Mazda Miata

Automotive: Miata – more than just a legend

Among the many sports cars, the most popular is the Mazda MX-5 or Miata (sold under this name in the USA).

It has rightfully earned the status of a “legend” of the automotive industry, as it has been among the most popular models in its class for 35 years.

Let’s understand the reasons for the popularity of this car together and compare its different versions.

Reasons for the popularity

Since its debut in 1989, the Miata has captured the hearts of sports car enthusiasts everywhere. After 35 years, it remains in demand worldwide and occupies high places in various popularity ratings. All this happens for a reason. The Miata is called a “legend” mainly because of its affordability. Even a new, latest generation model, filled with modern gadgets and innovative security systems, will cost 30-35 thousand dollars. If you buy a slightly outdated Miata, the price will be much less. Some versions of the car are also available at auctions. This is where you can buy a salvage Miata for very little money. After restoration, it will be as fast, convenient and comfortable as a new car.

The second reason for the Miata’s legendary status is considered by many to be its good handling, which is rare even in ultra-modern sports cars. This is achieved through proper weight distribution and small body sizes. Thanks to the ability to control the vehicle’s behavior, it becomes much easier for the driver to take turns and get absolute pleasure from this process. The third important reason why the Miata is called the best of the best sports cars in the world is its reliability. According to this indicator, different vehicle versions were included in the top 20 and sometimes in the top 10 world ratings. This is an incredible achievement that no other sports car can boast of. Anyone who lists the Miata as an automotive legend certainly takes into account the model’s long history. Many versions of this vehicle were released throughout its history, but they always had characteristic distinctive features. Even today, the Miata retains its original appearance and becomes easily recognizable among other cars.

Generations of Mazda MX-5

The Mazda Miata has a long history of 35 years. Throughout its history, this car has changed many times, thanks to which it has remained at the top of the best sports models for so long. Four generations of Miata have been released, each with distinctive features.

I generation

Miata is considered by many to be a long-liver among sports cars. The first generation model appeared in 1989 and was not discontinued for eight years. This car immediately impressed experts and received many status awards (Miata won some prizes several times in a row). Initially, the first version had a 1.6-liter fuel engine, but four years after its release, it received a 1.8-liter one. It was with him that the Miata sold best in different countries. As standard, this model has a 5-speed gearbox (manual). However, automatic equipment was also available to car buyers.

The Miata had several distinctive features that set it apart from its competitors and gradually became the model’s calling card. Among them, pop-up headlights and thin chrome door handles immediately catch the eye. Another essential feature of the first version of the Miata was the absence of power steering and brakes. This was done to reduce the car’s weight slightly, improve cornering handling, and increase top speed.

II generation

1997, Mazda introduced the updated Miata and called it the second-generation model. Outwardly, she had much in common with her predecessor but was still slightly different from her. The main innovation was the removal of retractable headlights. The reason for this decision was not the desire of manufacturers to make changes to the car’s appearance but to improve driver safety. The developers also did an excellent job on the interior design, making it richer and more modern. The changes also affected critical elements of the car. The II generation model received a more powerful engine and the ability to use a 6-speed manual transmission.

In 2001, the public was shown a modified Miata. It differed from the previous model in the appearance of the rear and front parts, a more modern gearbox, and increased engine power. The latter figure increased further in 2004 and amounted to 178 hp. This reduced acceleration time, and the car could cover 0.25 miles in just 15.2 seconds. Among other innovations for 2004, the Miata is equipped with wheels with a diameter of 17 inches. In 2005, the second-generation model was discontinued.

III generation

Mazda produced the third-generation Miata from 2005 to 2015. This car had a relatively updated design based on the appearance of the Mazda Ibuki concept car. This decision turned out to be correct, and thanks to it, the new Miata has become an even more recognizable car. The main external difference from the previous model was the appearance of a power retractable hard top, which makes it possible quickly (in just 12 seconds) to transform a standard sports car into a convertible. In addition, this solution allowed us to preserve the entire volume of the trunk, which is very important for such a compact car as the Miata.

This car version was equipped with a 1.8-2.0 liter fuel engine. The Miata received a 5- or 6-speed manual transmission, depending on the modification. There was also an option to install automation. If we compare this model with the previous car, it has become longer. At the same time, its width and height decreased slightly. All of these changes led to the updated Miata becoming the best Japanese car of 2005. In addition, it was included in the top 10 best models on the planet for eight years, according to one of the status automobile magazines.

IV generation

In 2015, Mazda began producing the IV generation Miata. This car was not much different in appearance from its predecessor, but inside, it had several new features. The main one was the appearance of a slightly more powerful 2-liter engine (181 hp). This was not a revolutionary change, but it made it possible to speed up the legendary sports car a little. Another innovation was the abandonment of the 5-speed gearbox. In the fourth model, only 6-speed MT and AT became available to buyers. The new Miata practically repeated the dimensions of its predecessor. Also, there were no significant changes in the car’s overall weight.

The fourth-generation Miata was named the best car in the world in 2016. She has also repeatedly won the main prizes of various competitions in Japan, the USA, and other countries. In 2017, the updated Miata won an award for best design, which its developers hardly expected. This car is still produced today, but Mazda management is already considering a new generation of the legendary model.

Future of Mazda Miata

The Miata’s long history doesn’t end today. Most likely, it will continue for a very long time, so fans of this car should be patient and wait for the next update. In 2023, at the presentation of the new fourth-generation Miata, Mazda management announced their intention to electrify the legendary model. This is due to the desire to follow modern automotive trends and tighten standards for permissible emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere. Mazda representatives have not yet provided more detailed information, but many new and exciting things will await us shortly.

Mazda Miata has been at the top of the most popular sports cars list for 35 years. It constantly changes and adapts to modern automotive trends, thanks to which it remains in demand in different countries of the world. This vehicle deserves your attention and naturally bears the status of a “legend” of the automotive industry.

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