Mazda Miata Years to Avoid – The Mazda Miata is a popular roadster that has been around for over 30 years. Known for its sleek design, responsive handling, and affordable price tag, the Mazda Miata has become a go-to option for car enthusiasts and those looking for a fun and reliable sports car.
However, not all Mazda Miatas are created equal. When shopping for a used Mazda Miata, it’s important to do your research and know which years to avoid to ensure that you’re getting a reliable and enjoyable driving experience.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the common issues found in Mazda Miatas, provide a detailed breakdown of Mazda Miata years to avoid, and offer alternative sports cars or roadsters to consider instead.
Common Issues with Mazda Miata
Before diving into the Mazda Miata years to avoid, it’s important to understand the common issues found in these roadsters.
Knowing what to look for and address before purchasing a used Mazda Miata can save you time and money in the long run.
One of the most common issues found in Mazda Miatas is rust. Due to the car’s design and construction, rust can develop in various areas, including undercarriage, wheel arches, and door sills.
Rust can compromise the structural integrity of the car and lead to expensive repairs.
Another common issue found in Mazda Miatas is engine problems. The engine is the heart of any car, and if it’s not functioning properly, it can lead to a host of issues.
Common engine problems found in Mazda Miatas include oil leaks, misfires, and overheating.
Electrical issues are also common in Mazda Miata. These issues can manifest in various ways, such as malfunctioning gauges, dead batteries, or non-functional accessories.
Mazda Miata Years to Avoid
Now that we’ve covered the common issues found in Mazda Miatas, let’s dive into the Mazda Miata years to avoid. We’ve compiled a list based on reliability, common issues, and overall user experience.
1990-1993 Mazda Miatas
While the first-generation Mazda Miata is a classic and desirable option for many car enthusiasts, it’s not without its issues.
These early models are prone to rust, which can compromise the car’s structural integrity.
The engines in these models are also known to have oil leaks and timing belt issues, which can lead to costly repairs.
1994-1997 Mazda Miatas
The second-generation Mazda Miata improved upon many of the issues found in the first-generation models, but it’s still not without its problems.
These models are prone to rust in various areas, and the engines are known to have issues with overheating and head gasket failure.
1999-2000 Mazda Miatas
The third-generation Mazda Miata is generally considered to be a reliable and fun-to-drive roadster, but the 1999-2000 models are an exception.
These models are prone to engine failure due to a design flaw in the camshaft, which can lead to costly repairs.
2001-2005 Mazda Miatas
The third-generation Mazda Miata saw significant improvements over previous models, but the 2001-2005 models are still problematic.
These models are prone to engine failure due to a faulty crankshaft position sensor, which can cause the engine to shut off while driving.
2006-2008 Mazda Miatas
The third-generation Mazda Miata received a facelift in 2006, but these models are still prone to issues. The engines in these models are known to have oil leaks, and the transmissions can be problematic.
2016 Mazda Miata
While the fourth-generation Mazda Miata is generally considered to be a reliable and fun-to-drive roadster, the 2016 model year has some notable issues.
These models are known to have issues with the automatic transmission, which can cause hesitation and shifting problems.
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It’s important to note that these are not the only years that Mazda Miatas have had issues.
It’s always a good idea to do your research and get a pre-purchase inspection before buying any used car, including a Mazda Miata.
Alternatives to Mazda Miatas
If you’re looking for a fun and reliable roadster but want to avoid the Mazda Miata years to avoid, there are plenty of alternatives to consider. Here are a few options to check out:
The Honda S2000 is a popular roadster that is known for its responsive handling and powerful engine. These cars are generally reliable and have a strong enthusiast following.
The Toyota MR2 is a mid-engine sports car that is known for its sharp handling and affordable price tag. These cars are generally reliable and offer a unique driving experience.
The Porsche Boxster is a luxury sports car that is known for its excellent handling and high-quality construction.
These cars can be expensive to maintain, but they offer a level of performance and prestige that few other roadsters can match.
The BMW Z4 is a popular roadster that offers a balance of performance and luxury. These cars are generally reliable and offer a comfortable and refined driving experience.
Related: BMW Z4 Years to Avoid
Fiat 124 Spider
The Fiat 124 Spider is a stylish and affordable roadster that is based on the Mazda Miata. These cars are generally reliable and offer a fun and engaging driving experience.
What are the best years for a Mazda Miata?
The best years for Mazda Miata largely depend on your personal preferences and budget. However, the third-generation (NC) Miata is generally considered the best balance of performance, reliability, and modern features.
Some enthusiasts also prefer the first-generation (NA) Miata for its classic design and lightweight simplicity, while others prefer the second-generation (NB) Miata for its refined handling and improved performance.
What is the most reliable car Miata?
Overall, the Mazda Miata is considered a very reliable car. However, some years and models are known for their exceptional reliability. The fourth-generation (ND) Miata, which was introduced in 2016, is generally considered to be the most reliable Miata model due to its modern features and improved engineering.
The first-generation (NA) Miata is also known for its bulletproof reliability, simple design, and easy maintenance.
What year is the most powerful Miata?
The most powerful Mazda Miata is the fourth-generation (ND) Miata, specifically the 2019 Miata RF with the available Brembo/BBS Recaro package. This model is equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque.
It’s important to note that the Miata is not designed to be a high-performance car, and its driving experience is more focused on handling and driver engagement than raw power.
How many miles do Miatas last?
With proper maintenance and care, a Mazda Miata can last for well over 100,000 miles. Many Miatas have been known to last for 200,000 miles or more, and some enthusiasts have even pushed their Miatas past the 300,000-mile mark.
It’s important to keep in mind that the lifespan of a Miata largely depends on how well it’s maintained and how it’s driven.
Why are old Miatas so popular?
Older Miatas, particularly first-generation (NA) models, are popular among enthusiasts for a variety of reasons. These cars are known for their classic design, lightweight simplicity, and excellent handling. Additionally, the NA Miata is easy to work on and customize, making it a popular platform for enthusiasts who want to modify their cars.
Finally, older Miatas can often be found at affordable prices, making them accessible to a wider range of buyers.
While the Mazda Miata is a popular and reliable roadster, not all years are created equal. By understanding the common issues found in Mazda Miatas and knowing which years to avoid, you can ensure that you’re getting a fun and reliable car.
If you’re not interested in the Mazda Miata or want to explore other options, there are plenty of alternatives to consider. From the Honda S2000 to the BMW Z4, there is a roadster out there for everyone.
No matter what roadster you choose, it’s important to do your research and get a pre-purchase inspection to ensure that you’re getting a reliable and enjoyable driving experience. Happy car shopping!