Early Miata buyer's guide | What to know when shopping


Which NA-chassis Mazda Miata is the one to buy? After all, the first-gen model received numerous changes during its production run from 1990-1997.

To help you decide, we break down some of the most important model-year changes and even cover the many special editions released.

Crossworth New Reader
8/15/22 8:49 p.m.

Thank you Tim for the  video.

Nice compliment to your recent magazine article on NA Maita's.

I  agree, the 1.6 are rev happy, which equates to a more Zoom-Zoom feeling of fun a car to drive, even slow speeds.  


I have a NA6 and NA8 that I will be keeping until I can longer drive.


See you and staff and Monterey Kick-Off Aug 16,2022




jr02518 HalfDork
8/15/22 9:06 p.m.

My '95 NA is now and will always just be a driver. At 165,000 miles it has been enjoyed!


David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/16/22 12:40 p.m.

In reply to jr02518 :

There's something about those NB five-spokes on an NA. Nicely done. 

And I took mine for another top-down drive last night. smiley

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/16/22 12:41 p.m.

In reply to Crossworth :

Last night I took a friend for a quick drive in my 1.6. He echoed your comment: It just feels alive. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/16/22 1:12 p.m.

It's the cam. Mazda built the 1.6 to wake up at 4000. Customers started asking for "more low end power" so that's how they tuned the 1.8. The trend towards a big flat torque curve has continued ever since, with the ND2 finally picking up an interesting upper end for the first time since 1993.

I think the collector NA of choice is the 1993 LE. It's a more interesting and less common car than the 1991 BRG.

thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand UberDork
8/16/22 4:55 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Oh yeah, seeing those red seats in the black car always makes me snap my head around. And you can't forget the stellar speaker covers in the doors. 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UberDork
5/27/23 9:59 p.m.

The BBS wheels on the 93 LE also looked great.  Seeing well kept ones in person is a treat.

edmagoo New Reader
1/8/24 4:35 p.m.

It seems to me that some people will care if the car is before or after OBD2 / 1996. OBD2 makes the car easier to diagnose but many states have given up emissions tests for cars without an OBD2 port. You might want one for an all original car or you might want the other if you intend wild modifications. Classic Motorsports or Grassroots Motorsports.

jwagner (Forum Supporter)
jwagner (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
1/8/24 4:48 p.m.

Got a USB stick full of pics of my Miata and a couple of canvas prints for the garage for Christmas.  This seems like a good excuse to put them up.  '94R.


jwagner (Forum Supporter)
jwagner (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
1/8/24 4:57 p.m.

'94 = no emissions test.  I love OBDII for helping diagnose things, but it does get in the way of tasteful mods...

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