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The Mazda Miata has been a win for the Japanese automaker for a long time. Since its release in 1989, the roadster has gained acceptance from a surprisingly wide audience. Its low entry cost and ease of maintenance garner it love from home mechanics and hairdressers alike.
The 2021 Miata continues that heritage. All the major auto critics love it, from Car and Driver to Consumer Reports. Sales are up too, despite supply chain shortages and other issues plaguing the current economy.
But things might not go as well for the 2022 model. Mazda already made Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard in 2021. And with a new generation expected to launch in 2023, the list of incentives to buy a 2022 Miata is looking shorter and shorter.
A short history of the Mazda Miata
The Mazda Miata might look like the perfect car for your retired mom, but the little roadster has been a track star and a mechanic’s dream since it launched in the ‘90s. Its lightweight, easily modified exterior, and simple engine have won over all kinds of car enthusiasts.
Designed in partnership with Bob Hall, Mark Jordan, Masao Yagi, and Tom Matano, the Miata was intended to resemble the beautiful if unreliable British roadsters of the ‘60s.
James Pumphrey of Donut Media says Mazda’s CEO scoffed at the idea when Hall first presented it in 1976, but when the company’s leadership changed five years later, Hall was finally given the green light.
In 1989, he and his team presented the MX-5—later dubbed the Miata —at the Chicago Auto Show. Interest in the car grew rapidly, and little has kept it off race tracks and driveways ever since.
Expectations for the 2022 Miata
The Miata reopened the affordable roadster segment to the world, and rival brands responded with their own models in the following years. Honda launched the Spyder in ‘99. Nissan produced the 350Z in 2004. With the extra competition, the always reliable Miata struggled to surprise consumers.
But since the fourth-generation model launched in 2016, the Miata has dominated the segment once more. In 2020, GoodCarBadCar says Nissan sold only 1,955 370Zs in the U.S. In the same year, Mazda sold almost 9,000 Miatas. So far, sales for the two cars in 2021 look even starker.
Mazda has continued to tweak the fourth generation. A fine-tuning in 2017, tech upgrades in 2018, and a slight engine upgrade in 2019 drew customers into dealerships for the newest model.
But since 2020, updates have been insignificant. New color and wheel options, and maybe a special edition are the only things Eric Brandt of Kelley Blue Book expects to see for the new 2022 Miata.
Should I buy a 2022 Miata?
Even with the minimal upgrades expected for the 2022 Mazda Miata, the little roadster is arguably the best option for anyone looking for an affordable, fun, dependable car.
While not exactly practical, its under-$30,000 price tag and zippy driving experience make it next to impossible to pass up, not to mention its lower-than-average car insurance premiums.
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