What Year Miata Should You Buy?
This could ruffle some seat cushions, but the best year of the NA Mazda Miata is 1994. Everyone has their favorite model year, color and options, but I think the best year to buy a NA Miata is 1994.
Get a 1994 and here is why:
- I own one, so it must be good.
- It was the first year for an “R” package, the coolest package ever offered on a Miata ($1,500). The R Package had Sport suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers, rear spoiler, front air dam, rear skirt, aluminum alloy wheels and Torsen limited-slip differential. And you couldn’t get an automatic and only 500 built in 1994.
- New 14×6 alloy wheels were added that were lighter than the daisy wheels originally offered (two pounds lighter and a half inch wider).
- The engine displacement bumped up from 1.6 to 1.8 liters, increasing horsepower to 128 hp, up from 116hp.
- It was the last year that the Miata had a “working” oil pressure gauge, the rest of the years had a “dummy” oil pressure gauge.
- You got bigger brakes (10 inch front disc & 9.9 inch rear disc).
- You got a torsen limited-slip differential (lsd) instead of the viscous lsd offered on the previous models. The limited-slip differential was also offered across all option packages for the first time.
- It still has the “two-piece” folding sun visor
- The chassis was stiffened up, a front subframe brace added, and rear subframe brace was changed
- It was the first year of the “M-Edition” Miata and the wheels were never produced ever again on a Miata, they were also the lightest factory wheel ever produced for a Miata. Approximately 3,000 1994 M Editions were sold in the US.
- Map pockets were added to the doors.
- It had a bigger gas tank by one gallon.
- The Miata finally got a passenger airbag, so you can finally convince your significant other it’s a safe car.
- Still no OBD II sensor; In 1996 Mazda added an OBD II for emissions reasons, which makes it hard to modify the engine.
- Flash-to-pass added to headlights were added. Gotta love pop-up headlights.
What Miata (year) is your favorite and why?