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Happy 25th birthday to the Mazda Miata (video)

The 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata CLUB has sporty options.

Mazda is now officially celebrating the 25th year anniversary of the MX-5 Miata. It was previously known simply as the Miata, and combined by both names it’s the best-selling sports roadster in history.

The name Miata derives from the German word for “reward.” The name fits for the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata, since it continues the tradition of the classic two-seater.

The reward is what Miata customers receive. The Miata has its own personality, but it also pays homage to roadsters of yesteryear like the Triumph Spirtfire, MG MGB, Fiat 124, Alfa Romeo and Lotus Elan.

The 2014 Mazda MDX-5 Miata is available in a two-tome hardtop convertible.
The 2014 Mazda MDX-5 Miata is available in a two-tome hardtop convertible. Image © James Raia

The 2014 Miata, which was refreshed last year, marks the 25th anniversary of the little beast It debuted in 1989 as a 1990 model at the Chicago Auto Show — and at an ideal time.

Roadsters we’re particularly en vogue at the time. But Mazda nevertheless introduced the little beast as an affordable two-seat convertible sports car. The rest is automotive history.

The Mazda MX-5 or as it’s called only in the North America, the Mazda MX-5 Miata, is the best-selling car of its class globally. More than 900,000 have sold since the most recent international tally at the end of 2011.

The 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata is offered in three trim levels: base Sport, Club and range-topping Grand Touring. All come standard with a manually operated soft top, while the top two trims are available with a power-retractable hardtop (PRHT).

Standard features for the Sport trim include 16-inch alloy wheels, a vinyl convertible top with a glass rear window, foglights, air-conditioning, cloth seats, a height-adjustable driver seat, a leather-wrapped tilt-only steering wheel, power windows and mirrors and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and auxiliary jacks.

The Club trim, which I drove for a weekly, adds 17-inch wheels, sporty front and rear fascia treatments, black exterior trim, a black cloth convertible top, cruise control, power door locks, keyless entry, unique interior trim, a leather-wrapped shift knob, a trip computer and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. The Club emblem is also featured and there are black outer mirrors, black rooftop, headlight bezel and dual exhausts.

The Miata is available with a five-or six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. My weekly driver had a manual six-speed transmission, the proper choice for any true sports car.

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