Up-close with Mazda’s 30th-Anniversary Edition MX-5 Miata

Our favorite beloved two-seat roadster turns 30 this year and to commemorate the MX-5 Miata’s three decades of success a new 30th-Anniversary Edition joins the lineup. And there’s more than just some flashy appearance goodies that make this a worthy addition to one’s garage. The MX-5 Miata made its first public appearance here in Chicago way back in 1989, a year before yours truly was born, so what better place to pay tribute to it than here again in the Windy City.

An exclusive Racing Orange paint perfectly compliments the MX-5 Miata’s piano-black mirrors, and A-pillars, and inside a pair of suede-like Recaro seats have orange piping and stitching. A few mechanical upgrades set this 30th-Anniversary Edition model apart from your common MX-5 Miata. When equipped with the six-speed manual-transmission, specially tuned Bilstein dampers tag along, and all models have standard Brembo brakes hiding behind black, forged 17-inch Rays aluminum wheels.

Every single 30th-Anniversary Edition MX-5 Miata was claimed within hours of its announcement.

Only 3,000 of these limited tributes will be built, both in soft-top and retractable hardtop RF form, and according to Mazda’s preordering website, all of them, including the 500 set to arrive here in the United States sold out just hours after the news broke this morning about its release. Thankfully, if you’re still hungry for an orange, there’s a waitlist.

But to cheer us up, Mazda put the icing on the cake with three other landmark MX-5 Miatas parked nearby: A 1990 model year, a 10th-Anniversary Edition 1999 model, and a bronze third-generation NC.

30th-Anniversary Mazda MX-5 Miata, interior, recaro seats30th-Anniversary Mazda MX-5 Miata, rear30th-Anniversary Mazda MX-5 Miata, 3/4 rear30th-Anniversary Mazda MX-5 Miata, RAYS wheels 30th-Anniversary Mazda MX-5 Miata, recaro seats and stitchingmazda mx-5 miata ncthree generations of mazda mx-5 miata1990 Mazda MX-5 Miatathree generations of mazda mx-5 miata10th anniversary 1999 Mazda mx-5 miata



By day, Robby DeGraff is an industry analyst for an automotive market research and product-consulting firm. Based an hour from Road America in Wisconsin, he once piloted a Suzuki Jimny around Iceland for two weeks alone. Robby's personal fleet includes a bright red 2001 Chevrolet Camaro that sometimes runs, his second Saabaru wagon, and hopefully a Volkswagen Vanagon in the future.


  1. The answer is still Miata, the orange paint is striking but I’d like to see a french blue option since that was so common on early NA Miatas. I’m also curious what it looks like in Soul Red metallic since that is the signature color of modern Mazdas.

  2. I know I should like the new Miatas but they keep getting bigger and uglier and more complicated compared to the simpler and more tasteful first and second gen Miatas. Nice color, though.

  3. Dear Mazda,

    Look how fantastic your Miata looks in that bold 30th anniversary orange. How about more dramatic colors like this, please? B&W shades are nice but we don’t need 4 of them, especially if there are only 5 choices.


    1. The cars I tend to like aren’t flashy (usually wagons, sedans, or old pickups), but if I ever find myself succumbing to the purchase of a cheap NA Miata, I’m absolutely painting it this color. Only sports cars and convertibles can get away with such bold hues, but I like it!

        1. Factory colors, true, and an option if you want what looks like a clown car. Likewise, I’m not fond of Volvo Polestar blue, Ford Focus RS blue, Dodge Challenger Hellcat green, any of the historic “Big Bad” colors (AMC), Ford “Grabber” colors, or Mopar Plum Crazy. And yellow shouldn’t be put on anything.

  4. How much highway do you do? I think they still cruise at roughly 3500rpm at 120ish, which can get a bit wearing over time. Other than that, they’re supposed to be decent enough with the right set of tires.

  5. I Love My 2016 ND Miata 6-Speed in Ceramic Metallic, But Damn That Orange Paint Is Hot!!!

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