems.

Q3: What’s the average price range for a used Miata NA? The price of a Miata NA varies based on factors like the model year, condition, and location. Generally, you can find decent examples between $5,000 and $10,000.

Q4: Can I daily drive a Miata NA? Yes, many Miata owners use their cars as daily drivers. Its reliability, fuel efficiency, and compact size make it a practical choice.

Q5: Where can I find replacement parts for my Miata NA? You can source parts from Mazda dealerships, online retailers, and Miata-specific parts suppliers. Joining Miata forums is an excellent way to get recommendations for reliable part sources.

Now you have the insights you need to embark on your Miata MX5 NA journey. Whether you’re a vintage car aficionado or a first-time sports car buyer, the Miata NA offers an iconic driving experience you’ll cherish for years to come.

Table of Contents

Main Menu