The Eunos Roadster (generally known as the Mazda Miata in North America) is maybe top-of-the-line small JDM sports activities vehicles. When it was first unveiled, most thought it will be within the Kei automotive class just like the Honda beat, however that was not the case. One of many few JDM sports activities vehicles with a convertible roof and Miatas with a convertible high was marketed because the Mazda Roadster or the Eunos Roadster. 

In America, this legendary JDM sports activities automotive is named the Miata. In Japan, it is named the MX-5 Miata. The Miata doesn’t have probably the most highly effective engines, however the energy output is simply sufficient for a automotive that hardly weighs 2,300 kilos. 

By manufacturing, solely two NB Miata specs by Mazdaspeed had a turbocharged engine. The remaining had been naturally aspirated 4 bangers. Energy output was between 100 and 200 horsepower for all manufacturing fashions, together with particular editions. 

The Miata makes the proper first automotive as a result of its low upkeep and operating prices. With a mixed 25mpg, you’ll by no means have to fret about driving up mountain roads except you didn’t have gas earlier than that. As a consequence of a 50-50 weight distribution and front-engine rear-wheel-drive configuration ranks among the many high JDM drift vehicles you will get on a funds. 

Turbocharging a Miata is viable, however the engines can’t maintain a lot horsepower with inventory internals. Suppose you might be aiming for something north over 250 horsepower. You’ll have to vary the internals and a few main engine and transmission rework in that case. The braking system on the Miata is not going to maintain for lengthy for those who enhance the ability output, so that you higher get a brand new one ASAP. 

If an engine swap fits you higher, then go for it. Miatas are identified to be appropriate with each engine you place in them. You’ll get a Miata with a 13B from its greater brother, the RX-7, or a Lamborghini V10. You aren’t restricted relating to engine swapping a Miata. 

Professionals and Cons



You will get a Mazda Miata listed for just below $5,000, which is a good value by JDM automotive requirements. In case you are a fixer-up kind of individual, some are listed even for below $2,000, supplied you’ll repair them and get them operating. No matter their outdated age, Miatas all the time pull a crowd. Everybody desires to see the pop-up headlights. 

Low upkeep

Like most JDM vehicles, Miatas have a easy however environment friendly construct high quality. Hardly ever will a Miata stall on you when driving. This is without doubt one of the causes a Mazda Miata makes the proper newbie automotive. Because of the easy construct high quality, you are able to do fluid adjustments and different maintenances by yourself. You’ll avoid wasting money and learn to keep a automotive whereas at it. 

Extremely Dependable

The Mazda Miata ranks among the many most dependable JDM vehicles. By manufacturing, Miatas have a 4.0 reliability score making them one of the crucial dependable vehicles you possibly can personal. A Miata will serve you for a whole lot of miles with solely vital element adjustments with correct care and upkeep. 

Enjoyable to drive

The engine choices won’t be probably the most highly effective JDM engines, however they positive pack a punch. A Miata barely weighs 2300 kilos, and a 50-50 weight distribution is ideal. You’ll be able to drift your Miata in an open parking area or cruise on the freeway. Make sure you’ll beat a few of these fashionable Sedans and SUVs, and also you’ll look good doing it with no roof. 

Nice appears

A Miata will all the time pull an eye fixed no matter whether or not it’s modified. It would all the time stand out as that little pink, white or black automotive, even in a parking spot filled with supercars. For those who get an NA Miata, depart the headlights popped up, and cameras will probably be flashing round your automotive.

Miatas make nice venture vehicles

No matter how you propose to make use of your Miata, constructing it to your specs can’t be that onerous. Miata components are in every single place and range in value relying on the standard. For those who simply desire a automotive that you simply use to drive to high school, an affordable 200-horsepower construct is sufficient. 

However, constructing a race and drift automotive is completely different from swapping out the outdated suspension to putting in chassis braces. Putting in the components is simple, however you’ll have to organize mentally and financially. 


Small Cabin and trunk area

Because of the small physique, the cabin and trunk areas are restricted. This can be a frequent problem with Mazda sports activities vehicles, together with the RX-7. A Miata shouldn’t be a automotive you possibly can take to the shop for grocery procuring. Effectively, except you don’t have a passenger. You can’t have multiple passenger because the Miata solely seats two, the driving force and the passenger. 

Tough suspension

You’ll really feel each bump and pothole whereas driving a Miata. Generally going over excessive bumps might be fairly the trouble, and you need to go over sideways. 

Widespread points

Timing chain slippage 

Because the tensioner and information rails get outdated and used, the timing chain tends to slide, and this may trigger a lack of energy, and the engine would possibly stall when driving. If it’s too unhealthy, the engine is not going to even begin. Changing the timing belt, tensioner, and information rails altogether solves this. 

Oil leaks

For those who park your Miata and see oil patches beneath it, the engine is leaking oil. There’s a excessive chance that the oil is leaking via the gaskets. Substitute the outdated gaskets and fill the engine with new oil after flushing to forestall a combination of the outdated and contemporary oil.  


Rust is a standard downside in outdated JDM vehicles. Nonetheless, it happens in other places relying on the car. In Miatas, rusting happens on the subframe, and engine bay, particularly across the battery, body rails, rear shock mounts, and the rocker panels. Portray or every other methodology of rustproofing will resolve this. 

Pop-up headlight failure

Digital wiring powering the pop-up headlights could generally fail. One headlight could pop up as a substitute of each or could fail to retract. Rewiring the headlights solves this. You too can wire every headlight individually. This allows you to pop up one headlight and wink at your fellow Miata house owners. 

Leaking comfortable high

The comfortable high tends to leak as a result of cracks attributable to extended publicity to daylight. It’s endorsed to exchange the comfortable high since extra cracks will kind for those who restore the outdated one as time goes by. If the rear plastic window is leaking, you possibly can exchange it and preserve the comfortable high if it’s in good situation. 

Common costs

Costs for the Miata begin at roughly $5,000 for one in good situation or a particular version one with few points. Particular editions and better trim Miatas are priced at round $8,000. Nonetheless, they not often will a Miata go over $18,000 except it has very low mileage or the earlier proprietor has put intensive work into it. 

Comparable Options

Fashions and Specs

1989-1997 Mazda Roadster (NA Miata)

The NA Miata is thought for its pop-up headlights. Most individuals choose the efficiency of an NA Miata in line with the looks of the headlights. Suppose the headlight casing is empty, is changed by turbos or has offended lights. In that case, that isn’t your common Miata. 

You get the NA Miata with a 1.6-litre B6ZE engine or a 1.8-litre BP engine mated to a 5/6-speed guide or a 4-speed automated transmission. Mazdaspeed spec Miatas had the identical engines however supercharged. The 1.8-litre BP engine was later stroked to 2.0 litres by Mazdaspeed. Energy output for the primary technology was between 110 horsepower to 160 horsepower growing with engine displacement. 

Two roof choices can be found for the NA Miata, each convertible and a hardtop and a comfortable high. In case you have a comfortable high, you possibly can fold the roof again and reinstall it if the climate adjustments. You don’t need to altogether take away the roof like in a hardtop Miata.  

Mazda made particular restricted editions the Miata for the first-generation Miata, however no important upgrades had been made. Particular restricted editions principally had particular exterior coloration schemes or inside paint jobs. Such because the Sunburst NA Miata, which incorporates a Sunburst Yellow paint job. Different particular editions embrace the Black NA Miata and the M version NA Miata.  

1998-2005 Mazda Roadster (NB Miata)

In contrast to the NA Miata, the NB didn’t have pop-up headlights. Mazda cancelled the pop headlights as a result of new pedestrian security laws, which demanded that having a ‘sharp’ floor on the entrance of the automotive threatens pedestrian security. The NB Miata carries over some styling elements, such because the fender and bumper design from the RX-7 FD. 

The second-generation Miata used the identical engines as the primary technology. However with an addition of a 180 and 200 horsepower 1.8-liter turbocharged BP engine by Mazdaspeed. A brand new 6-speed automated transmission was added, permitting a driver to shift gears utilizing paddle shifters. You too can get a 4-speed auto or a 5-speed guide in an NB Miata, because the 6-speed guide was solely accessible for particular version specs. 

Main upgrades from the NA Miata embrace improved wheels and tires, non-compulsory ABS, a glass rear windshield, and enlarged entrance and rear anti-roll bars. The NB Miata was additionally barely wider and thus had higher aerodynamics than the NA Miata. 

Mazda additionally made particular editions of the NB Miata, most that includes particular coloration schemes. Nonetheless, a few of them additionally had efficiency upgrades. 

10th Anniversary version MX-5

The tenth Anniversary version MX5 incorporates a 6-speed guide transmission, a brand new suspension setup with Bilstein shocks, and a Torsen LSD. It was additionally sooner and had a better pace restrict than a typical NB Miata as a result of addition of a sixth gear. Mazda equips a Bose stereo in each anniversary spec, and the NB Miata was not disregarded. 

Alcantara seats, an upgraded sprint, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a shift knob had been among the tenth Anniversary NB Miata’s inside upgrades. All Anniversary NB Miatas had been signed by Mazda’s President, James Miller, and had a badge of authenticity. Mazda made 3500 models of the Anniversary spec NB Miata.  


Restricted to 100 models, the SP (Particular Efficiency) is the second rarest NB Miata. It had a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine pushing out 200 horsepower, and it held the title for probably the most highly effective Miata till 2021. A brand new exhaust manifold, Garett GT2560R turbocharger, customized ECU, stainless exhaust, and a carbon Kevlar air filter housing enabled the MX5-SP to hit 0-100 in below 6 seconds. 

No exterior upgrades had been carried out on the MX5-SP, however ‘SP’ badges on the rear and on the intercooler distinguished the SP spec Miata from different variants. 

Mazdaspeed MX-5

The usual 1.8-litre turbocharged engine had an RH5 VJ35 turbocharger. This enabled the 1.8-litre engine to push out 180 horsepower. Different upgrades over the usual NB Miata included a brand new suspension setup with Bilstein shocks, front-mounted air to air intercooler, a 6-speed guide transmission, and a brand new clutch meeting. 

Membership sport MX-5

That is the rarest NB Miata, as solely 50 models had been made. It was created as light-weight as attainable and had the usual 1.8-litre engine. The air-con, stereo, and energy steering had been eliminated to shed some weight. It has a Torsen LSD, and Bilstein shocks from the tenth Anniversary MX5. Of the 50 made, 25 had been hardtops, and 25 had been comfortable tops. 

2005-2015 Mazda Roadster (NC Miata)

Mazda put in an electronically retractable roof that folds again with out compromising trunk area for the third technology. Two engine choices for the NC Miata had been a 1.8-litre MZR and a 2.0-litre MZR. A 5-speed guide was commonplace, however you would additionally get a 6-speed guide or a 6-speed auto with paddle shifters. 

In 2006 the NC Miata had a facelift giving it a widebody look as a result of fender bulges over the wheels. You’ll be able to decrease your NC Miata with out chopping the fenders as a result of wheel fitment. The 2008 facelift featured new headlights, a bumper design, and a chrome exhaust tip. 

Like different generations, the NC Miata additionally had particular editions, however most didn’t have any particular efficiency upgrades. Most had particular coloration schemes and inside upgrades however with comparable specs to the usual variant. Mazda additionally made 1099 models to commemorate its 25th Anniversary. The one noticeable variations with the 20th Anniversary spec are multicoloured stitched seats, chrome accents, and 25th Anniversary badging. 


The MS-R (Motor Sport Racing) spec incorporates a entrance shock tower brace, an LSD, chassis bracing, a brand new suspension setup with Koni shocks, and race sway bars on the entrance and the rear. It has the usual 2.0-litre engine mated to a 5-speed guide. 

All wheels have disc brakes as a substitute of rear drum brakes in a typical NC Miata. A entrance lip and decrease trip peak allow the MS-RT to be aerodynamic and look completely different from the usual NC Miata. The MX-Superlight, a roofless idea Miata, was made to have a good time Mazda’s 20th Anniversary, however it was by no means put into manufacturing

20th Anniversary version MX-5

The 20th Anniversary MX-5 didn’t obtain any efficiency upgrades, however it’s value mentioning. It has 20th Anniversary badges on the inside and exterior, Recaro bucket seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a parking brake deal with. Wheels had been additionally fabricated from aluminum, thus lowering the automotive’s total weight. 

2015 to current Mazda Roadster (ND Miata)

That is the present Technology Miata below manufacturing since 2015. It options two Sky-Lively G engines. A 1.5-litre engine with an influence output of 130 to 160 horsepower. The two.0-litre engine has 130 horsepower to 190 horsepower relying on the yr of manufacturing. 

Manufacturing Numbers

NA Miata 1989-1997 – 431,506

NB Miata 1998-2005- +/-320,000 

NC Miata-2006-2015- +/-250,000


Are Miatas Low cost?

Miatas are comparatively low cost whatever the situation you get one in. Why not get a Miata and save your self some money for that turbocharger package or new wheels?

Is a Miata good for drifting?

Sure. However not with the inventory engine, transmission, suspension, LSD, and brakes. The inventory engine will maintain a most of 250 horsepower with inventory internals. You’ll have to improve the engine elements, suspension, transmission, LSD, and brakes in your Miata to be drift prepared.

How lengthy will a Miata final with OEM elements? 

A Miata will final for about 250,000 miles with affordable care and upkeep. After that, you need to begin planning for an engine rebuild or alternative, suspension rebuilding, repainting the automotive, and every other points that come up after 250,000 miles.

Is a Miata good for newbies?

Sure. As a consequence of its low shopping for and upkeep prices, the Mazda Miata makes the proper newbie automotive. In case you are a teen or trying to purchase a automotive in your teenager’s sixteenth birthday, no different JDM automotive fits the event.

Can I turbocharge a Miata?

Sure. Nonetheless, you’ll need to assess your engine’s situation earlier than doing that. Additionally it is really helpful that you simply get a turbocharger package as a substitute of sourcing each element required individually.

Mazda Miata Manufacturing years do you have to keep away from.

Early fashions (1989-1992) of the NA Miata had crankshaft points that led to engine failure. If the earlier house owners didn’t exchange the OEM crankshaft, you would possibly find yourself changing the engine.

Is the Mazda Miata a girl’s automotive?

No. The Mazda Miata is a gender-neutral automotive. There are some who understand it to be a girl’s automotive as a result of its dimension.

Can I convert the Miatas high?

Sure. You’ll be able to simply convert a hardtop Miata to a Gentle high and vice versa. 

  • Sources
    • Wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazda_MX-5
    • Discussion board.miata.internet
    • Gsfcarparts.com
    • Featured Picture From Speedhunter
Christopher Weydert
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