What is the best year for a used Miata?

I really want to get a used Mazda MX-5 Miata—there’s just something so fun about the older models! However, I’m not sure which one would be the smartest buy. What’s considered the best year for a used Miata?

Brittni Brinn · Answered on Jan 10, 2023
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Smart move to do some research before buying your new-to-you car! If you’re planning on buying a used car, it may be tough to find exactly what you’re looking for, but the search is part of the fun—especially if you’re in the market for a Miata! Of course, the best year for a used Miata will depend on your priorities and budget, but the 2004 Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata is a great choice!
With its 17-inch wheels and a rear spoiler, the 2004 Miata has an undeniable “cool” factor. You’ll enjoy the rush of power provided by its 178-hp 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but the real draw of this model year is the suspension and chassis upgrades, including:
  • BILSTEIN shocks
  • Better springs
  • Wider tires
  • More sturdy anti-roll bars
  • Strut tower brace
You also can’t go wrong with models from 1994 to 1997. These Miatas upgraded the original engine to a 1.8L four-cylinder engine, and the cars themselves were pretty easy to modify. Plus, the Special Editions during this time came with neat details, like wooden handles and knobs.
And if none of those options tickle your fancy, you can always look for the 1990 Miata. Going all the way back to the Miata’s origins, you’ll find a responsive two-seat roadster with enough speed and comfort to satisfy any car enthusiast!
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