1990 Vs 2019 Mazda MX-5: Underestimate The NA At Your Own Peril, ND Owners

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.

Also read: Christian von Koenigsegg Reunited With His 1992 Mazda MX-5

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.


  • TheBelltower

    These guys do a great job.

  • Giziclown

    Miata, is always the answer!

  • Bartholomeau Diaz

    My 1990 Miata had an airbag… Is the car you drove missing the airbag or did it not come with one? If I had to choose between the NA and ND, I’d choose the NA hands down based on charm and looks… the ND is like a generic Z4 in styling…although the 30th anniversary orange I’d great. For now, I still love by NB, but really miss the pop up headlights…and the NA door handles which were perfect.

    • Eagle By Singer

      Some don’t.
      My 1992 doesn’t have a single airbag, but some do, so I’d say it was an optional extra.

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