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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Your handy (1990-97) Mazda Miata buyer's guide | Hagerty Media

It's kind of hard to believe today, when Mazda struggles to sell 10,000 Miatas annually, but there was a time when Mazda's beloved roadster landed in more than 25,000 driveways each year. If you were paying any attention at all in 1989 and 1990, the NA (first-generation) Miata seemingly came out of nowhere, and suddenly it was everywhere you looked.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/buying-and-selling/1990-97-mazda-miata-buyers-guide/
17 REPLIES 17
tcchuck2005
Pit Crew

Two seats and a convertible top, it just doesn't get any better.
ScottC
Intermediate Driver

Love my 93, ton of fun on the winding back roads. Miata I Always The Answer.
chrlsful
Instructor

so many, in such good shape round here I thought they were still makin 'em. Very hard to get an ign problem solved on a '94 here. The last item (1 brain, it had 2 I think) was very expensive'n hard to find.
Bettyemae
Intermediate Driver

If there is a better value in the used Motorsport market please tell me now. ‘Cause I wanna know!
DRF
Intermediate Driver

I keep finding these early ones with severe rust issues in Indiana. I think one shouldn't overlook an MGB as an alternative choice...
JK
Intermediate Driver

It is disconcerting how Bob Hall who was the real force behind the Miata, and much of the original Mazda advance development operation in Irvine is slighted in the article. Yes, Bob had previously been an automotive journalist with Motor Trend and others but that is selling him short.

As for the vast majority of the exterior design effort, just stop the story with Mark Jordan. The interior design credit goes to IAD.
SteveNL
Intermediate Driver

I've owned a 2003 NB since it was new. The NB has many features of the later NA models. For many years, some nay sayers called Miatas "girl cars". That is utter BS. Miatas are GREAT CARS!!!. I am here to propose that there are four requirements for a car to be a GREAT CAR.
1. It has to be good looking. This is a personal and relative question. But if you liked British sports cars, there is a good chance that you will find the Miata to be a good looking car.
2. It has to be fun to drive. The Miata doesn't have massive horse power, but it's light and very well balanced. It's nimble on twisty back roads and made even better by the large quantity of after market performance products. After market anti-sway bars are highly recommended, but there are more upgrades available than that for the Miata. The shifting is better than any other car that I've owned. My NB has a 6 speed, which I love. The engine is very rev happy. They are great fun to wind out to red line.
3. The Great Car has to be dependable. Here is where Miatas are rock solid. Old Miatas need good service. The timing belt needs to be replaced at 60K. The shifter needs occasional lubrication. The oil needs changing. But with good care and careful maintenance, your Miata will always get you back home. I say that every car collector needs a Miata in the fleet so that s/he will have at least one fun car to drive when everything else needs work of some kind.
4. The Great Car should be easy to repair. Not only does a well serviced Miata never break, but they are incredibly easy to service and repair. Need to change the timing belt? It's easy for a home mechanic to do. Everything about the Miata is well considered and carefully planned out by Mazda. The Miata is a great car to learn the skills of auto mechanics, because everything about it is just so well designed.

The NA and NB Miatas are the best cars to buy if you like simplicity and pure joy of a well built and designed sports car. The last benefit is that there are still plenty of cars in good condition on the road and these cars are still very undervalued considering all of the benefits that they bring to the table. Good luck if you are looking for one. If the car is rust free and relatively well maintained, you can't go wrong.
JK
Intermediate Driver

Major criteria for the NB's redesign was to fit a golf set in the trunk; as dictated by the Japanese side of Mazda.
ScottC
Intermediate Driver

I whole heartedly agree with you. My 93 has 225K on it and runs like a top, great car to drive if your feeling down because it will put a smile on you face. I've had it for 12 years and paid $3500 for it.
IDUET
New Driver

Your on the money here with your criteria my 91 Miata has 347,000Kilometers or 216,000 miles Only replaced the radiator this year and it was a breeze with stainless steel screws being used from factory. Original rag is still on but window assy was gone many years ago.  Love my fun handling car. 

 

oilbrnr
Pit Crew

I had two 95's...an R & M. Really miss them as they were such pure analog sports cars that were dead nuts reliable and simple. Pure joy on those mountain roads!
MarveH
Intermediate Driver

I’ve had two 1991 special editions, a 2000, and currently a 1994 R Edition in Laguna Blue. I’m keeping the 94 forever.
I addition I’ve had three of the Miata’s step brother the Mercury Capri in turbo and non turbo form. The Miata is the better sports car but the Capri the better touring car. Both are mechanically durable and fairly easy to work on.
For me the less equipped a MX-5 is the better. I find leather and the power accessories a bother and limited slip differentials can be had easily enough.
If you always wanted an early Miata now is the time, they aren’t gettin any younger and certainly won’t be any cheaper.
edmo
New Driver

I have a ’91 BRG, in great condition, never winter driven, 33K miles that I am thinking of selling. Anyone interested? In Canada.
IDUET
New Driver

what are you thinking and where in Canada I'm Trenton,Ontario 

IDUET
New Driver

email : ericmatthews54@gmail.com

AJDallas
New Driver

Bought a new 1990 Miata and drove it daily for 2 years in Dallas traffic as a regional sales executive. I stared into truck wheels at every redlight and could feel the heat from the radiator fan of the truck behind. While driving down the highway at 60 mph the truck infront drove over a sizable log. My front left tire was unable to avoid this obstacle and it blew my front left tire and cracked the alloy wheel. The car did a couple of 360 degree spins and I ended up stopped in the right side break-down lane. I was very lucky. I changed the tire, drove to the Madza dealer and traded for a 626. I do miss that Miata. I never had a vehicle that shifted easier or handled better.
Lightlady55
New Driver

I have a 1990 Miata that I absolutely love! I bought it brand new, my husband is an automotive technician and has done all the maintenance on it! It runs like a charm and I would never sell it! It is a rare automatic transmission, I was told I would never find one! I can’t drive a stick, so I set out to find one and finally did!! Love my baby!!