It’s very Vitamin C and very, very sold out

Thirty years have passed since Mazda gave the world the MX-5 Miata, and to commemorate that occasion, the Japanese automaker introduced the MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show. Limited to just 3,000 units, the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition is available in both soft-top and retractable hardtop RF trims. The exclusive touches are mostly cosmetic in nature, though that’s expected considering that Mazda followed the same blueprint when it launched the 10th Anniversary Miata in 1999, the 20th Anniversary Miata in 2009, and the 25th Anniversary Miata in 2014. The limited edition MX-5 starts at $34,995. Unfortunately, the time to get one has passed; all 500 allocations of the MX-5 Anniversary Edition in the U.S. were scooped up a mere four hours after Mazda opened the order books.

Exterior

  • Exclusive Racing Orange paint finish
  • 10-spoke aluminum wheels from Rays
  • Brembo and Nissin brake calipers
  • 30th Anniversary badging
2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition
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It’s hard to imagine the Mazda MX-5 Miata being around for 30 years and still maintain the hype it has built around it in that time. But it goes to show just how popular the MX-5 has become. Mazda knows how important this milestone is for its little-roadster-that-could, and so, here we are with the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition. The first thing you need to know is that the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition does not come with any engine upgrades. If you’re expecting one, you’re going to be disappointed. But if you know what to expect, then, well, consider yourselves lucky that you were able to scoop up a pre-order before all 500 allocated units in the U.S. sold out.

So, what are you getting with the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition?

The most prominent highlight is also the one that catches your attention first: the paint color.

Mind you; it’s not just an orange paint job. Nope. Mazda dressed up the anniversary MX-5 with an exclusive Racing Orange paint finish that’ll knock your sensibilities out the moment you see it. Orange is my favorite color and this particular shade screams of it with the kind of flamboyance that’s impossible to ignore. I love it! At the very least, the 30th Anniversary MX-5 has a more vibrant color than its earlier counterparts, the 10th and 20th Anniversary models.

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition
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The MX-5 10th Anniversary, which Mazda released in 1999, only came with a subdued paint finish. The MX-5 20th Anniversary, which went on sale in 2009, featured three color options: Crystal White Pearl Mica, True Red, or Aurora Blue. The most recent addition to this lineup of anniversary models was the MX-5 25th Anniversary, which arrived with a Soul Red Metallic finish. None of these colors excite the senses quite like the Racing Orange finish on the 30th Anniversary Edition. Mazda describes the exclusive color as evoking “the breaking dawn of an exciting new day.” I describe it as money. Lots and lots of money coming Mazda’s way.

The fancy color captures your attention, but it’s not the only noteworthy element of the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition. Check out those wheels, too!

That’s a set of 17-inch, ten-spoke aluminum forged bad boys that come courtesy of Japanese wheel manufacturer Rays. L

ook past the wheels, and you’ll also see brake calipers finished in the same color as the body. The front calipers are supplied by Brembo while their counterparts at the back come by way of Nissin. As expected, the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition isn’t complete without the cursory 30th Anniversary badge that also includes the model’s specific vehicle number. That’s located on the drivers-side quarter-panel ahead of the rear wheel. Someday, I’m going to find a numbered special edition model without a badge in it. Someday.

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition
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This is the extent of Mazda’s exterior program for the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition. Throw in the sports car’s convenience features — those rain-sensing windshield wipers and automatic high-beam headlights will come in handy from time to time — and you’re looking at what is, in my mind, the best-looking MX-5 Anniversary Edition Mazda has released.

2019 Mazda MX-5 exterior dimensions

Length 154.1 inches
Width 68.1 inches
Height 48.62 inches
Wheelbase 91.4 inches
Curb weight (KG/LB) 1,057 / 2,332

Interior

  • Orange accents
  • Black leather surface
  • Recaro Sports seats
  • Special badges
2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition
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The Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition’s interior doesn’t disappoint, either. The same orange shade you see the MX-5 is wearing makes an appearance in the cabin, too, in the form of accents that liven up the interior space of the sports car. That bodes well for a cab that’s mostly covered up in black leather.

Recaro sports seats come standard on the model, which is fitting considering the identity of the MX-5 as a sports car.

Unfortunately, Mazda didn’t do a lot — it didn’t do anything, actually — to clean up some of the plastic bits that you normally find inside an MX-5. Most of the plastic that lines much of the door trim is still there. Same thing with the dashboard, seats, and gear lever. This has always been one of the MX-5’s weakest links, and while it is understandable to see so much plastic on a car that sells for just over $30,000, I would’ve expected Mazda to do something to jazz up the cabin of what is basically an important special edition anniversary model. But alas, this good world of ours doesn’t give us everything we want so if you’re going to buy the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition, you need to come to grips with all the cheap plastic in the interior.

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition
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I should point out, too, that Mazda was a little more subdued in dressing up the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition, at least when you compare it to the 10th Anniversary model it rolled out 20 years ago. That special edition featured faux suede inserts — they’re fake, but still, props for the effort, Mazda — a leather-wrapped string wheel, chrome bezels, sports-oriented red gauge needles, and a few bits of Alcantara trim applied to the door panels, the dashboard, and the Recaro seats. That model even had special floor mats, which, to my humorous dismay, the 30th Anniversary Edition does not have. Come on, Mazda. If you’re doing the obligatory badges, where’s the equally obligatory set of special floor mats?

The good news is that the MX-5 30th Anniversary arrives just as Mazda added a host of new features for the 2019MY of the sports car, including a new a new, standard tilt and telescoping steering column with 30 mm (1.18 inches) of telescoping and 42 mm (1.65 inches) of tilt range.

Mazda also saved a bit of weight by replacing the old steering column with one made from aluminum.

Those who opt for the RF trim also stands to receive leather-trimmed seats, a nine-speaker Bose premium audio system, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, an updated Traffic Sign Recognition system, Adaptive Front-lighting System, Lane-Departure Warning, and Smart City Brake Support. The Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Don’t sleep on this little nugget because standard MX-5 models don’t have it.

Drivetrain

  • 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder engine
  • 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque.
  • Six-speed manual transmission (standard) / six-speed automatic transmission (optional)
  • 5.7 seconds 0-to-60 mph
  • 14.4 seconds at 95.5 mph quarter-mile time
  • 26 mpg in the city / 34 mpg on the highway
2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition
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I suppose a lot of you expect that the Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition doesn’t come with any engine upgrades.

While I’m sure a lot of us aren’t opposed to the sports car packing more heat under its hood, we could do worse than a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque.

That’s more power than the 155-horsepower MX-5 that was available until the 2019MY MX-5 showed up last year. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard, though Mazda is offering a six-speed automatic transmission as an option. Be advised, though, only the six-speed manual transmission-equipped MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition comes with Bilstein dampers.

The extra horsepower doesn’t necessarily turn the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition into a full-on dragster, but the extra horsepower means that it’s noticeably quicker than its predecessor. We all know, too, that Mazda’s SKYACTIV mills deliver energetic acceleration so you should have fun getting to speed with the anniversary model. Even better, you can have as much fun with it without having to pay frequent trips to the gas station. According to EPA estimates, the 2019MY MX-5 Miata return 26 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway with the six-speed manual transmission. Opt for the optional automatic transmission and that returns similar figures. Either way, the MX-5 is considered one of the most fuel-efficient sports cars in the market today.

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition
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Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition drivetrain specifications

Type 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G inline four-cylinder engine
Transmission SKYACTIV-MT and SKYACTIV-DRIVE six-speed automatic
Max. output 181 HP
Max. torque 151 LB-FT

Prices

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition
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This is the section where good news intersects with bad news and then intersects with hopeful news.

First, the good news. The Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary starts at $35,915, with the hardtop RF starting at $38,515. I

n the event that you want the optional six-speed automatic transmission, you’ll need to fork over an extra $499 to the softtop’s price and $400 to the price of the RF version. It’s not a cheap price, for sure — the Toyota 86 TRD Special Edition starts at $32,420 — but considering that this is a 30th Anniversary model that comes around once - ok, twice this decade — in 10 years, it’s money well spent.

Now comes the bad news. Of the 3,000 units that Mazda is building, only 500 units of the 30th Anniversary MX-5 are headed to the U.S. You might scoff at the allocation, but consider this: my home country — the Philippines — only gets 20 units. Consider yourselves lucky, America! Unfortunately, and this is where the stomach punch comes in, all 500 units that are earmarked for the U.S. market are all accounted for. It took less than four hours from the time Mazda opened the pre-order books for all 500 units to find potential owners. Hurts, doesn’t it?

Well, this is where the hopeful news comes in. If you were one of the unlucky ones to miss out on pre-ordering the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition, Mazda is offering a waitlist in the event someone who did score a pre-order ends up canceling. There’s still hope, friends!

Conclusion

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition
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There’s a reason why the Mazda MX-5 is still going strong after 30 years in the market. The beloved sports car is arguably the best pound-for-pound performance car in the market. It packs punchy performance credentials with a package that has remained timeless in the three decades that it’s been around. Plus, it’s much more affordable compared to a lot of other sports cars in the market today. Throw in the fact that these anniversary editions have become collector’s pieces in their own right, and you have the makings of a special edition model that we’re going to be talking about for a long time. It’s unfortunate that Mazda’s limiting the allocation in the U.S. to just 500 units. Then again, Mazda only sent 100 units of the 25th Anniversary Edition here five years ago. Let’s count our blessings when we see them.

  • Leave it
    • Plenty of plastic in the cabin
    • No power upgrades
    • Already sold out

Further Reading

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition
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The Mazda MX-5 Celebrates its 30th Birthday at Chicago Auto Show with a Limited Edition model

2016 Mazda MX-5 High Resolution Exterior
- image 614586

Read our full review on the 2016 Mazda MX-5.

2017 Mazda Miata RF – Driven Exterior High Resolution
- image 715510

Read our full driven review on the 2017 Mazda Miata RF.

1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata - Driven Exterior Test drive
- image 638400

Read our full driven review on the 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

2019 Chicago Auto Show - Everything You Need To Know
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2019 Chicago Auto Show - Everything You Need To Know

Mazda Motor Corporation today showcased the global unveiling of the Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition at the Chicago Auto Show, which runs from Feb. 7-18.*

After 30 years and with more than 1 million examples sold, Mazda feels that the MX-5 is no longer its own creation. It belongs to the fans around the world who have supported the development of the model. To express its gratitude, and its high hopes for the future of the MX-5, the company developed Racing Orange, an exclusive body color that evokes the breaking dawn of an exciting new day.

In addition to the new color, the MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition features forged aluminum wheels (Rays ZE40 RS30) developed exclusively for the MX-5 in cooperation with Rays Co., Ltd. and a 30th Anniversary badge that displays the model’s serial number. Sales will be limited to 3,000 units worldwide, including both soft-top and retractable hardtop models.

Mazda will continue to make cars that exceed expectations and provide driving pleasure in everyday driving situations. The company aims to build a strong bond with customers and become an indispensable presence in their lives.
Exclusive Features

Racing Orange body color
Rays forged aluminum wheels (Rays ZE40 RS30)
30th Anniversary badge (with serial number)
Orange brake calipers and orange accents on the seats, door trim, dashboard and shift lever
Recaro seats
Bilstein dampers (manual-transmission models only)
Brembo front brake calipers (in orange)
Nissin rear brake calipers (in orange)
Bose® sound system (AudioPilot™2) with nine speakers
Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ (in select markets)

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