The Roadster Wonder: A Guide to the 1989-1996 Mazda Eunos Roadster

July 3, 2023 1:08 PM

1989-1996 Mazda Eunos Roadster

The 1989-1996 Mazda Eunos Roadster, also known as the Mazda MX-5 or Miata, is a classic Japanese sports car that gained immense popularity and cult status within the automotive industry. Born in Japan, this lightweight two-seater roadster took inspiration from classic British sports cars, providing a fun and affordable driving experience.


Introduced in 1989, the Mazda Eunos Roadster quickly became an icon of the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM). It was originally designed as a revival of the classic lightweight European sports cars of the 1960s, such as the Lotus Elan and MG MGB. The Eunos Roadster aimed to bring back the joy of open-top motoring at an affordable price.

Mazda engineers and designers focused on creating a car that would provide excellent handling, precise steering, and a pure driving experience. The first-generation model, known as the NA series, featured a 1.6-liter inline-four engine, rear-wheel drive, and a lightweight body construction.

Design and Features

The Mazda Eunos Roadster displays a timeless and sleek design, incorporating elements from vintage British roadsters while adding its own unique JDM touch. The compact dimensions, rounded headlights, and short overhangs contribute to its attractive and sporty appearance.

One of the key features of the Eunos Roadster is its retractable soft-top roof, allowing drivers to easily transform it from a closed coupe to an open convertible. This feature became a defining characteristic of the model, providing a thrilling driving experience that perfectly caters to the JDM enthusiasts.

The interior of the Eunos Roadster is purposeful and driver-focused. It features a low seating position, providing a sense of connection with the road. The simple and intuitive dashboard layout, along with the classic three-spoke steering wheel, further enhances the driving pleasure.


While the Mazda Eunos Roadster may not boast high horsepower figures, its lightweight construction and exceptional chassis dynamics make it a true driver's car. The first-generation models were equipped with a 1.6-liter engine, producing around 115 horsepower. This power, combined with the car's low weight, allows for agile and nimble cornering.

The rear-wheel-drive configuration provides excellent balance and allows enthusiasts to indulge in spirited driving experiences. The Eunos Roadster shines in its ability to offer accessible and enjoyable performance, making it a favorite among JDM enthusiasts who appreciate handling finesse over raw power.

Legacy and Cult Status

The Mazda Eunos Roadster's impact on the automotive world cannot be understated. Upon its release, it revitalized the market for affordable and lightweight sports cars. It became a symbol of driving enjoyment and garnered a dedicated following worldwide.

Car clubs and events focused solely on the Mazda Eunos Roadster emerged globally, showcasing the enthusiasm and passion that this JDM classic continues to evoke. Its popularity also led to various special editions and regional variations, further fueling the cult status surrounding this iconic sports car.

To this day, the 1989-1996 Mazda Eunos Roadster remains a sought-after vehicle, cherished for its timeless design, outstanding handling, and the pure joy it brings to driving. It firmly holds its place as one of the most beloved JDM cars of all time.

As an automotive enthusiast, experiencing a Mazda Eunos Roadster from this era grants a unique glimpse into the JDM culture and the appreciation for engineering brilliance within the Japanese car scene.