All About the 2001 Mazda Miata Special Edition

Limited quantities, an exclusive paint job, and interior flourishes set the Special Edition Miata apart. Learn more here!
Written by Julian de Sevilla
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
The 2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition dressed up the iconic roadster with an exclusive paint job and luxurious interior flourishes like a wooden steering wheel and shifter. However, the Special Edition didn’t offer any more than the LS trim in terms of performance.
The MX-5 Miata is the best-selling two-door roadster in history. It’s instantly recognizable and offers all the quick, zippy fun of a small sports car at a low price. The Special Edition trim of the 2001 model, which came in very limited quantities, distinguished itself from the LS trim mostly through visual details.
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What is the Mazda Miata Special Edition?

The Special Edition trim of the MX-5 Miata is usually made in limited quantities, featuring exclusive luxuries that take it above the other trims. The 2001 model started at $25,715 and included all the perfomance specs of the LS trim. Only 3,000 of them were made.
To accurately contrast the Special Edition model from the other trim, here’s a look at the base model 2001 Miata:
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2001 Mazda Miata overview

The Miata premiered in 1989 and was for sale in the United States a year later. It was immediately popular. The second generation launched in 1998, marking the car’s first significant redesign. 
The 2001 model was part of that second generation. Mazda didn’t make any major changes with this model year. That said, there were a few smaller changes, including larger headlights, a slightly different front end, and larger brakes—10.6 inches as opposed to the 10-inch ones on previous models.
Reviews at the time were largely positive. All seem to agree on one thing—this car is ridiculously fun to drive, if a bit loud at highway speeds. And, of course, it’s tiny. 
Key specs:
  • $21,180 starting MSRP
  • 1.8L 4-cylinder engine
  • 142 horsepower (A 2001 Car and Driver article said that Mazda claimed the engine produced 155 horsepower, but all other sources match the 142-hp figure.)
  • Transmission options: 4-speed automatic, 5- or 6-speed manual

What’s special about the special edition?

Most notable about the Special Edition is that only 3,000 of them were made, making them increasingly rare as time passes. 
It also came in just one exclusive color, British Racing Green, making it immediately identifiable to those in the know. The interior was all peanut-buttery tan leather and included a Nardi brand wooden steering wheel and shifter. It also came with 16-inch polished wheels, a 6-speed manual transmission, and a Bose stereo with CD and cassette players, which were all optional for the LS trim. 
Finally, the 2001 Special Edition Miata came with two extra small benefits: a uniquely numbered key fob and a block of lucite (better known as Plexiglass) with a laser-etched Miata inside.  

2001 Mazda Miata Special Edition vs. LS

The very limited Special Edition Miata was the only trim above the LS, which was the only other upgrade from the base trim. The LS started at $23,930, just under $2,000 less than the Special Edition trim. When comparing the two, it becomes clear that the Special Edition trim was designed for car lovers and collectors.
It came in only one color, whereas the LS trim came in many. It also was only available with a 6-speed manual transmission, while the LS gave drivers the choice of an automatic or 5- or 6-speed manual. Of course, the LS trim also lacked the Special Edition’s wooden accents and numbered key fob. 
In terms of performance, the two trims don’t differ much. Same engine, same optional transmission and wheels. More than anything, the Special Edition was an opportunity to flex.

How to find cheap insurance for your MX-5 Miata

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