Porsche 944 Vs Mazda Miata

Something a little different this time – a model comparison with the Mazda Miata and our 944.

We are obviously 944 fans here, but we have owned three MG-B’s, two Mazda Miatas, a VW Eos Convertible, and built a VW-based MG-TD fiberglass replica from Daytona MiGi many decades ago.  We love convertibles, open cars and dune buggies.  So here we have a comparison between the very popular Miata and the very popular 944 – both great sports cars.  Why?  Because sometimes it’s okay to stick your head up outside the foxhole and see what is going on…

The Porsche 944 and Mazda Miata are two iconic sports cars that have captured the hearts of automotive enthusiasts worldwide. As we know, the Porsche 944, manufactured between 1982 and 1991, is a rear-wheel-drive sports car that boasts a sleek design, impressive handling, and great overall performance. On the other hand, the Mazda Miata, also known as the MX-5, is a lightweight roadster that has been in production since 1989. The Miata is known for its agile handling and fun-to-drive nature. While both cars offer unique driving experiences, they are often compared due to their similar price range and popularity among car enthusiasts.

The Release Of Porsche 944 In 1982

The release of Porsche 944 in 1982 marked a significant milestone in the company’s history. It came from the first Porsche to feature a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, which was a departure from the traditional rear-engine setup. The 944 boasted a sleek and aerodynamic design that was both stylish and functional. Under the hood, it packed a powerful 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that could produce up to 147 horsepower and reach speeds of up to 143 mph. The car quickly gained popularity among sports car enthusiasts who appreciated its balance of performance and comfort. Despite its success, the 944 was eventually replaced by newer models like the Boxster and Cayman.

The Introduction Of Mazda Miata In 1989

The introduction of the Mazda Miata in 1989 was a game-changer for the automotive industry. It marked a shift towards small, lightweight, and affordable sports cars that were fun to drive. The Miata was designed to be a modern-day version of classic British roadsters like the Lotus Elan and MG-B. It had a simple, yet elegant design that emphasized driving pleasure over pure performance.

The Miata’s success prompted other automakers to develop similar models, including Porsche with its 944S2 and 968 Cabs. Despite their differences in design and engineering, both cars share a common goal: to provide an exhilarating driving experience at an affordable price point.

When it comes to engine and performance, the Porsche 944 and Mazda Miata offer two very different driving experiences. The Porsche 944 is powered by a 2.5-liter inline-four engine that produces up to 247 horsepower. This sports car can reach a top speed of around 155 mph and can go from zero to 60 mph in just over six seconds. On the other hand, the Mazda Miata features a smaller but equally impressive engine, a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four that delivers up to 181 horsepower.

Design And Styling Differences Between The Two Cars

The Porsche 944 and Mazda Miata are two very distinct cars, both in terms of their design and styling. The Porsche 944 has a more aggressive, angular look with its sharp lines and flared wheel arches. The front end is dominated by the iconic Porsche headlights, while the rear features a sleek sloping roofline. In contrast, the Mazda Miata has a more rounded, curvaceous design with a simple yet elegant front grille and circular headlights.  The Mazda’s compact size and lightweight body give it a sporty feel that sets it apart from the larger Porsche. Overall, both cars have their own unique style that appeals to different types of drivers.

Features And Technology Comparison Between Porsche 944 And Mazda Miata

While the Porsche 944 boasts a larger engine and more horsepower, the Mazda Miata is known for its lightweight design and impressive handling. In terms of technology, both cars were ahead of their time when they were first released. The Porsche 944 features a sophisticated suspension system and advanced braking technology, while the Mazda Miata was one of the first cars to feature a fully retractable soft top roof.  Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and driving style when deciding between these two classic sports cars.

Popularity And Market Success Of Both Cars

The Porsche 944 was introduced in the mid-1980s and quickly became a popular choice for those seeking a high-performance sports car. Despite its initial popularity, the 944 struggled to maintain its market success due to its high price point and expensive maintenance costs.

On the other hand, the Mazda Miata has enjoyed immense popularity since its introduction in 1989. Its affordability, reliability, and fun-to-drive nature have made it a hit with car enthusiasts across generations. The Miata has consistently been praised for its well-balanced handling, responsive steering, and overall driving experience.

Conclusion On Which Car Is Better: Porsche 944 Vs Mazda Miata

In conclusion, choosing between the Porsche 944 and Mazda Miata ultimately depends on personal preference and intended use. The Porsche 944 offers a more powerful engine, luxurious interior, and classic styling, making it a great option for those looking for a sports car with a touch of luxury. However, it may be more expensive to maintain and repair due to its age and complexity.

On the other hand, the Mazda Miata is known for its reliability, handling, and affordability. It’s an excellent option for those who want a fun-to-drive convertible that won’t break the bank. Ultimately, both cars have their strengths and weaknesses but are great options depending on what you’re looking for in a sports car.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind having one of each in the garage…

Author: 924s944

After retiring from a career in Law Enforcement, Kevin Duffy turned his attention to one of his passions, Porsche 944's and 924S's. He owns 924S944.com LLC in DeLand, FL, rescuing and restoring forgotten Porsches, bringing them back to a useful life. He is especially interested in the rare-but-beautiful 924S Special Edition. He can be found at Porsche Club events, local Deland Area Cruisers events, and other car-related things including track days, tours and shows around the southeastern United States.

3 thoughts

  1. I loved Maggie, my British Racing Green convertible Miata. I loved my first 924, Roxanne. If I had to choose between the two, it would be a very tough decision.

  2. About 4 years ago, (prior to finding our 87 944), I looked around for a convertible. The Miata and BMW Z3’s were plentiful but a buddy connected me with an elderly owner looking to sell his low mileage 2000 Boxster S 6 speed. The IMS bearing was original and replacement was contemplated in the offering price and immediately replaced. My 944 with its AT is never going to be aggressively driven, but the analog 986 is the best of both worlds – open air handling but some punch when you want it. There’s no doubt that per mile a Mazda MX5 will be easier to maintain, but for “weekenders” I hope to keep a Boxster in the barn for years to come.

  3. Well as a new 73 914 2.0 owner at 16 I currently own a 83 944 in great condition with all upgrades etc. I’ve driven n have Ridden in many miatas…..so I put 914 944 miata mr2 in that order…there all very well designed n built. Choosing one is a awful difficult task though. Ull have to drive all of them n.make up ur own mind but either way ur gonna end up with a winner! BMW Z3??? Lol

What do you think?