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Introduced in 1989, the Mazda Miata has been the quintessential affordable sports car for decades. Originally, its soft top configuration and I4/stick shift powertrain made it cheap to make while maintaining good handling in the twisties. But Mazda has been slowly adding features and the cost of building the car has gone up. In the past couple years there have been some big shifts in the Miata’s cost–and sales numbers.

The MX-5 Miata carved out a small but devoted niche of roadster enthusiasts. It’s been a very consistent seller for years. For example, during 2018, 2019, and 2020, Mazda sold about 8,000 Miatas.

The best Miata sales year in recent history was 2021. Back then, folks were stuck in quarantine with only driving as an escape and so car sales went sky high. Mazda sold 10,470 roadsters that year. In 2022, that number dropped to 6,172 cars. When Miata sales climbed back to 8,973 units in 2023, it was a 45% year-over-year increase.

Overhead view of a Mazda Miata roadster with its top down.
2024 Mazda Miata | Mazda

By 2023, manual transmission sales had climbed from their all-time-low below 1% to 1.7%. There seemed to be a resurgence of simples sports cars, so it probably felt like a good time to be Mazda. perhaps this is why the automaker tacked the biggest increase in years on to the Miata’s MSRP.

At the beginning of 2023, the Miata’s MSRP was $28,050. This number climbed a bit with mid-year price bumps. Then for the 2024 model year, Mazda slapped another $935 on to the price of its base trim. The result was a MSRP of $30,150.

Mazda doesn’t sell a ton of its little convertibles in the winter. But this year has been especially bad. Mazda sold 389 Miatas in January 2024 (down from 724 last year), 436 in February (compare that with 783 lat year), and 436 in March (vs 1,083). Last year, March, April, and May were the MX-5’s big months.

We’ll have to wait and see whether the Miata’s Q1 sales numbers are an odd anomaly, part of a downward trend, or just the latest chapter in a roller coaster couple of years.

Next, you can see the changes Mazda made to the Miata for the 2024 model year in the video below: