This is a dilemma many Miata enthusiasts have: make a significant financial effort and buy the new ND generation model or settle for an early NA or NB Miata for a lot less money.
People who don’t have the means to get the latest Miata are spared of this dilemma but those who do want to know how much they’re losing on by going with an old Mazda MX-5 instead of an ND generation model — besides safety, of course.
The guys from Throttle House try to answer this question by pitting a 1990 Mazda MX-5 against the brand new and well-specced 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary. You’ll be glad to learn that the ND Miata does not offer much more in terms of driving thrills and performance, and that’s testament of how great the NA Miata still is.
The new model may have 76 extra horsepower but, according to the reviewers, you don’t really feel that when driving the two cars back to back. That’s obviously great news for those who prefer the first-generation Miata to the latest model.
Sure, you’ll lack modern safety features that make the difference between life and death in case of an accident but some people are willing to take that chance given that a Miata is the sort of car driven mostly during the weekend for short joyrides.
The price is obviously the biggest argument in favor of the NA Miata as a decent example costs around $5,000. That’s roughly one-seventh of the 2019 Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary’s base price. And the ND Miata certainly isn’t seven times better than the NA.