Which Miata Years To Avoid and Why? (Explained)

Miata or Mazda Miata originally debuted in 1989 at the Chicago Motor Show. After the initial recognition, the first Miata model was introduced in 1990 and quickly gained successful acknowledgment. Miata has been offering several incredible cars for more than three decades and even won the title of the best-selling two-seater convertible sports vehicle in history.

Unfortunately, some Miata or Mazda Miata models are infamous for being problematic since those models came up with significant flaws.

Read the following article and learn which Miata released years are best to avoid while purchasing and what are the most common Miata problems that one should be well aware of.

Miata Years To Avoid (List of Years)

Miata’s two-seat convertible sports car is lighter in weight yet agile and more powerful than its competitors. That’s the reason it created history by winning the best-selling title.

Over the years, Miata has been consistent in making high-quality and reliable sports cars. The brand made sure to bring each generation’s models better than the previous one.

However, just like any other successful auto brand or maker, Miata could not keep up with its standard in some released models. As a result, consumers ended up experiencing lots of issues while owning those models.

What Are The Worst Years Of Miata?

According to the Mazda MX-5 Miata Reliability Problems report, the most problematic years of the Miata sports cars are 1990, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2016

In this section, I will be sharing a short yet precise overview of why you should avoid these particular released years of Miata cars-

1990 Miata Models:

According to the 1990 MAZDA MX-5 MIATA PROBLEMS & COMPLAINTS representation published on the Carcomplaints.com website, this year’s Miata car models got two major complaints against the A/C or heater and Electrical system.

Consumers reported experiencing issues like no energy or current in the fuel pump and A/C not working properly or A/C compressor failure.

2001 Miata Models:

According to the 2001 MAZDA MX-5 MIATA PROBLEMS & COMPLAINTS representation published on the Carcomplaints.com website, these model users mainly experienced two significant problems- one is electrical system-related and another one is the miscellaneous problem.

Consumers reported encountering symptoms like the starter keeps running, plugged drain port, and flooding the car inside.

2007 Miata Models:

According to the 2007 MAZDA MX-5 MIATA PROBLEMS & COMPLAINTS representation, this year’s Miata vehicle models obtained six complaints.

These complaints were mainly reported against the vehicle’s interior accessories, body or paint, and electrical system.

Users noticed issues such as water leaking into the vehicle interior, sun visor not working, electrical accessories on components not working properly, and charging failure.

2008 Miata Models:

According to the 2008 MAZDA MX-5 MIATA PROBLEMS & COMPLAINTS detailed report, this year’s Miata got seven complaints reported by the consumers and most complaints stated body or paint, electrical, clutch, seatbelts or airbags, and window or windshield problems. Also, the most highlighted symptoms are battery constantly drains, faulty or broken convertible top seams, and rare window discoloration due to defrosting wires.

2010 Miata Models:

According to the 2010 MAZDA MX-5 MIATA PROBLEMS & COMPLAINTS published on the Carcomplaints.com, this year’s Miata got three complaints reported by the consumers against A/C or heater, interior & exterior accessories. Also, the highlighted symptoms are the vehicle’s soft top tearing at the front crease, A/C high sideline having pinholes, and the radio not working or responding properly.

2016 Miata Models:

This year’s models of Miata are considered the most troublesome based on the 2016 MAZDA MX-5 MIATA PROBLEMS & COMPLAINTS representation and got nine complaints reported by the consumers. Most complaints stated interior & exterior accessories, suspension, and window or windshield problems.

Also, the most commonly highlighted symptoms are no space tires, metal tends to clunk when driving over the bumps, and vehicle sags on one side without reason.

Fortunately, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not officially issued any recall for any of the Miata models yet because none of the issues caused any major damage or harm.

What Makes These Miata Years Worth Avoiding?

Here, I would like to talk a little more about some of the most common issues that often Miata users experience with their vehicle-

1. Miata A/C or Heater Problem:

A/C or heater malfunctioning issues are commonly found in Miata 1990, 2005, 2010, and 2012 released models.

A/C or Air conditioning and heater or heating system malfunction is not a new issue that potentially arises only in some Miata car models. Instead, it is one of the typical troubleshooting problems for auto vehicles or cars.

Consumers complained about issues like pinholes in their vehicle’s A/C high side line, Loose or cracked A/C belt, A/C compressor not working properly, or complete compressor failure, and some users even claimed to experience A/C malfunctioning when their vehicle barely pulled or reached around four miles of operation.

Reportedly, A/C or air conditioning failure mainly occurs due to those models’ design mistakes, and the manufacturer assembled the A/C compressors of those particular years’ models in a way that they are completely exposed.

As a result, the compressors are prone to prematurely worn or stop working even at lower mileage, and the only solution to this problem is replacing the compressor with a new one.

2. Miata Soft convertible Top Problem:

A sports car with a convertible top is the main attraction to most car enthusiasts or lovers, but this main attraction of Miata cars became a major discomfort or headache for some vehicle users.

Many users questioned the quality and durability of the Miata sports car’s factory assembled Convertible Top.

This particular issue is common in Miata 2008, 2010, and 2019 models. Consumers reported issues like convertible top wear, the Vinyl top falling apart without much use, or soft top tearing at the front crease.

The CarParts.com website claims in its Mazda Miata Reliability and Common Problems article that convertible Top might malfunction due to over or careless use.

That same article also claims that this occurrence might cause due to the pressure coming from the convertible Top part’s mainframe.

Since Miata has not officially issued any service bulletin to address this issue or recall the faulty models yet, no one can confirm the actual reason.

3. Miata Engine & Electrical Problems:

Engine-related problems are mostly available in Miata’s 2000 and 2002 models, where consumers encountered failed ignition coil pack and engine pinging issues.

Electrical system-related issues or errors are commonly found in Miata’s 1990, 2001, 2005, 2007, and 2008 released models, where consumers noticed no current to fuel pump, starter continuously running, dead Bose radio or CD player, electrical accessories not working properly, not charging, and constant battery draining problems.

Besides earlier discussed issues, Miata users have also reported interior & exterior accessories, body or paint, windows, and HVAC-related issues.

Which Miata Years are Safe to Buy Used? 

According to the MAZDA MX-5 MIATA MODEL YEAR COMPARISON detailed report and graphical representation published on the CarComplaints.com website, you can count the following Miata released years as safe options to purchase-  

  • 1992 Miata Models
  • 1994 -1996 Miata Models
  • 1998 -1999 Miata Models
  • 2003 -2004 Miata Models
  • 2009 Miata Models
  • 2013 Miata Models
  • 2020 Miata Models


Miata convertible sports cars are undoubtedly outstanding choices even if you are looking for a used car to purchase.

But before you proceed further, make sure to eliminate the model years mentioned in today’s article as best to avoid models.

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