Skip to main content

FB Mazda RX-7 vs. NA Mazda Miata - Which Is Your Better Used-Car Buy?

Both the Mazda RX-7 and Mazda Miata are great sports cars, but which is your choice for a good used car?


The Mazda Miata and RX-7 were both fantastic sports cars in their day. Both entered the market to critical acclaim, and have gone on to be legendary cars for affordable driving pleasure. Shooting Cars has created a great overview for those shoppers looking to get into either a used Mazda Miata NA or a used FB RX-7. We break down the choices and offer our tips for those seriously considering a purchase.

FB Mazda RX-7 vs. NA Mazda Miata - Watch Out For...
In the FB RX-7 you want to make certain the car is not burning oil and is making compression. Have your mechanic check out the car before you buy. The RX-7 uses a rotary engine, of course, so be sure the mechanic you choose knows the difference between a lobe and piston.

In the Miata, we suggest making sure the top is operable and waterproof. Be sure the rear window is acceptable, and look for rust in bad places, like near the windshield header and in the unit-body. With either car, make sure you get a clutch that works.

FB Mazda RX-7 vs. NA Mazda Miata - Engines
Both the FB Mazda RX-7 and NA Miata had two engine choices. We strongly suggest getting the more powerful of either car you opt for. These cars are slow by modern standards and you will want the most power you can get. Given their ages, they are unlikely to be making factory power either. All the more reason to start out with the better engine.

FB Mazda RX-7 vs. NA Mazda Miata - Reliability& Serviceability
Miata wins. Hands down. The Miata is newer than the RX-7 and the in-line four is more reliable.

FB Mazda RX-7 vs. NA Mazda Miata - Hard Top vs. Convertible
Why anyone would ever want a roof on the top of a sports car is beyond our comprehension. Still, the hard top RX-7 does have a cool retro look. For our money, the drop-top wins this one hands down.

Conclusion - FB Mazda RX-7 vs. NA Mazda Miata
Both the RX-7 and Miata are fun to drive, and a throwback to a simpler time before the Toyota Camry had 301 hp. Sports car should be quick, and neither of these cars really is. That leaves fun, and for us, a convertible is always more fun than a hard top. We vote Miata. All day long. What say you?