There are lots of causes that Mazda Miata house owners and followers usually say, “Miata is all the time the reply.” It is reasonably priced, enjoyable, dependable, and simply sensible sufficient to be greater than a automobile for the weekend. However the mannequin has now been in manufacturing for 30 years and 4 generations, and people 4 generations characteristic a number of mid-cycle refreshes. So positive, Miata could be the reply, however that leaves one other query: Which Miata is the reply for you?
Although you’ll be able to’t actually go improper with any Miata, probably the simplest for lots of people to get into is the third era (generally known as the NC, preceded by the NA and NB, and outdated by the present ND). It maintained the essence of what makes a Miata nice – gentle weight, playful dealing with, driver engagement – but additionally made strides in each day livability. The third era (2006-2015) is probably the most refined and spacious instance. Plus, it’s new sufficient to have a number of extra trendy conveniences whereas being sufficiently old to be priced affordably. It’s actually change into a candy spot within the vary.
Why the Mazda MX-5 Miata?
The primary motive you’d need a Miata is that it’s simply a lot enjoyable. It doesn’t matter what model you get, all of them ship on the identical gentle, playful sports activities automobile expertise. Absolutely the heaviest examples, the third-generation power-retractable hardtop (sometimes called PRHT) fashions, maxed out at round 2,600 kilos, whereas the lighter delicate prime variations got here in at round 2,500 kilos. That’s about 200-300 kilos lower than the additionally wonderful FR-S/BRZ/86 triplets. Different generations had been even lighter. Steering is talkative sufficient to carry a dialog, as is the chassis. And as fast and zippy because the automobile is, it’s additionally predictable and gained’t chunk you in case you begin pushing issues too far.
On prime of being a blast to drive, Miatas, significantly the NC we’re discussing, are fairly straightforward to personal. With 5.three cubic toes of area, the third-generation automobile supplied the most important trunk a Miata has ever had, and it’s a usable form that is nice for per week away and even commuting and journeys to the grocery retailer. There are even 4 cupholders on this automobile constructed for 2 individuals. This era affords probably the most area for each the driving force and passenger, so it’s a super selection for these of tall or giant builds that need in on the roadster enjoyable.
The comfort doesn’t finish with area. The NC Miata acquired a redesigned delicate prime (seen within the two pictures beneath this paragraph) that was simpler to decrease with only a single latch. It folded on prime of itself in order that a further cowl wasn’t wanted for a clear look with the highest down. It was additionally the primary with the facility retractable exhausting prime, which offered extra sound and temperature isolation with the highest up. The PRHT didn’t impede cargo area, both, and would go up or down in simply 12 seconds.
The NC era is new sufficient to characteristic out there niceties similar to heated seats, USB and Bluetooth integration and keyless entry.
Then there’s the affordability and reliability. Relying on age and specification, yow will discover good NC Miatas for between $10,000 and $20,000. All of them get round 24 mpg mixed gasoline economic system on 87 octane gasoline, in order that they’re comparatively frugal. And so they’re immensely dependable, with The Lengthy-Time period High quality Index examine discovered at dashboard-light.com giving the NC an Distinctive ranking of 90.5 out of 100, far above the trade common of 46.
Which Mazda MX-5 Miata to decide on?
The NC Miata was offered from 2006 to 2015, however in that point, it didn’t change a lot, with only a mid-cycle refresh in 2010. The sooner fashions (pictured instantly beneath this paragraph) have a extra rounded and reserved design. They launched with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the biggest supplied in a Miata at that time making 166 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque with both the five- or six-speed guide transmission. The six-speed automated dropped horsepower all the way down to 163. In 2007, the facility retractable hardtop was launched.
The later fashions (pictured instantly beneath this paragraph) acquired a restyled entrance fascia with a smile-shaped grille and swept-back headlights. It additionally received purple taillights as an alternative of the chromed examples on the early vehicles. The powertrains had been mainly the identical, however horsepower on the guide fashions elevated barely to 167 horsepower, and the redline rose to 7,200 rpm as an alternative of 6,700. The automated mannequin truly misplaced a bit extra energy, dropping to 158, and it had the previous redline.
Actually, value, styling and gear can be your major deciding elements. Discover the automobile with the look, gear and value that matches your wants. You may go along with an reasonably priced five-speed mannequin with material seats, or a decked-out six-speed hardtop mannequin with leather-based seats and different facilities.
One thing that Miata patrons in search of most efficiency will wish to maintain a watch out for are vehicles with the suspension bundle. This was solely out there for six-speed guide vehicles and included stiffer suspension tuning with Bilstein shocks. Maybe extra essential, these had been the one vehicles to return with the Torsen mechanical limited-slip differential.
This bundle was additionally included as customary on the Membership trim stage launched in 2013. That mannequin additionally added a entrance air dam and rear diffuser panel, darkish wheels, black mirrors and trim, Membership badges and stripes, and on the PRHT, a black-painted roof. The inside of the Membership additionally received a body-color sprint panel. It’s a trendy mannequin, however because the suspension bundle was out there as an possibility on all six-speed vehicles, it’s not essential to get probably the most efficiency out of your NC Miata.
Availability and listings
As Mazda likes to tout, the Miata is the best-selling two-seat roadster of all time with over one million offered globally. And contemplating the NC was offered for almost a decade, they’re not tough to search out. And though they may very well be used each day, most house owners had them as enjoyable second or third vehicles. Which means they’re incessantly in good situation with comparatively low miles, even in that $10,000 to $20,000 value vary.
Our used car listings could be useful to discover a whole lot close to you. Slender the choices down by a radius round your ZIP code, and take note of the deal ranking on every itemizing to see how a car compares with others in an identical space.
What else to think about
Even with all of the positives supplied by the Miata, it could nonetheless not be fairly best for you. There are some good options if that’s the case. The obvious two are the NC Miata’s modern opponents, the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. Each of these vehicles supply extra dramatic styling; curvy with the Solstice or angular with the Sky. They had been a bit extra highly effective with 177 ponies, but additionally weighed a number of hundred kilos extra. The highest mechanism was extra difficult and intruded on their oddly formed trunk area, and ergonomics and materials high quality weren’t pretty much as good because the Miata. However the twins additionally later supplied turbocharged variants making a whopping 260 horsepower. Pontiac even briefly had a Targa-top coupe, although that was particularly quick lived.
Talking of coupes, there are additionally the Toyobaru sports activities vehicles we touched on earlier. With 200 horsepower, the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ are extra highly effective, and also have a larger redline. Additionally, being four-seat vehicles, they provide more room for stuff, pets and perhaps, each occasionally, additional individuals. They’re a bit extra severe with stiffer suspension, however that’s not essentially a foul factor.
And naturally there’s additionally the Honda S2000. It had an unbelievable naturally aspirated four-cylinder making round 240 to 250 horsepower with a redline of 8,500 to 9,000 rpm. It had wonderful dealing with in addition and crisp styling that’s aged very effectively. It is older, having ended manufacturing a number of years earlier than the third-generation Miata, so it gained’t have as many trendy options. Costs are climbing on them, as effectively.