Miata 1.6 Vs. 1.8: Which one is Better?

When you look at Miata 1.6 and look at Miata 1.8, it’s difficult to tell which is better. In appearance, both of these cars look alike.

But the truth is they are actually different.

In this article, we will compare these two car models, and tell which is better between both of them.

Let’s get started.

Miata 1.6

The MX 5 Miata 1.6 is an amazing Cabriolet car by Mazda manufactured and sold as new between 1989 to 1994. After 1994, the car is sold as used.

Miata 1.6 comes with a naturally-aspirated inline 4-cylinder engine. The engine comes with a strong engine code that gives maximum performance. The engine produces a power of up to 115 PS with a maximum torque of 135 Nm at 5500 rpm.

Miata 1.6 Vs. 1.8

The car transmits this amazing power with a rear-wheel drive and a speed manual gearbox.

When it comes to riding comfort, handling behaviours, and road-holding, Miata 1.6 delivers all that. And for stopping power, Miata 1.6 comes with a braking system with a vented disc both on the rear and front.

The 1.6 Miata originally came with an 85kW iron-blocked engine. The engine is derived from it’s the turbocharged engine.

With a 115 Horsepower, this car can attain an acceleration of 0-100 KM/H in 8.3 seconds.

The engine also comes with a flywheel and crankshaft.

Miata 1.8

Miata 1.8

The Miata 1.8 was a version released between 1994-1998. It was an upgrade of Miata 1.6.

The 1.8 L engine was modified to give a better performance. This car was modified to feature a variable valve timing on its intake camshaft.

Another upgrade was done on the intake and exhaust system. These modifications gave the 1.8L more power output of up to 113 kW.

The upgrade dealt with steering power, stereo, and air conditioning. It gave additional power to the driver’s hands.

Apart from the engine and power upgrade, this car remained the same. It maintained the look of Miata 1.6 but with more power than Miata itself.

However, there were added better side-impact tolerance and more strength. The additional sturdiness comes within the additional bracing on the car chassis. The rear and front subframes have a track-bar to give better suspension stress for the car.

The Difference Between Miata 1.6 and 1.8

Engine Performance

The difference between Miata 1.6 and 1.8 is the power between these two cars. Miata 1.8 comes with greater performance power.

Mita 1.8 engine comes with more weight as compared to the Miata 1.6 engine. The larger model weight about 990kg. But this is not a concern since the power that’s delivered by this engine offsets the weight the engine comes with.

In short, when it comes to performance, engine, and construction, Miata 1.8 has a slight upper hand.

One thing you will love about Miata 1.6 is the ability to Rev faster and the amazing torque power.

Driving Experience

When it comes to the driving experience, Miata 1.6 is better than Miata 1.8. This is because Miata 1.6 has a lighter flywheel. This is why Miata 1.6 is more fun to drive, especially when you add slight oversteer.

Even as you drive your Miata 1.6, you will realize that it has quality construction materials. Other designs such and features that improve the driving experience for Miata 1.6 is the passenger airbags and another amazing safety measure.

The only issue is that the airbag makes the design of the board have an awkward position as compared to Miata 1.8. But what’s better, a safer car or a good-looking car? You will have to settle for a safer car.


The technical appearance of these two cars is similar. Miata 1.8 comes with a few interior changes to the car appearance. Some of the changes include the integrated speakers over the door panel and other minor changes on the cardboard.

The differences are minor and don’t make any significant change. You can easily live without these changes if you prefer Miata 1.6.

In simple terms, looks won’t help you decide on the best car to choose between these two options.

Miata 1.6 Or 1.8: Which Is Better?

Miata 1.6 and 1.8 looks almost the same by appearance. However, as we have seen, they deliver different performance.

If you are looking for a car that will give you extra power go for Miata 1.8. It’s an improvement of Miata 1.6.

The only thing that Miata 1.6 wins over Miata 1.8 is the ease and fun of driving. But everything else, Miata 1.8 is better.

Buy K&N Cold Air Intake Kit To Improve Miata Horsepower

If you own Miata 1.6 or 1.8, you can get an air intake kit to improve its horsepower. A good air intake kit will improve air circulation in your car engine.

As a result, the car will gain more power and safe fuel. This is because there is enough air to facilitate combustion in the Miata’s engine.

K&N Cold Air Intake Kit is the best you will find in the market. Click here to check the latest price and buy it from Amazon today.

Parting Shot

If you have been wondering which is better between these two cars, you don’t have to worry anymore. Miata 1.8 is better, but that doesn’t mean Miata 1.6 is not perfect – it’s best when it comes to ease of driving.

Watch this Video, for the Comparison Between Miata 1.6 Vs. 1.8 

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