Mazda MX-5 Miata FAQ

General Information

Last updated: 26 January, 2024

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I'm interested in buying a Miata, where can I find more information?

If you're considering a new Miata, the first place for you to go is to your nearest Mazda dealer and see one in person. If this isn't an option then you can call Mazda at 1-800-639-1000 (USA) and get a free brochure on the Miata mailed to you. As with any car, you should make yourself familiar with the options and the dealer cost of those options (new car) or the NADA book value (used car) from one of the many sources of such information. One of the best places to meet other owners/enthusiasts is the Miata Forum

What year Miata should I consider?

First, you need to decide if you prefer the original body style (NA), the style in 1998 (NB), the third generation (NC), or the newest model introduced in 2016 (ND). There have been many refinements over the years. Some add convenience. Some improve performance. Some increase complexity.

The best thing to do is to take a look at the chart of Miata changes, as well as Chris Lambert's Summary of Miatas in America.

What is the Miata Club of America? What is MOC? Should I join?

Miata Club of America was a national club that started in 1989 and went out of business in 2000.

The Miata Owner's Club was a Mazda factory club that began in spring of 2001, to fill the void left by MCA. MOC ceased accepting new memberships in Fall of 2002.

You may want to join a local Miata Club in your area as a way of meeting other like-minded Miata enthusiasts. There are many clubs that can be found in the Clubs section of this site.

How do I start a Miata Club?

See the Officers' Field Guide for an outline of the information on starting and maintaining a successful club.

How does one go about decoding the Miata VIN number?

The typical Miata VIN number looks something like this:


Or, you can try out Matt Bennett's VIN Decoder

How does the Miata handle in the snow?

It depends on your expectations. The Miata isn't a Jeep. If expect it to drive like one, you'll think it sucks in the snow. If you think all-season tires are good enough, you probably won't be satisfied. If you only have two snow tires, you'll be disappointed as well. But a Miata equipped with snow tires on all four corners handles quite well in the snow. The Miata's 50/50 weight distribution makes it easy to control on slick roads. When it begins to break free, it isn't too tough to bring back into line. Keep in mind that the car only has about 5 inches of ground clearance. If the snow is deeper than that, you'll end up plowing it and have great difficulty driving.

What is the meaning of the word "Miata"?

The word Miata is derived from an old German word meaning "reward". We think there's a bit more to it, but here's a description.

What is the meaning of the word "Eunos"?

Eunos is the name used to identify the MX-5 in Japan. Miata is only used in the United States. In Europe it is called simply the Mazda MX-5.

Eunos is also the name of the company that maintains this Web site - Eunos Communications.

What is the "Miata Wave"?

Save the WaveIn the old sports car tradition, when encountering another fellow enthusiast coming in the opposite direction, each would give a quick flash of the headlights to the other to acknowledge their shared passion. With the Miata's pop-up headlights, this ritual translates to a brief raising of the barn doors. While the new models have a feature where a brief tug on the turn signal stalk would raise the lights and keep the high beams on for about 1 second, the older Miatas didn't have this circuitry and the driver had to turn on the lights briefly. There is a simple diode modification to allow the quick-pull method to work on the older cars. Meanwhile, a campaign has begun to take hold to preserve the tradition - the "Save the Wave" campaign.

Is my Miata's computer Y2K ready?

Yes. Why, has it stopped running?

Can I import a Eunos/MX-5/Miata into the US?

Maybe. Basically, it depends on what was available in the US when the car you're thinking about importing was built. There are exceptions for older cars. For details, check out: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/

How do I contact Mazda Customer Support?

The Mazda Customer Support number is 1-800-222-5500.

Is the Miata a girly/gay/chick/hairdresser's car? Are Miata owners gay?

Whatever. This tired, stupid question is addressed here.

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