Mazda MX-5 NA/Mazda MX-5 ND: comparison

Mazda MX-5 NA/Mazda MX-5 ND: comparison


From the first generation of the Mazda MX-5 (NA) to the fourth generation of the Mazda MX-5 (ND), the little Japanese has kept its sunshine and reliability for more than 30 years. Comparison!

The question of what distinguishes a real sports car was in 1990 – the year of construction Mazda MX-5 AND from this comparison – it is not defined and not today where you drive a Mazda MX-5 ND instead. The sheer performance and associated convenience of completely occupying the left lane cannot be the only reason. But from the 1970s there was at least one exterior feature that clearly defined a sports car: pop-up headlights! At Mazda too, with the first series MX-5 (NA), which debuted in 1989 as the Miata in the USA, it was evident that it was a true sports car. And the Hiroshima automaker has been familiar with pop-up headlights since at least the 1979 Wankel sports car RX-7. Our red Mazda MX-5 1.6, built in 1990, with 115 hp (85 kW) is certainly not powerful compared to other sports cars. You see that especially when the two seats, which are about four meters short, open your eyes and destroy the good aerodynamics. But it was precisely the sleeping eyes that contributed to the cult status of the Nippon road of the crisp Mazda MX-5 NA from the beginning, which led to the rise of the road for years to come, which the brand still celebrates with the Mazda MX. -5 ND. Also interesting: Tips for our products on Amazon

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Mazda MX-5 NA & Mazda MX-5 ND in comparison

While many roadsters from other brands have disappeared from the market, Mazda sticks with the MX-5, which – currently in its fourth generation (Mazda MX-5 ND) – is the most successful roadster of all time. Compared to the thin, flat body and rigid stance, the Mazda MX-5 NA was already based on the usual, open speed of Italian or British origin, but it transformed the whole thing into a fun and reliable device to drive in a way Japanese. And you can still tell from the car even after 32 years. The body leaves a solid impression even on bumpy roads and doesn’t feel as calm and abstract as other open cars from this era. What seems incomprehensible to us when we look at the all-black cockpit only reflects the usual balance that characterized almost all Japanese cars at the time. To date, however, this has the advantage that everyone can find their way around the Mazda MX-5 NA immediately, but only to the first gas station. Because you usually search in vain for the can for the oil filter until you find it in the small fold between the seats.

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Mazda MX-5 ND is six centimeters shorter

In addition to the tried and tested basic configuration with two seats, a four-cylinder without a turbo is placed for a long time in front of him and behind him two rear wheels, all spread over the length of the car under four meters, Mazda MX- 5 has undoubtedly continued to large amounts for several decades. But the more user-friendly Mazda MX-5 ND from 2022 also plays hide and seek. But here is not the release of the tank, but the trunk opener, which you can not find right away – the button is hidden invisibly on the right side above the license plate. Compared to its 32-year-old grandfather, the MX-5 has a top-of-the-line Skyactiv-G 2.0 engine with 184 hp (135 kW). In addition, as a special Kinenbi model, it is very well appointed in this comparison, including terracotta-colored nappa leather, contrast stitching, a dark blue roof and a new platinum metallic finish.

driving report

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price increase

The luxurious Mazda MX-5 ND Kinenbi is quoted at the current list price of 35,870 euros. The affordable Mazda Roadster with 132 hp (97 kW) 1.5 liter is available from 31,290 euros, which in old currency means more than 60,000 marks. The smaller, red friend from this comparison, on the other hand, was already available in 1990 for 35,500 points. But the years are not only in the roadster in terms of price development. The steering wheel, which cannot be adjusted on the old Mazda MX-5 NA, and the difficult way of adjusting the sports seats do not allow the desired seating position, especially for tall people. Otherwise, the first-born MX-5 fits like a glove, with all controls neatly arranged within short reach. The current version of Mazda has avoided any problems and, unless you are a tall person, it is comfortable to sit, even on long journeys. The Mazda MX-5 NA from 1990 requires a little more cooperation when it comes to removing the hood: open the fabric hood double-sealed on the window frame, then separate the plastic window from the hood with the zipper on the back, now. fold the hood and attach it with a separate snap button cover the canvas. In comparison, the conversion of the roof in the Mazda MX-5 ND can be done in a short time from the driver’s seat: open the roof in the middle with one hand, usually throw it back and let it participate – done. Closing is easy thanks to the efficient spring mechanism – without heavy hydraulics or an electric motor.

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driving dynamics

Here and there, one likes to reach for a short and very precisely guided lever to keep the 1.6 Mazda MX-5 NA and two-liter Skyactiv-G in the Mazda MX-5 ND fast and in good condition. The somewhat conventional 1.6 liter 115 hp (85 kW) four-valve engine at the time was replaced by the Skyactiv high compression engine, which was not only more powerful but also responsive. unique in comparison. The power-generating turbo is not missing here. Both have solid, if not comfortable, chassis, with the Mazda MX-5 ND rolling better on its 17-inch wheels than the NA on its modern 14-inch rubber. you will never have the feeling of being on the road on an outdated road in direct comparison with the ND, even in the original NA design. The Mazda MX-5 NA still feels very mature and precise in the steering, on the brakes and on the gear knob – just like it should have been for a real sports car at the time.

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Mazda MX-5 1.6 (NA, 1990) & Mazda MX-5 Skyactiv-G 2.0 (ND) Specifications (factory specifications)

AUTO GAZETTE 17/2022 Mazda MX-5 1.6 (NA, 1990) Mazda MX-5 Skyactiv-G 2.0 (ND)
Technology
cylinders/valves per cylinder. 4/4 4/4
to move 1598cc 1998cc
performance 115 hp/85 kW at 6500 rpm 184 hp/125 kW at 7000 rpm
Maximum Torque 135 Nm at 5500 rpm 205 Nm at 4000 rpm
delivery/driver Five-speed manual / reverse Six-speed manual / reverse
reading
lose weight 955kg 1025kg
Acceleration 0-100km/h 8.8s Sec 6.5
high speed 195km/h 219 km/h
Consumption per 100 km 8.0 l (one-third mixture) 6.9L (WLTP)
Price
base price 35,500 DM (1990) €35,690 (test car: €35,870)