Celebrating 25 Years of the Mazda MX-5 Miata

The Mazda MX-5 Miata has been, and is, one of our favorite roadsters. It has had a place in our hearts (and a lot of our driveways) ever since it debuted at the Chicago auto show 25 years ago.

We named the original Mazda MX-5 Miata our first Automobile of the Year. The car cost under $14,000, had a 116-hp four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission, sent power to the rear wheels, and weighed just over 2100 lb—a lightweight, simple, and, most importantly, fun package. Mazda stayed true to that formula through two more generations of Miatas, and we’re confident that the next generation Miata—being engineered in tandem with Fiat—will get it right, too. But we’re not talking about future product (even though Mazda’s designer did give us an idea of what he’s thinking for the new car when we talked to him at the 2014 Detroit auto show). We’re recognizing the fact that Mazda hasn’t screwed the Miata up over 25 years.

We decided to fly out to California, meet up with some of our friends at Mazda’s North American headquarters in Irvine, and pat them on the back in person. One of those friends? Bob Hall, the man who wouldn’t stop bugging Mazda execs until they built a small, lightweight, roadster. We sat down with Bob and asked him about the origins of the Miata and the significance of 25 years. We also toured Mazda’s basement, which houses a private collection of some of the automaker’s coolest cars from history, and drove the yellow Miata Club Sport that debuted alongside the red, white, and blue Miatas on February 9, 1989.

Steve Berkeley
On my fourth one! They are light, and good on gas. Waiting to see ND model.
Nate Needs
The message was sent to Automobile Magazine inbox... Is that the appropriate place?
Automobile Magazine
Hey David, can you send a message to this page with your address so we can get your gift sent out?
Automobile Magazine
Hey Nate, can you send a message to this page with your address so we can get your gift sent out?
Teery Boucher
I love my mx-5 best car I have EVER owned have had over 30 cars it better then a corvette .I have many high end classic cars & muscle cars but my love is for the M X-5 awesome car!!!! :-)
Nate Needs
Awesome! Thank you!
Automobile Magazine
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Automobile Magazine
Congratulations Nate! You're one of our winners. Check your messages for more info.
Detail Xperts
#Mazda #Miata has a subtle brilliance to it. It stood the test of time and it shall continue to do so. :) `Rhyza
Garage Style Magazine
You described Miata ownership perfectly!!!
Tom Johnson
I've got a 2006 mx5 the more I drive it the more I love it !!! Can't wait for summer !!!!
Steven Zaborski
Great economic and practical roadster! I enjoy it more and more everyday!
Bill Gough
It always puts a huge smile on my face !!!!!
Tim Kilzer
Impeccable handling, dead solid reliability, low cost of owner-fun-ship.
Jim Corbin
#Mazda #Miata One fun car!
I have owned nothing but Miatas since 96 and I am currently driving a 2011 Touring with the Sport package. It amazes me that Mazda can produce this fantastics car year after year and yet their American marketing group has no idea how to sell it. They have gone so far as to alienate their most loyal owners, by trying to drop the Miata name.   No where on my 2011 will you find the word Miata.
James Brooks
It's inexpensive so it can be bought by most people. It's reliable so it can't be British
Rich Gregson
It was love at first sight. The only problem in 1989 was the failure to include British Racing Green as a color until they did a Special Edition. The Miata is the perfect fun car. Not to pricey, looks great, sounds wonderful, everything is perfect except I still need one ...
Nate Needs
The only people who don't like the Mazda Miata are the people who have not driven it!
Christodoulos Mouyias
Timeless classic design, lots of fun too with its rear wheel drive, 50:50 weight distribution, agile body & reliable fast motor!!! Instant connectivity like man & horse! What a machine! A+++
Dhiraj Dayal Kumar
coz it's miata...nd nthng els
Biju Varughese
Light, nimbled and balanced.
Steve Hermeyer
Fast, nimble, and a blast to drive.
Neo Putu
It is the best kept secret.
Robert Sutkoff
I have owned two of them; 1990 and 2008. Dependable cars that you can drive at 10 tenths all day long. Drove the first one from Houston to Toronto. Very comfortable trip. I can't wait to see the new one.
David Orlins
I welcomed it after having to say good-bye to my MGB.
Surash Ashok
I love miata,, it's amazing lots of fun, miatas are a blast to drive.
Alex Marciante
You know that feeling of connection you treasure after spending time around a campfire with your family or friends? That is what happens when you drive a Miata with someone you love. it creates the perfect environment to reconnect with each other and enjoy the journey.
Ryan Parodo
An affordable, well designed sports car for the masses...what more can the average person ask for?
James Connally
Never has a car combined the spirit, lithe, and excitement of the purest of roadsters with the reliability and affordability of the most basic of economy cars. This is why the Miata is universally loved
Suresh Kumar
Cute little car with big attitude is what i can say of this pretty one!
Simon Yee
Because zoom-zoom!
Robert Atkins
Can be anything yo want from cruiser to back roads burner. Wonderful chassis and look
Ray McNemar
Miatas are a blast to drive!! #Mazda #Miata
Sean Kotalik
They are amazing to drive and own!!
Todd P Miller
After 911 in 2001 my wife and I decided we needed to have more fun in our lives so we traded in our car for what we considered the best example of a roadster we could find. We ended up with a 6 speed manual Crystal Blue Metallic 2001 Miata. Named her "Crystal" of course. :-) What an incredible car it was. The stick shift was effortless and the top went down with the flick of a wrist. Every time I saw it I would get a huge smile on my face. Maintenance was non existent. Truly the best and most reliable little roadster ever made. Although it was my wife's daily driver, I drove it every chance I got on the weekends. I'm 6'-2" so I did have to fold my legs a little but it was just so much fun to drive and toss around. It didn't matter that it wasn't a stop light drag machine. Eventually we had to sell with a baby on the way. I sold it to an out of town bar tender who brought me a pocket full of cash. She told me it was exactly the car she was looking for. Didn't even take it for a test drive. Made the deal, handed me the cash and took off. I still miss Crystal every once in a while. I wonder where she is today. Maybe we'll do it all over again when we need to add more fun in our lives.
John Lopez
Mazda Miata: The original ZOOM ZOOM. Nuff said.
David C Coleman
It's more whiptastic than the MINI
Antony Currie
#oldasiam love it with the pop up lights and it's cheeky looks the only car for summer for me is a Mazda mx5
Aryn Monroe
Josh Lofty is obsessed with his Miata, he talks about it all the time & sends me pictures constantly. He always talks about going to the Miata meet up in Dallas TX. If anyone should win this contest I feel it should be him, he's what I would call Miata crazy. He's the kind of guy that has always had a huge passion for Miata's & always will have a huge passion for Miata's.
Joey Fung
Miata is always the answer.
Martin van Duijn
Simply because it was the best decission I ever made.
Edward Aumann
I love the Mazda Miata because it saves me money. I'm 6'5" 260lbs. and I don't fit (size 14 shoes don't help either)!
@automobilemag @MazdaUSA Mk1 is my favorite :)
@automobilemag @MazdaUSA plz see my reply on your FB page's Miata post for the competition. Im Josh Lofty @joshylofty there. ;) I wanna win!
Rick Martin
I was a car salesman at a GM dealership when the Miata first debuted, and I used to watch jealously as people test drove the little roadsters from the Mazda dealership down the street. Years later, I borrowed a Miata from a family member for a month when I needed an extra car- it was a blue Miata from the first year of production, just like I used to see being test driven. It's a sports car icon that has stayed true to its original design purpose all these years. That's why I love it.
Ben Carruthers
Because V8 Miatas are teh best.
Nestle Salcedo
It is the first car in 1989 that i saw as a kid that looked like it came out of a matchbox. Every single design element is stunning and it stands on its own. It is a fun car to drive and look at and you have no remorse buying the car and no remorse in driving the car. Even at its current iteration and its future gen coming around the corner, it is one of those cars that puts a smile to your face, be it owning, staring at it, or sitting in it at the dealership, the MX-5 is the "it" car that every manufacturer has tried to copy. Happy 25th Anniversary MX-5 MIATA! ZOOM ZOOM!
Jim Eckenrode
Take an MGB...a TR4 (IRS).. a Sprite, a Midget...stop the leaks of the bodily fluids...put the top down and grin.... "tail of the dragon in east Tn....I've had 3 of my 4 on it....Hea y'all watch this!!!!!
Josh Lofty
I love the Miata because I've owned (& currently own) two (an NA & NC) & can't imagine a better car. They're rock solid & drive like a dream. I'm training to start racing my miata & looking to get another as a daily driver that's how much I love them. I'm also a member of the DFW miata owner's club. ;D ...long live Miata!

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