When you think of a good value and easy to-live-with daily sports car, it’s very likely that the Mazda MX-5 will come to mind.
It’s not the only option, of course, but it’s such a well-executed sports car with all the right parts and nothing more; resulting in all the car you want and nothing you don’t.
Mazda’s legendary roadster is now as old as 33 years and comes in different generations from NA to ND; we take a brief look at the NC third-generation – this variant of the Miata changed things up considerably but also partially improved the car.
As it is not one of the first sought-after cars, nor the most recent, it might just offer good value for money and an easy entry price into the MX-5 experience.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata Sports Car: It’s Got Heritage And Handling, Plus Bags Of Style
Style is of course subjective, but this car is almost effortlessly beautiful from all angles due to the simple and clean design – but its shape and design has changed from the first two cars; the NA and NB.
Although 1989’s first generation NA sported pop-up headlamps, the NB brought clear lenses to the front of the car, which are also here on this version.
Whereas the NA and NB were largely the same car, this one was heavier, bigger and more powerful, with some underpinnings from the Mazda RX-8, it was also the first Miata to have a power folding metal roof – this car’s production ran from roughly 2005 to 2015.
In the US, Mazda gave this car a five or six-speed manual gearbox with optional limited-slip differential for the latter or a six-speed automatic; power was up at around 160 hp and 140 lb-ft for the manual and the DOHC, 16-valve engine officially offered a 0-60 mph time of 8 seconds.
Some road tests managed to reduce that considerably, and today this remains a reasonably-quick rear-wheel-drive sports car that really comes alive in the corners – this is where it shines.
Being more reliable and modern than the earlier cars helps this one’s cause, and in 2008 there was a facelift which brought refined suspension and some other changes – making the facelift definitely worth picking out.
Mazda’s MX-5 Is Affordable And Ready For Action, Rain Or Shine
The folding metal roof is great for weather protection, reduced wind noise and more, the good news is that it doesn’t even take up valuable storage space when it’s stowed compared to the soft-top cars.
Of course, the unicorn-spec of this car will be the 2-liter, 6-speed manual with an LSD; so we check out a few classifieds and auction sites for current values.
You still need maybe more than you think to get the keys to an NC Miata though – on AutoTrader.com there are many cars which start from $14,000 for an early 2006 MX-5 with 54,000 miles but an automatic transmission.
Cars then creep up in value, but mileages stick to around 50,000 miles or under – this is a car which doesn’t often rack up a huge mileage on its odometer due to its specialist nature.
The first manual car is a 2008 hard-top with 83,000 miles at $15,000; you do need to search for manual transmission as a lot of MX-5s were purchased as automatics.
Classic.com suggests the average value of an NC MX-5 is at around $15,000 with the lowest sale of $5,500 and the highest at $38,000.
As an alternative to the MX-5, you can also find a BMW Z3 online on AutoTrader.com for $10,000 with a mileage of between 60,000-100,000, the most common engines being the 1.9-liter or 2.3-liter.
This Is How Much A 2016 Mazda MX-5 Costs Today
About The Author
(239 Articles Published)
Hailing from Britain, the home of both MG and Aston Martin, Dave is no stranger to sports cars. Or a little rain. When he’s not busy working his day-job or writing songs and pretending to be a musician; Dave indulges his obsession with cars by writing and researching diligently, so that he can inform and convert other people to the dark side.