How did you choose what Miata to buy? (NA, NB, NC) [Archive] (2024)

MX-5 Miata Forum > All Miatas > Pricing and Dealer Discussion > How did you choose what Miata to buy? (NA, NB, NC)


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19th October 2010, 14:30

I am in the market for a used miata and have been looking for a 94-97 NA. Now I am not so sure. The ones I have seen look pretty beat. This model may just be too old for my tastes. Now I am considering an NB. The only problem other than the NB's should cost more due to newness is I am not crazy about the generic look.


19th October 2010, 15:48

Easy - NC wasn't out when I bought any of my Miatas (it would have been too expensive anyway), and I agree that I never cared for the generic looks of the NB. Love the tail lights, pop up headlights, cool chrome door handles, and overall shape of the NA better. The form is a bit more pure and classic in my opinion. Yes there are a lot of beat NA's out there, but there are still plenty of nice ones too. You just need to keep your eyes open for the right one. When I have looked, I chose the nest NA I could find for the money that wasn't red. Good luck.


19th October 2010, 16:48

I was shopping purely by condition, price, and not having to burn premium gas (in that order.) Ended up getting a perfectly maintained 91 and passed over some good NBs that were not documented.

I'll admit to spending a little more than I really had to, but I have to respect the guy I bought it from, who is as type-A as me, and had all the records ready and in order to present to a buyer.


19th October 2010, 16:50

Yup I say search around. I like the NA looks more that is why I went that route. The only NB that caught my eye was the 99AE. Not impressed by the others.


19th October 2010, 17:05

I am in the market for a used miata and have been looking for a 94-97 NA. Now I am not so sure. The ones I have seen look pretty beat. This model may just be too old for my tastes. Now I am considering an NB. The only problem other than the NB's should cost more due to newness is I am not crazy about the generic look.Hey,be patient and keep looking,as the off season approaches there will be some sweet first generations showing up!:thumbs:


25th October 2010, 14:06

Clean NA's are out there. You just have to be ready to jump when you see one. I posted the information about a '97 STO at a dealership here in North Carolina about a month ago. It was one of the cleanest I've seen lately with an asking price of $4900. I'm sure it's gone now, though. Good luck.


25th October 2010, 14:24

Kinda all up to you. I picked my MSM because I liked the look, and it was a blast to drive. I wasn't even looking for a miata when I bought it. I went to look at a convertable mustang. Never thought I even consider one, didn't think I would fit. When I saw it had a turbo it peaked my interest so I test drove it, loved it and bought it. On the NC, I didn't car much for the look of the NC1, but for some reason the NC2 I liked a lot better. More space than the NB, more refined, and I got a pretty decent deal on it. It basically fixed the grips I had with the NB/MSM.


25th October 2010, 19:35

NC was out of the question due to cost. I wanted a daily driver year-round car, so I went for the airbags, ABS, power steering, LSD and more modern interior of the NB.

If I had wanted a summer-only second car, I'd probably have gone for the more "pure" NA.

- Tom


26th October 2010, 22:40

Well I picked up a 97 in white. It's a little rough around the edges but I wanted a fixer upper. Motor and trans seem strong and tight. It feels like a performance clutch was installed but the previous owner had no clue. I have already begun tearing it down and finding all kinds of problems. One of the previous owners really hacked this car up.

Diamond Dave

29th October 2010, 15:36

I like the Classic NA and the selection of special editions. Also a fan of the colors.

As far as finding one that isn't beat, you are not in the correct price range. Finding a clean, lower mileage NA is going to be in the $5K range.


30th October 2010, 23:18

NC was out due to cost. Growing up always loved the NA's so I got lucky.


31st October 2010, 09:39

Cost played into the equaiton, esp for my first couple of Miatas.

My NC is my first new Miata. Big rebates in January sealed the deal for me. I was looking for another MSM. But went with the NC because I was looking for a part time daily driver, and newer/non-turbo won out. Newer more updated design helped too. Rebate made the costs "similar". I say that becasue even though I had found some very good prices on used MSM's (January helps) already had BEGI turbo updates and a few other mods planned. With the NC, I just went with sways and a couple of minor items so way less mod costs. (Still not sure if a turbo is in the future or not however.....)


31st October 2010, 19:30

NA because I wanted cheap and light. Ended up getting the 1.8l engine and an LSD as a bonus :)


31st October 2010, 19:39

NA because I wanted cheap and light. Ended up getting the 1.8l engine and an LSD as a bonus :)

same. NA is the most desireable miata because of it's lightness. The later the year the heavier the car. This was slightly compesated by more power but adding 200lbs and only 2hp doesnt make up the difference IMO. Picked up my 95 NA upgraded to M edition for $4600 w/ 84K miles. Completely loaded with LSD, ABS, Power windows mirrors. Headrest speakers the works. Car was BABIED

Just keep your eyes open on ebay and craigslist.


1st November 2010, 07:07

Interesting question.

Generally speaking, the newer models are more likely to present unabused examples in the used vehicle market, as they have simply had less time to be abused. Correspondingly, the prices of these models will be increased accordingly.

Taking condition of an individual vehicle out of it, we can look at three perfect examples of the individual cars- I won't bother to go into specifics but it's clear that the car became more civilized and, although those will dispute this, more capable (at least in stock form) throughout the years. Aftermarket support, of course, is biased toward the older cars.

When I bought my first Miata, cost was a primary factor, and I wound up with a 1990 A package car. Had it for three years and sold it after buying the blue car. At the time of THAT Miata purchase, the primary goal was a no-compromises, go fast and have fun car. Still have that one (wish like heck I still had the red car...) and just bought ANOTHER Miata. At the time of the black car's purchase, I was looking for a well mannered DD- and got an NB with AC, radio, PS, etc.

Also remember that the NA and NB are, basically, the same car. Yes, the sheetmetal changed significantly, but I could (and sometimes do) make the argument that there were more significant mechanical and chassis design changes from 1993 to 1994 than from 1997 to 1999.

In a given price range, say, $8600, (what I spent on the NB) I could have gotten one heck of an NA- a great low mileage car. Of course in either case, once the car goes into DD service and the mileage goes up, the collectability and price go down. A higher mileage car, though, in the $2500-$4000 range, (like my red Miata) can be reliable and fun, and often sold for as much or more than the purchase price of the car, even after years of dd service.


1st November 2010, 07:15

When I was first shopping, the NC wasn't yet out on the market. Between the NA and the NB , it was just a matter of styling. I just like the curves of the body a lot more, and wanted to avoid the pop up headlights.


2nd November 2010, 14:32

Ferrari 328, Lambroghini Countach, Chevrolet corvette (pre-2005), Toyota "Sprinter" Tureno Corolla AE86, Second Generation Mazda miata. of these things is not like the otherrr...

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How did you choose what Miata to buy? (NA, NB, NC) [Archive] (2024)


Should I buy an NB or NC Miata? ›

It's about what you want from your Miata. If you want the older car character, the NB gives that. If you want newer designs and safety equipment, the NC is the way to go. Either way Miatas are great cars and a lot of fun.

Why is the answer always Miata? ›

The Miata is that friend who is always good at talking to the parents—sociable, reliable, and universally adored. Just like that same friend, the Miata can do no wrong. This has been the enthusiast's logic for nearly 33 years.

What to look for when buying MX5 NA? ›

Generally pretty sturdy, but check for any obvious bushing failures or leaky shocks. Check the front suspension where the upper and lower ball joints can become brittle and crack and leak grease. NA MX-5's had a bushing in the swaybar endlinks which can fail over time - check all swaybar endlinks.

Is an NC Miata a good first car? ›

The newer NC and ND models are an excellent option for first drivers with a larger budget. Specifically, the 2022–current model would be the best option as it is covered under factory warranty, features plenty of driver assistance, and is easy on the pocket for fuel.

Are NC MX5 reliable? ›

The Mazda MX-5 NC-series combines wind-in-the hair fun and reliability at an affordable price. If you fancy the idea of classic open-top motoring but baulk at the thought of owning an old sports car with its attendant reliability issues, Mazda's diminutive MX-5 is the solution.

Why do car guys love the Miata? ›

There's a reason Miatas are often found in the outbuildings of guys who own vintage European sports cars: muscle memory related to working the clutch pedal and that snick-snick shift lever are toned and reinforced. Miata Club can amuse and educate at relatively low speeds.

What is the rarest Miata model? ›

The Club Sport is the rarest and most interesting Miata ever made, with less examples built than McLaren F1s or Pagani Zondas.

Why is the Miata so fun to drive? ›

Mazda is also well-known for making cars that are fun to drive. The Miata, of course, is no exception! This sports car has a 50/50 weight distribution, which allows the car to have an athletic feel on winding roads. Even with less power, the Miata provides a more fun driving experience than its competitors.

What is the NB Miata called in Japan? ›

The convertible is marketed as the Mazda Roadster (マツダ・ロードスター, Matsuda Rōdosutā) or Eunos Roadster (ユーノス・ロードスター, Yūnosu Rōdosutā) in Japan, and as the Mazda Miata (/miˈɑːtə/) in the United States, and formerly in Canada, where it is now marketed as the MX-5 but is still commonly referred to as Miata.

What are Miatas called now? ›

North America got Miata, Europe got the mx5, and because there was a bicycle company in Japan named Miyata and they didn't want to confuse people, Japan got the eunos roadster. The Canadian site now omits 'Miata' and just calls it the MX-5 -- but that is a recent change.

Which MX-5 engine is best? ›

The MX-5's revvy Skyactiv-G engines are a joy, but we'd go for the extra power of the 2.0-litre.

Is MX-5 cheap to maintain? ›

The average annual repair cost for a Mazda is $462, which means it has above average ownership costs. The other factors that contribute to Mazda reliability include an average of 0.4 visits to a repair shop per year and a 10% probability of a repair being severe.

Are MX-5 expensive to run? ›

Whichever engine you go for, the MX-5 is very cheap to run by sports car standards. It's a relatively light car, and both the petrol engines are fairly efficient, managing more than 40mpg in WLTP tests and our own real-world testing.

Which years of Miata are best? ›

Most Reliable Years for the Mazda Miata
  • 2003 Mazda Miata.
  • 2008 Mazda Miata.
  • 2010 Mazda Miata.
  • 2018 Mazda Miata.
  • 2005 Mazda Miata.
  • 2023 Mazda Miata.
Sep 19, 2023

How long do NB Miata engines last? ›

Typical mileage for the Mazda Miata lands around 200,000 miles. Thus, we predict high mileage to be anything over 150,000. At this point in the machine's life, there is a much higher chance it will break down. If it does fall apart on you, the risk of the necessary repair being severe and expensive is also likely.

Does NC Miata require premium fuel? ›

Premium gas is recommended and I use it. The book says regular can be used without damage, but power and mileage will suffer.

Is mx5 NB reliable? ›

According to RepairPal, the Miata MX-5 has above-average reliability with a 4.0 out of 5 ratings, ranking 8th out of 21 subcompact vehicles. With only $429 annual repair costs, the Miata is an inexpensive car to own compared to the $456 average for subcompact cars and $652 for all vehicles.

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